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  #1  
Old 03-07-2009, 01:19 PM
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smith corona 1903a3


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Hello folks. A friend of mine has a 1903a3 made by smith corona. He was looking for some info on it. I know nothing about the rifle. Could some of you guy's shed some light on it for me? Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2009, 04:44 PM
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Made during WWII with manufacturing shortcuts to the Springfield 1903 bolt action rifle. Rear sight relocated from a ladder type in front of the receiver to the rear of the receiver bridge and of peep sight configuration. Stamped metal parts used where former milled, machined steel parts were used in trigger guard/magazine floor plate. Some had 4 groove barrels and some had 2 groove barrels. The date of mfg. for the barrel will be stamped behind the front sight and flaming bomb ordnance stamp.

Fine shooters and in original military configuration, worth some money today.
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  #3  
Old 03-08-2009, 03:06 AM
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Thank you for the info there, kdub.
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  #4  
Old 03-08-2009, 03:19 AM
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Just remember alot of the rifles were arsenal rebuilt after the war and then put in storage so date on barrell may not match production month.

Smith-Corona M1903A3

==================

Month-end Serial Numbers (Compiled by William Hansen - Used with Permission)

1942

Dec 3613711

1943

Jan 3623568
Feb 3633908
Mar 3647887
Apr 3665790
May 3684449
Jun 3701851
Jul 3707999
C3711999
4718902
Aug 4742368
Sep 4765852
Oct 4789047
Nov 4809923
Dec 4826160

1944

Jan 4840077
Feb 4845831

Approximately 28,000 additional serialized receivers were produced but not made into rifles by S-C.


http://vishooter.home.att.net/sc_serialization.txt

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  #5  
Old 03-08-2009, 03:47 AM
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BUT......

most Smith Corona's had 4 groove barrels, and either a straight grip stock, or the scant c style to my recollection.

The 03A3 rear sight is not a ladder style sight affixed to the barrel just forward of the receiver, but is instead a small adjustable aperture style sight mounted at the rear of the receiver;
The finish on the 03A3 is parkerized as compared to the blued finish of the 1903;
The 03A3 floor plate cover is not removable, but actually is a part of the stamped (not milled) trigger guard.
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2010, 08:04 AM
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(Here I go again, reviving an old thread!)

I have a Smith-Corona 03A3 that my wife will be hunting with this fall. It has 4-groove rifling, an aftermarket stock (that I finished), a Pachmayr recoil pad and S&K Instamount scope base. It is wearing a 2-7X Bausch and Lomb 3000 scope in low scope mounts, so I had to remove a very small amount of material from the bolt handle, to allow for clearance.

My question about the 03A3 concerns the trigger: To fire this gun, you pull the trigger back about 6" until it stops, then give it about a 10-lb YANK and the gun will go off. OK, maybe it's not that bad, but gentlemen, I am scarcely exaggerating, here! It is easily the worst trigger I've ever felt, on any gun! (My wife says she likes it because when the trigger stops, she knows all she has to do is pull real hard and it will go off! )

What can I do, if anything, to improve the ridiculous travel and weight of this trigger?
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  #7  
Old 08-18-2010, 08:19 AM
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Broom: As yours is already sporterized, a Timney trigger would be your best bet.
If anybody is still interested, Smith-Corona made the least of all 1903-A3's made. consequently they are the rarer ones around. Collectors crave them.
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  #8  
Old 08-18-2010, 08:58 AM
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I don't think many collectors would want mine, but that doesn't concern me; I've always believed guns are meant to be shot, not just stored away as an investment. To each his own, but I appreciate function over form and will always value the usefulness of a given firearm over what a collector might pay for it.

I looked into the Timney triggers and all reports suggest they are easy to install and provide a dramatic improvement to the conditions I described earlier. For $50, plus shipping, seems like a no-brainer.
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  #9  
Old 08-20-2010, 12:53 PM
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Oh, I shoot my collectibles. And even those that have the Timney trigger, I kept the old parts should I ever want to go back to original. My Smith-Corona has the original trigger, but I'm sure somebody worked it over as it is a very crisp slightly over 3 pounds.
Sporterizing what are now rare rifles does not make economic sense, but I understand how and why it did years ago. And what's done is done. Shoot and enjoy what you have and make no apologies.
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  #10  
Old 08-22-2010, 04:53 AM
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You make a good point, Luis...I would certainly not buy an all-original 03A3, at today's prices, and then sporterize it! That would be a terrible economic choice when I could buy a more refined, ready-to-go bolt-action rifle for a lot less money. This particular rifle was purchased by a friend of my father's for $10 after 3 DCM competitions. When it came into my possession it already had the after-market stock and the front sight removed, so there was little collector value, at that point.

Since my wife was able to shoot a respectable group with it (see 'managed recoil' thread for pictures) I'm not going to mess with the trigger right now. She won't take a shot much over 100 yards with it and has no plans to shoot it a great deal from the bench, so I'll leave the trigger job for a winter project when this year's deer season is over.
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  #11  
Old 10-17-2010, 04:43 PM
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03-a3

I recently inherited an 03-A3 ser # 3635xxx. It has the Timney trigger and it works awsome, very light pull and is adjustable. Oddly though the rifle was re chambered to take 300 win mag. and has a X4 Redfield scope mounted. I know my dad has used this rifle for many years and its taken down a lot of moose at 300 to 400 yards. After reading some posts though my question is now how safe is this rifle with the 300 win mag.

Last edited by kdub; 10-17-2010 at 08:30 PM. Reason: Deleting last three digits of serial number.
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  #12  
Old 10-18-2010, 04:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vangrooj View Post
I recently inherited an 03-A3 ser # 3635xxx. It has the Timney trigger and it works awsome, very light pull and is adjustable. Oddly though the rifle was re chambered to take 300 win mag. and has a X4 Redfield scope mounted. I know my dad has used this rifle for many years and its taken down a lot of moose at 300 to 400 yards. After reading some posts though my question is now how safe is this rifle with the 300 win mag.
Welcome to ShootersForum, Vangrooj!

You've already answered your question on the 03A3; your dad used it for years to hunt successfully. If you're concerned that knowledge precipitates problems, take it to a competent gunsmith and have it checked out. Unless this is one of the receivers with heat-treating issues, your gun is probably quite safe. If it's fired a couple hundred rounds w/o blowing up, that would be my assumption.
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  #13  
Old 10-18-2010, 08:35 AM
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The 1903-A3 did NOT have any heat treating issues. Those with issues were 1903 's within a certain low number serial range. The 1903-a3's manufactured during WWII are fine for the 30-06, not sure about with a 300 mag.
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  #14  
Old 10-19-2010, 08:13 PM
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200 rounds

Quote:
Originally Posted by broom_jm View Post
Welcome to ShootersForum, Vangrooj!

You've already answered your question on the 03A3; your dad used it for years to hunt successfully. If you're concerned that knowledge precipitates problems, take it to a competent gunsmith and have it checked out. Unless this is one of the receivers with heat-treating issues, your gun is probably quite safe. If it's fired a couple hundred rounds w/o blowing up, that would be my assumption.
Actually he only ever bought 60 rounds and I have 20 of them, but still its handled 40. I'm going to take it in to Elwood Epps to be checked out since the stalk has a crack in it and I want to get that replaced any way. Thanks for the info.
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  #15  
Old 10-20-2010, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vangrooj View Post
Actually he only ever bought 60 rounds and I have 20 of them, but still its handled 40. I'm going to take it in to Elwood Epps to be checked out since the stalk has a crack in it and I want to get that replaced any way. Thanks for the info.
You can get a synthetic drop-in stock for a replacement that will last several lifetimes and once it's zeroed, won't change POI due to weather or temperature changes.
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