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Old 01-08-2013, 06:01 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 55
scope on a 1903

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I bought a sporterized 1903a3 a few years back. Everyone needs a project rifle, right? It was made in the 1940s, I think by Remington (but I may be wrong on that). It was incomplete, missing many parts. I have got it shooting but it has no sights at all right now.

The bore looks real rough. I do not see any wear on the muzzle from cleaning rod. The receiver is drilled and tapped. I have the two piece mounts for it. But the problem is the bolt that I put on it is not clearanced for a scope. Will tall/high rings lift the scope high enough to clear the bolt?

I have no idea if this thing is accurate or not. Read that - I do not know if it is worth keeping. I want to inexpensively determine if it is accurate. I figure if I can buy a decent used scope (Nikon or Leupold) and a set of high rings, I would try that. If it is junk I can put the scope on something else and throw the rings in a box.

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Old 01-08-2013, 06:05 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,104
I doubt tall rings will give you the clearance you need. See-Thru rings might, if the rear end of the scope is small in diameter.

If it does work this way, seriously consider adding a cheekrest to compensate for the change in elevation.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:25 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 9,371
You'd need really high rings to clear that original bolt handle. I can understand what you are doing, but if the rifle shoots well, Brownells offer replacement handles which you can either weld or silver solder to the bolt after cutting the old one off.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:38 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Mooresville, IN
Posts: 11,613
You can also heat up the existing bolt and turn it down, which will then require some work on the stock. That's what was done with my dad's 03A3.

It should also be noted that a rough "looking" bore may still shoot very well, especially if you are happy enough loading cast bullets for it. I have taken 3 different rifles that had been badly neglected and subjected them to a "barrel break-in" procedure. Afterwards, they not only shot much better, but were considerably easier to keep clean, during and after each shooting session. Just a thought.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:14 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 55
do cast bullet work better than jacketed with rough bores. I did start casting last year. I do not have any 30 molds. May have to get one.

What kind of barrel breakin procedures can be done to improve the bore? I had heard firelapping can improve a rough bore. I will probably do that.

I remembered today that I do have an XS Sights ghost ring sight for the back of this rifle. I just have to get a front sight.

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:18 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3,980
"the bolt that I put on it "

If you exchanged the bolt you must have the headspace checked before firing it.

No mounts on the front and read receiver rig will clear the military scope. Both the safety and the bolt handle will have to be 'modified'.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:24 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 55
Yeah the headspace was checked. All OK in that dept.

Sounds like I am best off running with sights to determine if this thing is worth playing with. I found the sights tonight, gathered some ammo to play with this weekend. The sights are from XS Sights, their backup Weaver ghost ring. I have to determine the proper height for the front sight and order that.

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Old 01-13-2013, 03:05 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 55
Well, I had the 036 out for a bit of shooting today. It had the XS Sights ghost ring rear and a junky piece of plastic front test sight. It shot about 9 inches high at 50 yds. Group sizes were about 2 inches. I guess I could do better with a scope. Still not thrilling, but I think I will keep it.

I plan on ordering the correct front sight soon and load some ammo so I can shoot it this summer. Might have to get a mold for it. The recoil was quite nice. It is heavy and has a good recoil pad on. Nice.

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Old 01-21-2013, 11:09 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 73
a 70 year old milsurp rifle shoots 2" groups at 100 yards with a piece of plastic for a front sight and the results were "not thrilling"?
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:24 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 55
It shoots 2 inches at 50 yds. If it is a linear thing that would be 4 at 100 and 8 at 200. So, a 30-06 that is only good for deer at about 150 yards. And that is off a rest, so in the woods with me holding it, it will be even worse. Yeah, I guess that really does not thrill me. My Win 94 shoots at least that good.

Front sight will be on order in a few weeks. I really don't expect that will help any. Just be more durable. I may improve with some practice. I am pretty new to rifles with sights. A scope would probably help me see the target and sights better.

In ways I am making a bigger deal than necessary. I mean in the PA woods you really can't see but 100 yards at most. I really don't like hunting in fields, so long ranges really won't apply.

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