Sporterized 1903-A4

Calfed

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I've been planning a new CMP vintage sniper match project utilizing a sported 03A4 that I got years ago. The rifle was very finely polished and blued, but the metal appears to be uncut...so no need for a new barrel, bolt, or scope mount. I've got most of the bits for the restoration.

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I 've test fired the 03A4 in its present condition. I had some Hunting Shack 175 gr ammo, which the 03A4 didn't seem to be thrilled with. Shot both groups at 100 yards.

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Also some Federal Powrshok 150 gr, which the rifle seemed to like more. I made two scope adjustments (first hit was far right), adjusted the scope (fired two more, which impacted left of the first shot), made another adjustment and fired a five shot group.

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sirhrmechanic

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Nice.... But you will spend a ton on restoring what is otherwise a nice sporter.

You might be better off with a 'challenged' unrestored piece. That said, I haven't followed the market much for these. So it's very possible that unrestored is now more expensive than un-sporterizing.

Interesting project for sure. And you sure have a shooter on your hands!

Sirhr
 

1588

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Nice.... But you will spend a ton on restoring what is otherwise a nice sporter.

You might be better off with a 'challenged' unrestored piece. That said, I haven't followed the market much for these. So it's very possible that unrestored is now more expensive than un-sporterizing.

Interesting project for sure. And you sure have a shooter on your hands!

Sirhr
He brings up a good point. A Gibbs or Rock Ridge Machine Works 1903A4 might be had for less money than restoring a nice looking sporterized rifle.

I like the way your rifle looks as is.
 
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Charger442

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    Nice.... But you will spend a ton on restoring what is otherwise a nice sporter.

    You might be better off with a 'challenged' unrestored piece. That said, I haven't followed the market much for these. So it's very possible that unrestored is now more expensive than un-sporterizing.

    Interesting project for sure. And you sure have a shooter on your hands!

    Sirhr

    Sniper serial 1903a4 even without scope are bringing $4-5k. It's worth it to return to original condition
     

    sirhrmechanic

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    Sniper serial 1903a4 even without scope are bringing $4-5k. It's worth it to return to original condition
    I can definitely see that... if it's the right range, it sure is worth restoring!

    Heck, I've had some stuff done at Turnbull that seemed insane at the time. And now looking back at it thinking "that was a bargain!"

    This will be a restoration worth following! Thanks!

    Sirhr
     

    Longrangeprecision762

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    That would be a great candidate for a restoration. It will be a chuck of change, but done that will be a really nice piece.
    Needs for CMP Vintage Sniper:
    - C or S stock
    - Correct barrel Criterion or NOS
    - Rings vertical split rings or Horizontal
    ( Depending on scope choice )
    Your bolt body looks correct. If it has been modified for the aftermarket barrel you'll need one of those as well.

    Let me know if your interested in any other information or are considering selling it as is. I just did two for CMP with Lyman Alaskans and one with a modern Hilux M81.

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    1588

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    I own a Gibbs, aka Rock Ridge Machine Works, 1903A4 replica. It shoots 150g and 168g ammunition well. I've fired quite a few 1" groups at 100 yards with 150g JSP and 168g reloads (2500 fps). Sub 4" groups at 300 yards were also the norm if I do my job.

    I haven't found or developed a 175g load that groups well.
     
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    Calfed

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    Nice.... But you will spend a ton on restoring what is otherwise a nice sporter.

    You might be better off with a 'challenged' unrestored piece. That said, I haven't followed the market much for these. So it's very possible that unrestored is now more expensive than un-sporterizing.

    Interesting project for sure. And you sure have a shooter on your hands!

    Sirhr
    Thanks, Sihr.

    I've managed to collect most of the bits I need to restore it over the years. That said, from a purely competition standpoint, unsporting a sporterized 03-A3 might be better. A modern barrel might shoot better, but not be historically accurate.
     

    Calfed

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    He brings up a good point. A Gibbs or Rock Ridge Machine Works 1903A4 might be had for less money than restoring a nice looking sporterized rifle.

    I like the way your rifle looks as is.
    Yep, you could be right.

    This is an actual A4 sniper rifle though. You can tell by the serial number range and the roll marks that are offset so that the scope mount doesn't block the lettering/numbering. I think the value would be in the fact that it is an actual 03-A4

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    Charger442

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    I can definitely see that... if it's the right range, it sure is worth restoring!

    Heck, I've had some stuff done at Turnbull that seemed insane at the time. And now looking back at it thinking "that was a bargain!"

    This will be a restoration worth following! Thanks!

    Sirhr

    the way i see it, everything is there. he said the barrel is still original, its just been blued. this could just use a nice repark (i used Texas Armament some years ago on my Ithaca 37 and they are awesome and it looks more green than grey). i basically really dislike the new light grey parkerizing on something thats 70-80 years old.

    so maybe $1000 for an original scant or C stock with cartuches
    $350 (?) for parkerizing
    $150-250 for miscellaneous stock fittings, bands, screws etc.

    looking at an easy $1500 to get it back into a good, near original condition rifle. or am i missing something here?
     
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    Calfed

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    That would be a great candidate for a restoration. It will be a chuck of change, but done that will be a really nice piece.
    Needs for CMP Vintage Sniper:
    - C or S stock
    - Correct barrel Criterion or NOS
    - Rings vertical split rings or Horizontal
    ( Depending on scope choice )
    Your bolt body looks correct. If it has been modified for the aftermarket barrel you'll need one of those as well.

    Let me know if your interested in any other information or are considering selling it as is. I just did two for CMP with Lyman Alaskans and one with a modern Hilux M81.

    View attachment 7853268
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    Thanks LRP, that is a fine looking sniper rifle you have there yourself.

    I've collected most of the parts I need to restore this to it's original glory. I've got an correct actual A4 scant stock, a Lyman Alaskan scope with the correct rings and a USGI barrel in the correct date range.

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    The current barrel appears to be the original, but like all the rest of the metal has been highly polished and blued.

    n6jYO8r.jpg
     

    Longrangeprecision762

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    Thank you for the kind words. I love that scant stock and the fact that your bringing it back to original condition. My original barrel shot under an inch at 100 yards, but had very little rifling left so I switched it for a Criterion. My shooting partners 1903 still retains it's original barrel and shoots lights out at Perry.

    Speaking of which are you shooting the Nationals this August?

    Kind Regards,

    - Jon
     
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    Charger442

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    Thank you for the kind words. I love that scant stock and the fact that your bringing it back to original condition. My original barrel shot under an inch at 100 yards, but had very little rifling left so I switched it for a Criterion. My shooting partners 1903 still retains it's original barrel and shoots lights out at Perry.

    Speaking of which are you shooting the Nationals this August?

    Kind Regards,

    - Jon

    Where's it at? I've got a 1903 Remington sniper clone that needs to be shot more.
     
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    Calfed

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    Thank you for the kind words. I love that scant stock and the fact that your bringing it back to original condition. My original barrel shot under an inch at 100 yards, but had very little rifling left so I switched it for a Criterion. My shooting partners 1903 still retains it's original barrel and shoots lights out at Perry.

    Speaking of which are you shooting the Nationals this August?

    Kind Regards,

    - Jon
    Thanks, Jon.

    I doubt that I will make Perry, although it is on my bucket list. I missed the western Games this year, but hope to make it next year.

    I do have a couple of other Vintage Sniper Rifles that I can use.

    A faux Swedish M41B...

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    And a faux 1941A1 USMC Sniper rifle

    7JwjK5G.jpg
     

    Longrangeprecision762

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    Those are both beautiful rifles you have there. The winners from last year where running 6.5's.
    You could watch the guys walk the rounds into the X when they figured the wind call out. It was awesome to see at 600.
    I love my A4, but man that made me want to build an M41 with a Weaver 4x in the worst way.
     
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    Calfed

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    Interesting. How did the 8x 1903's do?

    Were the Swede shooters using any kind of cheek rest?
     

    Longrangeprecision762

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    8x's held their own. The wind was ripping left to right. Ballistics took the day. They both had the raised leather cheek pieces. When I get home I will find a picture of them and post it here.
     
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    Calfed

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    My faux M41 usually shoots a little better than 1 MOA @ 300 yds.

    Here are two 300 yd targets, shot with some 140 gr Nosler handloads.

    @ 300 yards, group size 2.4" (not including the pulled shot) The shot down at 5 o'clock was a pulled shot. I knew it was off and where it it was going to hit before looking at the target.

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    Later in the day, shot this group, also at 300 yards. By then the wind had picked up and there was a breeze from left-to-right. I think that accounts for some of the horizontal dispersion. The last two shots are the ones just off the reactive target.

    @ 300 yards, group size 2.7"

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    roostercogburn98

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    Nice rifles fellas.

    Great, now I need another gun
     
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    Calfed

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    Thanks, LRP!

    I've got one of those strap on cheek risers, but wasn't positive that it was legal.
     

    Calfed

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    Say, LPR. Were those Swedish Mauser shooters using Weaver scopes? Hard to tell.
     

    Longrangeprecision762

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    They look like a German variant. Alot of guys where using Weaver 4x scopes. The above scopes look like they have an AJAKS style elevation turret. Can't quite tell though.
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    bildoe308

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    Random Guy

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    Nice pics. That is some great shooting with M41Bs given their lack of windage adjustments. I'm bummed that I can't attend CMP Eastern Games next week due to work commitments. The vintage sniper match is my favorite match. Here's a pic from 2021 on the 300-yard berm w/ trusty M1908 w/ 8x scope.

    M1903_300_yard_berm_Butner_2021.jpg

    ...the electronic targets that CMP uses makes the matches run really quickly.

    CMP_Eastern_Games_VSM_300yd_score_042021.jpg