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How many 1903 lovers out there?

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Well, to keep this going, we really should have a thread for 1903's and the later models since we have one for the m1917 Enfield rifles.

I am a bit of a whore for the 03 and 03a3 (or 03a4, etc.). I like them original, I like them sporterized. I've lost count of how many I have. I still need to find an original 1903 when I have some cash.

Figured I would share some photos of the various rifles in the stable. I'm sure there's more, but this is what I have photos for.

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Velzey

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Me!!! I suppose now I will get a few out and snap a few photos of a few.

Ok here is my favorite.
1903 Springfield setup as a International Match rifle. Built in 1926 and used in the international matches. Its actually documented in the Brophy book. Double set trigger, palm rest mount on the floorplate.
Whats really cool is this is one of 8 or 10 Springfields that were fitted with Winchester Mfg heavy tapered match barrels. And it still shoots awesome! It still sports the original Winchester A5 scope that was used in the matches.

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The 1903's are cool old rifles. My buddy has hunted with one since he was 12. He still has it and it is one of the nicest 1903 sporters I've seen. I almost bought one that was chambered in 308 Norma mag. Still regret not buying it...
 

AndyinEverson

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I like 03's and 03A3's both in their issue form or "sporterized."
Having owned many a 03 , I can say that they are excellent rifles which can rival a custom rifle of today.
The only "modern" centerfire rifle have is a Remington 03A3 from '43.
It was arsenal refinished at Ogden after the war and rebarreled.
I do not think it was shot after it was refinished. ( until I got it ... )
It shoots really well with 165-168 grain bullets.
With this rifle I don't feel "undergunned" for anything I would have a use for a rifle for.
Andy
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Ura-Ki

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Sure do love the Ol' 03A3 and varients, ether sporter or origional! The Lee Enfield was the Battle Rifle, the Mauser 98 was the Hunting Rifle, and the 03 was the Target Rifle, And I believe that to be an accurate assessment of them all. I have an original 1933 dated 03, A 1944 dated sporter 03, and a NRA "match" that was customized I believe in the 50's. All shoot exceptionally well, and like posted above, my sporter and NRA rifles would hold their own against modern custom rifles! Great Thread MountainBear :):):) Hint etrain16 you need a nice 03 Springfield next, to really see how a "Service Rifle" performs in the matches:p:D:cool:
 

Ura-Ki

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I would add in that the Arisaka was also a very fine Rifle in it's day, pretty much a Mauser 98 copy with "improvements" that I believe put it some where between the 98 and the Springer! Wish I had jumped on this old sporter I ran into years ago, still had the Mum on the receiver ring and a really nice set of custom Iron Sights, and really fancy wood! But alas, I will stick with my 03's and 98's!!!
 
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I like my 03's.

To bad about the stinking low number guns. It's the black cloud hanging over the 1903's
Seen some nice ones. And had to pass.

Don't want this in my face. o_O

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Totally new to 03s and I almost hate to ask about the black cloud. I'm guessing something about earlier production rifles that cannot take the pressure of modern ammunition. I know i can look it up on the net but you all seem like a knowledgeable bunch of guys. I've had a smith corona 03a3 on layaway for awhile that I've fooled around about paying off so I'm definitely curious.
 

AndyinEverson

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Don't need to worry about the 03A3's.(Remington or Smith Corona)
The low number 03's were all single or double heat treated steel receivers.
I have shot low numbered 03's after being checked for headspace and using military spec ammo.
I'm still here and have all my parts ... Not telling anyone to do the same ,just saying if you find a low number 03 and the price is right , it MIGHT be worth while to shoot ...
Low numbers are 800,00 and lower for Springfields and 285,507 for Rock Islands.

Many of the rifles with burst receivers were shot with high pressure ammo or .8mm Mauser ammo.
Andy
 

etrain16

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I would add in that the Arisaka was also a very fine Rifle in it's day, pretty much a Mauser 98 copy with "improvements" that I believe put it some where between the 98 and the Springer! Wish I had jumped on this old sporter I ran into years ago, still had the Mum on the receiver ring and a really nice set of custom Iron Sights, and really fancy wood! But alas, I will stick with my 03's and 98's!!!
I had an Arisaka and a Swede, but sold them a couple years ago. I wouldn't mind adding them back, along with an 03A3 one of these days. Too many cool guns out there and not enough $$!! I'm kind of holding back on getting the bolt guns and have been picking up more modern, high capacity stuff in advance of what the stinking legislature in this state may do.
 

MilitantBEEMER

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Advise on this one for sale is appreciated:
ARMSLIST - For Sale: Springfield Model 1903

I have a real love for the Rock Island Arsenal rebuilds and Frank Krack in particular. Thinking real hard about making a deal on this, however I have NO idea if this is valued correctly.
If you feel this is a hijack, feel free to delete. Just looking for advice before getting in over my head...
 
OP
MountainBear
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The black cloud over the so called low number 1903's existed because of a perfect storm of improving ammunition and the associated higher pressures and the imperfect system of heat treating that relied on eyeballing temperatures. What they found was that the difference in color of the red hot receiver between a sunny and cloudy day could be the difference between a perfectly he treated receiver and one that was possibly too brittle.
When the problem was discovered, they change systems and solve the issue. Springfield Armory does not have an exact serial number where this change took place. It was somewhere north of 800,000. Rock island armory actually have the exact number. I believe it was around 238,000, but I can't remember exactly. It is easy enough to look up. Chances are any low number rifle is likely safe to shoot, but there is just no way to tell if the rifle is a ticking bomb. So most people choose not to shoot them, shoot low pressure reloads in them, or just hang them on the wall. The CMP does not allow them in any competitions (low number rifles that is)...
I guess I never really considered it a black cloud, more simply growing pains. But I get where you're coming from with the black cloud comment.
I still love them. In fact I think the most beautiful rifles are the very early models with the sarif font writing on them. I only wish it was safe to shoot.
 
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Don't need to worry about the 03A3's.(Remington or Smith Corona)
The low number 03's were all single or double heat treated steel receivers.
I have shot low numbered 03's after being checked for headspace and using military spec ammo.
I'm still here and have all my parts ... Not telling anyone to do the same ,just saying if you find a low number 03 and the price is right , it MIGHT be worth while to shoot ...
Low numbers are 800,00 and lower for Springfields and 285,507 for Rock Islands.

Many of the rifles with burst receivers were shot with high pressure ammo or .8mm Mauser ammo.
Andy
Well that's a relief. While I enoy the modern semi autos and appreciate their capabilities, there is somehing almost therapeutic in shooting what could have been my grandfather's service weapon.
 

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