Restoring 03A3

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by My 3 sons, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. My 3 sons

    My 3 sons
    Bonney Lake
    Active Member

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    I'm looking for recommendations for a gun restoration shop that specializes in 03A3 rebuilds. I have a sporterized bishop stock on my Springfield and want to put it back to military dress. I've seen the CMP options but don't have any hardware and not that much money. Thoughts?
  2. MountainBear

    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Not terribly complicated. I've done several, although I love sportered military rifles, so I tend not to restore. The 03a3, by comparison to the 1903, is easy to restore.
    Start with the action. If it's been drilled and tapped, the pull the scope mount and use plug screws in the front holes. The hole on the rear will be covered by the rear site. If the rear site has been removed, you can generally find a replacement on eBay, numrich,or any number of other sites. Same thing if the bolt has been altered. Easy enough to find a replacement. More than likely the headspace will still pass, but you need to make sure before you shoot the rifle. If the barrel has not been trimmed, you can check to see if the front site is original. If not, you can replace the front sight. If the barrel has been trimmed, you can find an original military barrel still in the wrap, or get an aftermarket barrel like a criterion. You can still find original stocks on eBay, GunBroker, or new production Stocks from Boyd's or numrich. Same with handguards. Small stock parts can be got from any number of sources, but I generally find anything I don't already have on eBay.

    You may take the time to find all the replacement parts by the same manufacturer, but since most of 03a3's went through re-arsenal at some point, they tended to be mix-masters anyway. It is approachable project for a kitchen table tinkerer. There will be a few things you will need a gunsmiths help for, like headspacing and or installing a new barrel. If you want to have the rifle re-parkerized or reblued (depending on the part and manufacturer, either might be correct), you will likely need a gunsmith for that as well.

    It can be expensive to collect all the parts. Often more so than just buying an original rifle. But it's a fun project and definitely doable if you choose to do it.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
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  3. Mark W.

    Mark W.
    Silverton, OR
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I restored a c1918 M1903 that still had the sights on it (original stock had been cut down and misc. hardware missing) Including a Boyds Stock that I reshaped to match the original spec's for the finger groove stock the missing hardware and stock ran me $250.00 If you have no original metal save the trigger guard your looking at easy $300.00 if sights are missing more then that. Also if your bolt has been bent or welded to clear a scope that will require either a new bolt and the cost of fitting it to the receiver or extensive reworking to return it to original shape.
    Finished M1903
    What I started with
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  4. coop44

    Tacoma ,WA
    Well-Known Member

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    sarco is your best bet. they have all the metal parts, new criterion barrels. most everything you need.

    Federal Way
    Active Member

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    I just finished this one, before I started it looked exactly like Mark W.'s above


    I used ebay and the local online forums to find the parts I needed, of course the most expensive will be the stock.

    My advice is to be patient. The old rule is you can have it fast, affordable or good, but you only get two of the three....

    There are parts endors at the guns shows, They always have 03A3 parts. Also check those $1 boxes 'o random crap that guys have at the gun show, I find old military rifle parts in those boxes all the time.


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