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Thread: About to Drill and Tap 03 receiver for Warner & Swasey Scope

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    Member oldhoodoo1's Avatar
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    About to Drill and Tap 03 receiver for Warner & Swasey Scope

    Anyone else done this? Finally have all the ducks in a row and about to have the repro W & S rail mounted on an 03 and I have a complete 1913 sight. I had been looking for suitable non-collector grade receiver to display my W & S and a sympathetic friend built one for me from a barreled action he picked up and a once fire damaged stock that came out very well. It's the kind of stock that I can justify considering doing a camo job on if I can find more references to go with the one clear photo of a field camo'd 03 (the stock). Do any of the field camo'd 03's exist? I would think the first thing the armorers would have done after the war is discard those stocks so if I make it camo'd it could be unique. It is a Frankenstein if course but it was built to look like a WWI 03 and I can fire will only fire blanks in it. The receiver is in the Springfield 487xxx range. The metal is not pitted but the barrel date is only partially legible so I don't know if the barrel is original to the action and doesn't matter as this gun is only intended to "showcase" the scope and the role of the sniper but it will be fun to take to our living history events and can be handled. I will post a pic once it's set up. I have ordered a sling and front sight cover to help with the "impression". Very excited. Now to find a mount for my incomplete W & S for the Benet Mercie dummy and I would be set.

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    Really Senior Member Salt Flat's Avatar
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    Oldhoodoo1, I can't wait to see your pictures. I built a similar rifle on a drill rifle barelled receiver. The Brophy 1903 riflles book was a huge help for locating the rail. There is a small relief on the stock that is required for the rail. This is best done on a milling machine. Here's a link to the one I did: https://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=49280 Salt Flat

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    I have a 1903A3 (UKicon deactivated) and if memory serves me correctly the receiver is ridiculously hardened steel. How anyone would ever drill and tap it I don't know? I seem to recall someone stating that only some of the A3 receivers were made this hard?

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    Contributing Member Promo's Avatar
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    To what I know receivers were torch heated to be able and drill them for the Winchester A5 scope bases, if not made at Springfield Armory. Assuming that the W&S snipers were made at SA, they most possibly were re-heat-treated afterwards, or even drilled before being heat treated.

    One of my late M1903s with the M1913 scope (922xxx serial range) has a thickly black painted stock and action. I can't verify if it's original or not, but at least very interesting. One of the previously camouflaged rifles (or at least the scope) is at Springfield Armory. The scope is completely void of any finish, because of getting the paint removed.

    Edit: a 487xxx action would be too early for a M1913 scope. But that is up to you to decide what you're going to use.

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    Advisory Panel chuckindenver's Avatar
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    wow, alot of miss information.
    no, they dont need to be heated or annealed,
    using a good quality drill rod {carbide steel} and a mill , taking time to set up the action.
    hard to do on its side.
    iv drilled hundreds of 1903s. and have yet to use any heat to to get it done.
    warpath metal finishing contact info.
    molinenorski@msn.com
    720-841-1399 during normal bus, hours.

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    Member oldhoodoo1's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by Flying10uk View Post
    I have a 1903A3 (UKicon deactivated) and if memory serves me correctly the receiver is ridiculously hardened steel. How anyone would ever drill and tap it I don't know? I seem to recall someone stating that only some of the A3 receivers were made this hard?
    My friend just did it with no issues at all, of course he is set up for doing with the right equipment. Going to pick it up tomorrow! Of course this was a year 1911 receiver.

    ---------- Post added at 02:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:23 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckindenver View Post
    wow, alot of miss information.
    no, they dont need to be heated or annealed,
    using a good quality drill rod {carbide steel} and a mill , taking time to set up the action.
    hard to do on its side.
    iv drilled hundreds of 1903s. and have yet to use any heat to to get it done.
    My friend had no issues at all with a 1911 manufactured receiver. I am picking it up tomorrow.

    ---------- Post added at 02:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:24 PM ----------

    Well, for what I am doing I would rather not use the correct receiver. This way I think I am in between the 1908's and 1913's which prevents someone down the road trying to pass it off to a Noob as an original. I want it to look and feel original, but not be original. It's done, I am picking it up tomorrow.

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    Member oldhoodoo1's Avatar
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    Ok, I am in for the scope at around $700 for the scope, case, two repro rails, three screws, and $85 for the repro eyecup, and $400 Frankenstein 03 refurbed to look like a WWI era 03 with my friends professional labor through in at no cost, but I have to get him something nice one of these days. Not cheap, but still better than a new I would feel guilty of playing with. Of course there is still an original barreled sniper receiver with my name on it somewhere out there and I have the extra rail for it.
    I think it will be great for running blanks through and sniping Hun reenactors (I don't reenact but do living history so I am sure some of my friends will want to be test subjects...need to fix a camera through the reticule somehow. I will put my camo helmet downrange to see if people can find it at 100 yards with the scope. I probably will not camoflauge the wood and receiver until my original sniper receiver appears. Will post some pics manana.

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    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    I believe that some of the later A3 receivers made during WW2 were made of a much harder steel than earlier examples? Does anyone have any further information on this, please?

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    Member oldhoodoo1's Avatar
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    W & S Installation Completed with photos

    My friend did the drilling and tapping already, picked it up today. By the time I got to take some pics at the museum I volunteer at, it was getting too dark. I will post better ones tomorrow. The middle hole did not quite work out (I will see what I can do about that) but the two outers are probably sufficient for casual use, I hope. No surprises here, its an 03 with the rail and scope mounted, but I think it is cool and creates something I can let a lot of folks handle and experience at living history displays.
    I think the location is correct but using the sight with the right eye is difficult. However, by using the left eye it is easy and of course sits on the shoulder better. Was this scope intended to be used with the left eye? It may be just that the repro rubbe r eyepiece is just too stiff.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    We've had success in the past by filling the screw holes that are out of whack with wire feed weld and then re drilling them.
    Regards, Jim

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