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    Member churchill's Avatar
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    My first 1903

    Hello all,

    Been thinking about getting one of these rifles for a little while now. I ran across a nice one and bought it without researching too much. I was mostly concerned with shooting it over it being original. Well the muzzle erosion read a 1 and throat a 2 so the barrel is in real good shape! Headspace is fine.

    After doing some research I found it had to be a restock and rebarrel by a civilian. It has a scant stock wearing only the AAO mark on the left; no proof marks. The barrel is a HS (I read those are pretty good!) manufactured 11-44. It also doesn't have the proof mark punch mark in the bomb. I forgot to take a picture but the barrel has a very faint cross cannons mark on the under side.

    I loaded up some speer match 168gr over 53gr of H4350 in some winchester brass (first and last bag of winchester brass I'll be buying, many unusable cases in the bag). I shot about 25 rounds is all. Seemed to shoot pretty well but I'll have to shoot at some paper to see where it really is.

    I got home and noticed it had a tiny chip of wood cracking off behind the tang, I read it should be relieved online and so I went ahead and fixed that. The tang was touching on the left half of the flare of the tang. I'm glad I noticed that tiny little crack/chip that was coming off and fixed it before ruining the stock all together!

    I did a little more research about fitting the stock to the rifle correctly and confirmed my theory about a civilian installing the stock and barrel. I noted a tool mark on the wood around the front stock strengthening screw. I think the civilians name was Bubba. The research lead me here and to a few other places where I found a lot of really good information. I still have to drive the rear tang screw bushing out and shorten it a little as it sticks out a fair amount at the trigger guard and a tad at the tang. The recoil lug wooden portion had a low spot in the middle from front to back. The barrel didn't touch the end of the stock where it needs that 5-6lbs upward pressure from the wood. I'll be fixing all of those things soon enough.

    All in all I might have overpaid a bit for it, but I am happy with it! All I found anywhere else were 03-A3's and I wanted an m1903 because of the ladder sight and the hump on the handguard. I found per my serial number that the rifle was made in may of '42, bolt handle seems to be made 1941, though I'm not quite sure.

    I've included pictures of markings. I'm not too sure about all the markings on the bolt. I'm not sure about the "U" on the barrel band or the "H" on the bayonet lug.

    Also it has a aftermarket front sight blade with a little gold dot insert. It was bent when I got the rifle even though it came with the sight protector. Darn bubba shoulda watched where he was swingin that thing. Anyway, I straightened out the front sight and squeezed the sight protector into more of a sight hood so I can shoot with it installed.

    What'dya think, guys and gals?




    Thanks for your interest! And thanks to the forum for the wealth of information I've found so far.

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Looks a nice rifle hope to see some paper results shortly others will be along that have the knowledge of these rifles.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Nice looking rifle, I was thinking it had to be a rebuild...
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member BEAR's Avatar
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    I can't read the manufacturer stamp on the receiver and you didn't mention it in your narrative but I assume the receiver was built by Remington. Serial number indicates that it was an early built Remington 1903.
    The "U" indicates how to correctly install the band. With the rifle on its butt plate the band is installed with the "U" on the right side and readable. Yours is correct.
    The "H" means that the upper band has been hardened.
    Nice looking rifle. Enjoy.

    BEAR

    Last edited by BEAR; 04-16-2018 at 09:34 AM.

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    Member pickax's Avatar
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    All I can add to above, and the pictures shown is the Bolt body is a 1941 replacement by Bonney Forge. A WWII subcontracter to S.A.
    (shown here) http://www.vishooter.net/slc10_2008.html

    Glad you got the tang issue fixed. That sight looks tall, which could be a good thing. You may find easier shooting without the hood.
    Nice rifle!

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    Member churchill's Avatar
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    Hey thanks for the info! Now the markings aren't a mystery. Maybe I'll pick up a reproduction USMC sight hood and rear sight aperture to shoot with.

    It is a Remington, how could I forget that!

    So, because of the lack of proof marks, it wasn't rebuilt by the military. However, it seems this might have been how it would have been rebuilt by the military if they did. I'll fix the stock bedding, I like to tinker anyway!

    Did the Remingtons have the "H' marked front sight band, is there any way to tell if it is original?

    I'll post up some pictures of groupings this weekend or next

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    Really Senior Member m1903rifle's Avatar
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    If it is a Remington band, it will have a R on it somewhere

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    Member pickax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m1903rifle View Post
    If it is a Remington band, it will have a R on it somewhere
    Exactly! Your rifle is most certainly a WWII rebuild, AAO is Augusta Arsenal with the O a inspector initiial. Hence the HS barrel, bolt, and probably numerous small parts replaced. Stock is a straight, not scant, and may be original or not. Remington marked almost all small parts with an R.
    Yes, the previous owner did some mods, but it seems to be for accurate shooting, and stock sanding for looks.
    You may benefit from upward pressure on the barrel or not .Set rear receiver screw at 35# minimum, and adjust both as needed with shooting.

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    Contributing Member BEAR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pickax View Post
    Stock is a straight, not scant, and may be original or not.
    Pickaxe, I am not so sure it is not a scant stock. Picture #1 and #6 give the impression of a bulge on the underside of the stock behind the trigger group (but it just may be my eyes.).
    Churchill, can we get a side photo of the stock showing the area of the trigger group and behind.
    Thanks

    BEAR
    Last edited by BEAR; 04-16-2018 at 10:29 PM.

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    Contributing Member BEAR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by churchill View Post
    Did the Remingtons have the "H' marked front sight band, is there any way to tell if it is original?
    Remington did not use the "H", they stamped the right side of the upper band with an "R".

    BEAR

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