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Remington 03-A3 questions

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Old February 1st, 2009, 10:56 AM   #1
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Remington 03-A3 questions

Greetings,

I'm storing a bunch of rifles in my safe for a good friend. Recently decided to take a close look at them and to record serial #s just in case.

Anyway, one of them is marked:


US
REMINGTON
MODEL 03-A3

on the front left surface of the receiver. That text is all center justified, I couldn't get it to print out correctly here. The rifle looks like new condition, and resembles a "run of the mill" deer hunters' rifle, not a military type. No iron sites front or rear, has a Redfield 4-12x scope on a Redfield mount. Combed stock with a recoil pad, sling swivel mounts on front and rear of stock. The serial # is: 3407196 and located on the front right of the receiver, exactly opposite from the model #.

The rifle is finished in a shiny, dark blue, while the bolt and bolt handle are chrome, except for the rear portion which are dark.

Could this be a recently manufactured "civilian" model of the 1903 military rifle? I believe he has owned it for at least 15 years or so, but don't have any other info from him at this time. I'll try to get some photos of it soon and either post them here or my web space and provide a link.

I don't think my friend is particularly interested in keeping this, and I may be interested in purchasing it from him. I don't have any bolt action rifles and this looks to be a really nice one. I haven't had a chance to shoot it yet, but bought a couple boxes of 30-06 to try as soon as it warms up a bit.

Any info at all would really be appreciated. Thanks in advance!


Just put some photos up at:

http://www.analogbros.com/private/Fire%20Arms/03-A3/

Thanks, Jim


Regards, Jim


Last edited by Federal; February 3rd, 2009 at 01:14 PM. Reason: center
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Old February 1st, 2009, 11:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim-analog View Post
Greetings,

I'm storing a bunch of rifles in my safe for a good friend. Recently decided to take a close look at them and to record serial #s just in case.

Anyway, one of them is marked:

US
REMINGTON
MODEL 03-A3

on the front left surface of the receiver. That text is all center justified, I couldn't get it to print out correctly here. The rifle looks like new condition, and resembles a "run of the mill" deer hunters' rifle, not a military type. No iron sites front or rear, has a Redfield 4-12x scope on a Redfield mount. Combed stock with a recoil pad, sling swivel mounts on front and rear of stock. The serial # is: 3407196 and located on the front right of the receiver, exactly opposite from the model #.

The rifle is finished in a shiny, dark blue, while the bolt and bolt handle are chrome, except for the rear portion which are dark.

Could this be a recently manufactured "civilian" model of the 1903 military rifle? I believe he has owned it for at least 15 years or so, but don't have any other info from him at this time. I'll try to get some photos of it soon and either post them here or my web space and provide a link.

I don't think my friend is particularly interested in keeping this, and I may be interested in purchasing it from him. I don't have any bolt action rifles and this looks to be a really nice one. I haven't had a chance to shoot it yet, but bought a couple boxes of 30-06 to try as soon as it warms up a bit.

Any info at all would really be appreciated. Thanks in advance!


Just put some photos up at:

http://www.analogbros.com/private/Fire%20Arms/03-A3/

Thanks, Jim


Regards, Jim
Looks to be what is called a "sporterized" 03A3, and a rather nice one that that. It used to be very popular for gunsmiths to take a military bolt action and customize them for hunting. They would do the following and a lot more, remove the iron sights, drill and tap the receiver for a scope, grind down the rear sight ears, polish and blue the metal and install some fancy wood without front handguards. I am sure others will chime in, but its not really worth anything as a military collectable, but it appears to be a finely done conversion, so has value as a hunting rifle.

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Old February 1st, 2009, 01:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Angry_American View Post
Looks to be what is called a "sporterized" 03A3, and a rather nice one that that. It used to be very popular for gunsmiths to take a military bolt action and customize them for hunting. They would do the following and a lot more, remove the iron sights, drill and tap the receiver for a scope, grind down the rear sight ears, polish and blue the metal and install some fancy wood without front handguards. I am sure others will chime in, but its not really worth anything as a military collectable, but it appears to be a finely done conversion, so has value as a hunting rifle.
Yes, and it looks like a very nicely done job too. I have a Springfield Armory '03 that I had sporterozed many years ago and it's a real tack driver.

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Old February 1st, 2009, 03:37 PM   #4
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It is actually a M1903A4 that has been blued and sporterized. The receiver markings on the A4's were stamped so that they could be read with the scope mounting base installed. On a standard M1903A3 most of the U.S. and all of Remington Model 1903A3 would be covered by a scope mounting base, as they are stamped closer to the center of the receiver ring. The bolt is the correct bolt for the A4 and it looks like you have no front sight on the barrel, which would be correct for an A4, and the scope base appears correct too. If you could locate the correct stock and a M73B1 or M84 scope, you could have the action parkerized and restore it to original configuration.

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Old February 1st, 2009, 04:22 PM   #5
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That's sure what it looks like. You can get C-type stocks from either Numrich or Sarco, saw them for sale there awhile back.

As far as the the receiver being stamped 03A3, I don't think that's an issue. It is stamped in the right place for the 03A4. My 03A4 was actually stamped 03A3 first and then "overstamped" with a "4".

An 03A4 goes for somewhere between $3500 and $3800 these days in good shape (with the scope and all). I see the scope on ebay sometimes but can't say if the prices are good or not.

I paid $135 for my rifle and $65 for my scope and $15 for the rings. Scope and rifle were bought in 1977 or '78. They do seem to go up in price.

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Old February 2nd, 2009, 09:15 AM   #6
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Looks a lot like my sporterized 03 in .270. My dad's hunting rifle for many years. Action is butter smooth.

Sporterized military rifles generally aren't worth much except as keepsakes and shooters. Enjoy your rifle; it's probably a good one.

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Old February 2nd, 2009, 11:50 AM   #7
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Greetings,

Thank you all for the informative replies. Is there any way that I can determine when the receiver was first manufactured?

Other than the location of the text, are there other differences between the '03 and '04?

Yes, the action IS really smooth and it seems to be a very nice rifle. I guess I'd just really like to shoot it "as is", rather than attempt to convert it back to whatever it may have been.

Finally, any suggestions on where I could find a manual?

You guys are great!

Regards, Jim

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Old February 2nd, 2009, 02:26 PM   #8
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The manual won't be of much help other than removing the bolt and trigger group, and if yours is like mine the safety has been switched out for one with a shorter throw so it doesn't interfere with the scope. But for what it's worth, see here:

http://www.surplusrifle.com/1903/rif...mble/index.asp

http://www.surplusrifle.com/1903/bol...mble/index.asp

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Old February 2nd, 2009, 05:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim-analog View Post
Greetings,

Thank you all for the informative replies. Is there any way that I can determine when the receiver was first manufactured?

Other than the location of the text, are there other differences between the '03 and '04?
I think you may have missed the point... The 03A3 was a standard issue rifle, the 03A4 was a sniper rifle... I'm not an expert on 03's, but it has been suggested in this thread that the rifle you have is an original, rare 03A4 sniper rifle still wearing the original military sniper scope mount. If this the case, it may be much more valuable restored to military sniper configuration than it is as a sporter.

HTH

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Old February 3rd, 2009, 05:08 AM   #10
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yeah, 4 or 5 times as valuable.

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Old February 3rd, 2009, 12:24 PM   #11
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Greetings,

Again, thanks to everyone for all the great info. The link to the manual is just what I was looking for. Yes, I'm sure I'm missing some points here! This is a type rifle that I know less than zero about. I did find a bit more info to report.

FWIW, it was purchased in 7-89 from a dealer for $400. The ticket had it listed as a Remington "A3-03" and noted the Redfield scope. It is in the same configuration now as it was when purchased. I don't believe he shot it much at all. As an aside, he has (still in his possession) a Springfield 03-A3 that looked to be in unaltered military configuration when I saw it a couple years ago.

I found some markings at the on the top side of the barrel at the muzzle end. I can only make out part of them. There are the #s "9-42" (September, 1942 ?). Just above that (going further out toward the muzzle) is an odd impression that sort of looks like a large and wide letter "U" and right under that a small series of concentric circles. There are some other marks, but I can't tell if they are just small scratches or something of merit. There is also a small decrease in the exterior diameter of the barrel starting about 5/8" or so from the muzzle end.

Searching around, I came across this link:

http://www.secondamendment.net/SPRIN...RLD%20WAR%20II

It's an interesting read, and seems to indicate the original scope and mount should be Weaver. Also, that the barrel may be a 2 or 4 groove. I'll try to look closer and write back. A part that has me somewhat concerned states that some rifles may have been chambered for .303.

Don't want to sound too dumb here, but how can I determine for sure the correct round for this rifle? My guess is 30-06, but it is just a guess. I can try to see if it will chamber and cycle one.

Are there any non-obvious markings to be found elsewhere on the metal work that could indicate other pertinent data?

Thanks all so much for your help. I'm really excited to learn as much about its history as I can and take it up to the range soon.

Regards, Jim

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Old February 3rd, 2009, 12:39 PM   #12
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As to caliber, do you have a set of dial calipers to see what size the bore is at the muzzle? The rifle is most likely still .30-06, because it has the original barrel on it. Do you have any dummy rounds to try? If there is any question in your mind, many real gun shops will tell you what it is for little or no charge. That might be a good idea to have them headspace it as well.

As to the scope, a type of Redfield scope was used on some of the A4 rifles in Viet Nam, though not very many. That scope generally was used on Marine Corps M40's and I can't remember what the Army used them on. These scopes came as either O.D. green or Black. If you have one of those, the scope is probably worth more than the rifle.


Last edited by Gus Fisher; February 4th, 2009 at 11:41 AM.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 08:42 AM   #13
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Hi Gus,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I do have a dial caliper and can make that measurement. I have only live 30-06 rounds though, no dummys. Good call on getting the head space checked.

The scope seems to be black in color, definitely not green. I'll look to see if there are any identifying marks on it and report back.

Regards, Jim

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Old February 4th, 2009, 11:41 AM   #14
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You are quite welcome.

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Old February 14th, 2009, 01:42 PM   #15
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Greetings all,


I've found out a few more things.

First, based on the suggestion Gus made; I checked the bore with a caliper; it does indeed measure .300". It also chambers, feeds and ejects a 30-06 cartridge just fine.

I had mentioned some markings at the end of the barrel just below the "9-42". Looking with magnification and better light, they are a very faint "flaming bomb" logo. When I removed the bolt, under the handle is an upper case letter "R". I could find no further #s or identifiers of any sort on the rifle or scope (which is definitely black).

I'm going to do a good cleaning and lube today and if it doesn't rain, head up to the range tomorrow. If it shoots as nice as it looks, I'll be one happy guy. Thanks again everyone for all the input.

Regards, Jim

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