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    Member bczrx's Avatar
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    WW II 1903 [not A3/A4] scope base questions

    If you have read/responded to this in another forum, thank you. I am trying to maximize the # of informed people who may read it and then be able to help me.

    Hello Everyone,

    Does anyone have any ideas of who might have made bases for the 1903 Springfield rifle [not A3 or A4] that have hole distances of .860" for front and .490" for rear?

    I have a Remington 1903 [not an A3] that was previously drilled/tapped for scope bases by a different owner. I bought it without bases, but filler screws in those spots.

    I intended to shoot it with iron sights but, well- I can't see the front sight.
    My close vision is shot [over 50], and my astigmatism makes lining thin lines up challenging on a good day.

    I want to mount a 4x scope, just so I can use this and not be frustrated every time I aim it at the target.

    However, I need help with scope bases.



    Mine is drilled with .860" between the holes on the front base [similar to Weaver #46 base], but has .490" between holes on the rear base [no Weaver base with that distance on their chart].

    Weaver 2 piece bases [#54 and #55] are supposed to have .504" spacing on both bases.

    Unfortunately, using the #46 base for the front doesn't seem likely, as it uses a different diameter and thickness than the #55 [front], while the rear isn't matched anywhere.


    Any advice would be appreciated. I like this old rifle, but want to be able to actually use it and have a hope of hitting something- instead of just looking at it.

    Thank you

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    Member ArtPahl's Avatar
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    I may be able to help if: (1) Your rifle has had the bolt handle modified (forged) for scope use and (2) The d & t holes in your rifle are the conventional 6-48.

    In the 1960's, when the conversion of Springfield rifles to sporters was in full swing, most scope mount makers made them for 1903's. Lyman tru-lock, Leupold detacho-mount, Williams, Pachmayr, Buehler, Redfield, to name several. I don't know if they had common hole spacing; likely not. I have fourteen 1903 rifles with scopes. A couple have side mounts, but the rest are top mounts of various brands.

    Now to the promised help: Bushnell had a mount they called, "Universal 1" Riflescope Mount", model #76-2005. It consisted of hardened steel studs that screwed into the 6-48 holes and rings that clamped to those studs with opposing screws. The studs are height adjustable. I have a set mounted on a Mossberg 800 in .308 and they give no trouble. Of course the Mossberg is easy since the front and back of the receiver is the same height.

    I have several sets of these mounts that I'll never use. If you think these would work for you and you would pay the shipping (small flat-rate USPS box), I'll send you a set.

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    Member bczrx's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Hello Art,

    Thanks for the info. I need to do some measuring again.

    I quadruple checked my measurements, and found I was off. The rear hole distance matches the Williams .504" distance, and my front matches the Williams #75 base distance.

    What I found is of concern though. The screw holes are smaller than the holes/bolts that come with the Williams bases. I think they may be the 6-48 size you reference.

    And of more concern is that the front-most hole seems to be over the chamber area- instead of the bolt. I think this is why Williams had .504" for front base dimensions. The front most hole does NOT go through into the chamber though. Actually, the hole is right where the '0' should be in the stamping of 1903 above the chamber.

    This makes me wonder if I should have someone weld up that spot, and redo the front drilling/taping.

    As to your Bushnell mount, I'd be interested in checking it out. To be clear, you are saying 'pay the shipping, and they are yours'- correct?

    For something that may/may not even work, I can afford to cover shipping, but am hesitant to do more.

    What I wonder about is how safe this is for long term use, and how to fix it. I'd rather fix it that pass it on to someone else and get another one. It is all R marked remington 1903, and not an A3. I prefer to resurrect old things than say 'that's inconvenient- time to replace'. Dependent on the cost of the fix, of course.

    As to bolt handle, I think mine will clear, but am not 100% positive. I do have a spare bolt, so I can get a modified bolt handle made, and keep the original one all original.

    PM me with info about payment, and shipping costs.

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    Member ArtPahl's Avatar
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    Your concern over the location of the receiver ring holes is unfounded. The holes would/should not extend into the barrel. Certainly, any welding done to the receiver ring of an '03 will do much more harm than good.

    I have several sets of Williams scope bases and with few exceptions (Rem 788) they use 6-48 screws. 6-48 screws were pretty much standard industry-wide for scope mounts.

    And, yes, my intent was to send you the Bushnell mount for just the shipping cost. But it appears you are going to explore other options so me going to the trouble of sending you the mount for you to "check it out" would be just plain silly.

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    Really Senior Member mark1's Avatar
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    Burris, Weaver, Leupold make 2 piece mounts for the 1903. But again someone could have modified one of the sets. You can always re drill the bases to fit the receiver. That is a lot easier then drilling the receiver.
    Also check out the one piece bases and re-drill that one if necessary.

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    Contributing Member mmppres's Avatar
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    Like others have stated you can redrill another hole in a mount with out problems . Will look thru my bucket of mounts to see what I have.

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