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My father gave me a Remington 03-A3 that someone really sporterized. The reciver has been filed down to recive scope mounts, but is cracked on the rear part. This is the same condition i recived the gun in and it does seem unsafe to fire.

I would really like to find a new reciver and use the same barrel and bolt. Could someone please give me a place to look for a reciver. The serial number on the current one is 4112xxx. I dont know what other info might be needed.

Any help would be wonderful. Thanks
 

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The receiver is generally the part of a gun you can't (or shouldn't) replace. finding one without the bolt or barrel is going to be next to impossible, add in the cost of having your barrel put on the new one and your bolt fitted to it and you really are spending a lot of money, you are probably better off just buying a complete new one.

You might post pic's of your a3 with the cracked rear receiver. Might be reparable might not.

Also change the last 3-4 numbers in your serial number to X's. This is for your protection against somone reporting it stolen or some such.
 

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Take it to a good gunsmith (if you can find one). The rear ring
doesn't lock the bolt to the receiver, the front one does. Maybe
it could be welded?

Zeke
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks tjrahl, im new to this and ill try to keep that in mind.

Also, i took some quick pics. Any ideas would be great. This is a model with no front sight post. It has an engraving at the top of the barrel of what looks like a flaming circle, above it is "RA", below is "9-43". i have no idea what it means but i guess i need to remount a scope. Any ideas there would also be welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
the second pic shows a screw broken off in the front part of the reciver. these holes do not go all the way through. sorry if all this seems thrown together but it is my first time. thanks for your understanding
 

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You may be able to find a usable receiver as part of a rifle with a shot-out barrel, damaged stock, etc. It shouldn't cost much, and some of the other parts, like the firing pin, springs, and screws, would be available for spares. Gun shows, online auctions, etc., are good possible sources. Barreled actions aren't that uncommon. Who knows? You might find a barrel that's better than the one you have now.

Have you tried Lodgewood on line? They stock lots of parts for military firearms.

One major caveat: You probably already know this, but have a competent gunsmith assemble the receiver, barrel, and bolt, if you lack the tools and expertise to do it yourself. You want to be certain that the headspace of the finished rifle is correct.

Another major caveat: Make sure the serial number of any receiver you plan to use is greater than 800,000. This is a commonly accepted cutoff number used to avoid early receivers made with a heat-treating that made them brittle. The possibility of a receiver failure, admittedly rare, isn't worth the risk. Get one you can have confidence in. In saying this, I know it applies to the Model 1903; I don't know if it applies to any or all of the Model 1903-A3's. That is, I don't recall offhand whether new receivers, with a new serial number series, were used to make the A3's, or whether original Model 1903's were modified. Someone more knowledgeable than me may be able to sort this out.

Best,

Trad
 

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Your receiver is not a total loss, What has been done is that someone has filed through the rear receiver bridge where the safety lug passes through. I guess in order to make the rear bridge lower in order to use a rear scope mount that he had in hand. What can be done is to re-shape it further by making the chanel open the width of the existing safety lug chanel, and puting a radius on the edges, or else finding a welder with a TIG welding machine that can build the bridge back. (This requires material from a donner receiver that has been forged into wire that can be used as filler material.) I have used this method in filling in the thumb notch on Mausers with success. The main thing to remember is to make sure that the front receiver ring is kept cool during the process. The rear bridge is not used for lock up. The Italian Terrini and the Russian Nagant receivers as well have a slot through the rear receivers where the bolt handle passes through, and are fine as they are. Remember, that safety lug does not even contact the rear receiver ring unless both front locking lugs on the bolt shear off or the front receiver ring fails.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Lee has the idea. Many of the period rifles (both military and civilian) of the day has a split reciver bridge. Mannlicer's, Styers, Mosin Nagants, etc. Even the early Mausers had them. If you can find the scope mount that will fit the present configuration, leave as is. If it really bothers you, find the competent TIG welder as Lee has mentioned to fill it in.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks guys. that sounds like a resonable idea. time to find some scope mounts to fit!
 

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Is it just me, or is really a good idea to try and fix (at some expense) and old action that has been badly damaged as this one?
I fully understand that the rear receiver bridge is not taking the recoil, but the whole action has been badly damaged as a result of this butchery. Is it not time to simply discard this action?
 

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No, there is no need to discard this action; some purists would say it's the perfect action to go ahead and sporterize, since someone already ground off the area where the rear peep sight used to be mounted. They went to a lot of trouble when all they really needed was one of several manufactured scope bases that are available for the 03A3. This bit of butchery, while ugly as seven kinds of sin, can be fixed pretty easily and the integrity of the action will not be compromised. Also, if it's a true "03A3", there is nothing to worry about, as far as a brittle receiver. Only the earlier 1903 actions have this concern.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Al- I dont really have any sentimental value or money tied up in this rifle right now and sometimes I do think I should just leave it like it is and never shoot it.Unfortuantly I am way too hard headed. I dont want a weapon in the house that isnt working, if it can be helped.

Question for all: Why TIG wielded?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Generally speaking, it's the easiest way to control the heat. While you could weld it up with gas, stick, wire feed, etc...... the other methods will have pitfalls. Any welding method that delivers flux will have the possibility of leaving pits and 'crap' imbedded in the metal. A gas torch avoids that, but will deliver a lot more heat over a longer period of time. That can soften areas you don't want to be softened.

Lotsa good welding done decades ago with a gas torch, but it's probably a dying art.

Bottom line, for critical welding, you want a shielding gas instead of flux, and as high of a temp at the weld as practical. That gets the weld done sooner with less heat overall delivered to the part.

It would be more important to find the most skilled welder you can, rather than quibble on the methods, though.
 

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Generally speaking, it's the easiest way to control the heat. While you could weld it up with gas, stick, wire feed, etc...... the other methods will have pitfalls. Any welding method that delivers flux will have the possibility of leaving pits and 'crap' imbedded in the metal. A gas torch avoids that, but will deliver a lot more heat over a longer period of time. That can soften areas you don't want to be softened.

Lotsa good welding done decades ago with a gas torch, but it's probably a dying art.

Bottom line, for critical welding, you want a shielding gas instead of flux, and as high of a temp at the weld as practical. That gets the weld done sooner with less heat overall delivered to the part.

It would be more important to find the most skilled welder you can, rather than quibble on the methods, though.

Thanks Mike, I guess I should have explained the reason for TIG rather than other processes, but I am used administering welders certification tests to welders and forget that most people don't have any idea of the different types of welding. I would also advise to have a certified welder do the repair, and not the corner blacksmith. [Bubba with an Arc Welder.]
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks again guys. I do know some very good weilders, but one exceptional one. I'll get him to take a look at it. Once i get the thing up and running i'll post some follow up pics!
 

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No problem Lee. It's what we're here for ;)
 

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You CAN weld on the rear ring of a receiver to repair that sinful destruction and not damage the gun, You will need to use heat sinks to keep the heat from re tempering/de tempering the rest of the gun regardless of the method used, and in this day and age TIG is by far the best (i only know 2-3 people who could do that kind of a job with gas and all of them would use tig anyway). One of the most fascinating guns I have ever worked on was a left handed pre 64 model 70 that had been milled and re built to an extent that was simply amazing so it CAN be done, but that was obviously done over 40 years ago when labor was considerably cheaper and the skill in that kind of work was not so rare.

You would probably have better luck finding a experienced metallurgist/welder to do this kind of a job, Most "Gunsmiths" today are really just parts re placers, that kind of modification/repair is rarely called for anymore given the amount of different action types available and the inherent liability of doing that kind of work. Any gunsmith with the skills and equipment to do that repair will not come cheap.

The gun is as some have said probably safe as is, and to my eyes it looks like someone milled the rear ring not filled it, meaning they probably but not definitely knew what they were doing. You should have a gunsmith look at it before you fire it or repair it regardless of your decision.

One other things to consider before you decide, The gun will almost certainly have to be re blued if you repair it so factor that into the cost of repair versus replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
After reveiw from a few compentent people and a gunsmith the rifle has been declared somewhat safe to fire. I don't think thats much better than I was thinking in the first place. The gunsmith said to bring it to the range, strap it into a vise and fire a box of ammo through it using a string just to be sure.

Sounds a little crazy, but I'm just crazy enough to try it! Also from the mouth of the gunsmith, the rear part of the reciver being cracked is not that big of a deal. If the front of the bolt were to ever shear off there is still enough of the rear reciver to catch the safety mechinism.

I guess the real question is should i be looking for a new gunsmith?
 
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