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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A couple of weeks ago I posted my new goal of adding a M1Garand and a 1903A3. Well I'm so happy to report that a member here sent me a PM telling me he had a couple 03A3's for sale. I selected the one I wanted. Sent the money and just picked it up today! I made sure he was legit and sure enough he showed such class. I'll keep him anonymous until he decides to post in this thread.



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Quite a fine looking rifle. A very nice addition to anyone's collection. I like it a lot. Thanks for sharing your new addition with us here.
 

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I'm glad Rick is happy with the rifle. I'm down to only a few 1903s from several dozen originally. I'm only planning on keeping a very few to take to AZ with me when we relocate next year.

While the standard 1903 is certainly the classic American bolt-action main battle rifle...the 1903A3 is...in my opinion...more shootable due to the superior sights. The full pistol grip C-stock makes it even better and more controllable.

Shoot it well, Rick...it's a super rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm very pleased with it. I checked the bore and it's very bright and the 4 grove barrel looks very good. I'll take it out to the range and shoot it some later this afternoon. Well maybe not...I just remembered it has no sling, so I need to get a GI cotton web sling immediately.

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That's a nice one. Glad that you now have it.

I've owned lots of 1903/1903A3/1903A4 rifles over the years. I still enjoy shooting them, particularly with cast bullets.

Here are my current keepers.

.22RF M2s:

737350


30/06 03s with a stray Krag:

737351
 

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They're nice rifles to shoot, I got one a few years ago finally. I remember when they were $100 "your pick", but never got one. Finally got one about 7-8 years ago. I like the nice green color on your receiver, be careful not to clean it too strongly, I believe it can come off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Can someone tell me what the rifle went through it's service life? If it's a Remington A3 with a serial# 3566xxx and 3-43 stamped barrel with the front sight hood. I'm sure the stock is refinished and/or replaced with a C stock. I'm thinking maybe a Marine issued? No stamps/cartouche anywhere on the stock.

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Very few M1903A3s saw active service.

Some were issued to Log units for a short time, but the Garand was in wide issue by '42 - the '03A3 was just a second-tier weapon.

The Marines had the M1903 and M1903A1 until they were refitted with M1s after Guadalcanal - the Army issued the M1903A1 until the advent of the Garand - you see them in the photos taken prior to Pearl Harbor and after that, the bolt rifles weren't all that common.

Figuring out the actual history is close to impossible - unless there are rebuild cartouches, that history is all speculation, and a 'rebuild' may've been just stock replacement as needed - something not requiring a trip to a Depot.

One big reason yours looks as good as it does is because there's every chance it never went into service, but remained stored - a helluva lot of the DCM and surplus 'A3s were like that in the '60's - if the bore's good and clean, it likely never saw a VFW or Legion Post, either - and many of those were brand new when unboxed.

Looks like reading a copy of Brophy's book on the Springfield will be a good thing to do.
 

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As indicated in my original post, the stock has been replaced. Finish on rifle is original, so at sometime in it's post military life someone probably changed out the stock for the more comfortable C type stock. The 03-A3 rifles probably saw limited combat usage, and were more assigned to rear echelon troops, truck drivers, and such. Production was being scaled back and ended toward the end of 1943 as M1 Rifle production had caught up.

On the Remington 03-A3 original finish was phosphate on the receiver and barrel, and for some strange reason the safety. Everything else was blued. This does not hold true for the Smith-Corona 03-A3. Remington marked virtually every part with an R.

The front sight protector does not lend itself to accurate shooting with the 03-A3. The receiver sight lends itself to accurate shooting because of the ability of the eye to accurately seek the center of the circle of the sight, and center the post front sight in the circle. The front sight is not centered in the circle formed by the front sight hood, and this confuses the eye as it tries to center the circle of the front sight in the circle of the rear sight.
 
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