Shooters Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,862 Posts
If the serial number of the 03 is over 800k, I'd trade an armload of the others for it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DarkLord

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,862 Posts
That's what I thought I saw, but that's mighty high for an '03. I would still trade two for one, but have cooled on it some. That has to be one of the last of the breed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,292 Posts
Jack's right about the value/collectability, however my father had both of them and as far as shooting the two I'd pick the K31 everytime, those 03's are miserable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,167 Posts
I'm not sure I'd agree with your 'miserable' assessment Kevin, I had an 03in the early '80's, that had been fully 'sporterized' (likely in the 50-60's), Bishop (or Fajen?) stock, safety, bottom metal, and even to include a Herter's Model Perfect Muzzle Brake. It had a well worn (or shall I say 'smoothed') four groove barrel. It shot both jacketed and cast bullets very well, regularly with 100 yard five shot groups being between 3/4" to 1 1/2", not bad for 'an old soldier'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,405 Posts
I've had access to 4 different 03's....Dad gave one to our Priest when I was a kid...always said it was the best shooter. Brother got one...I gave one to my BIL....biggest mistake ever, and still have one that I will greedily NEVER give up.

Keep the K31 and buy the 03.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,292 Posts
I'm not sure I'd agree with your 'miserable' assessment Kevin, I had an 03in the early '80's, that had been fully 'sporterized' (likely in the 50-60's), Bishop (or Fajen?) stock, safety, bottom metal, and even to include a Herter's Model Perfect Muzzle Brake. It had a well worn (or shall I say 'smoothed') four groove barrel. It shot both jacketed and cast bullets very well, regularly with 100 yard five shot groups being between 3/4" to 1 1/2", not bad for 'an old soldier'.
That original stock geometry made the recoil unbearable for me, add to that some facial hair and it felt like your face was going to get ripped off. Never shot a sporterized one, I'm sure they were fine especially if they had a recoil pad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,948 Posts
Years ago you could get surplus guns at discount departments stores or through the mail for way south of $50.00-back then it was allot of money so I passed up on some guns I wish I could have now. If you can afford it keep the K31 and buy the 03, they will only go up in value. Consider it an investment not a purchase.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,167 Posts
That original stock geometry made the recoil unbearable for me, add to that some facial hair and it felt like your face was going to get ripped off. Never shot a sporterized one, I'm sure they were fine especially if they had a recoil pad.
Kevin, That reminds me of a story I had not thought about in many years.
When I started my 'career job' (after Army discharge in 1969) in 1970, I worked with a guy (almost 40 years my senior) for a couple of years before he retired at 62 (sadly, he passed away within 2 years), by the name of Charlie Conrad. He was a great guy and loved shooting and hunting (went dove hunting with him a couple of times), and he was a member and competitor with the St. Louis Benchrest Rifle Club, and was instrumental in getting me interested in that aspect of shooting. It wasn't until a couple of years ago, while I was digging into some rimfire research for something, that I came across an old photo of a shooting team, from the early 1930's, that had him shown and named with other members of a Winchester/Olin sponsored shooting team out of Alton, Il., which was Olin and Nilo (Olin spelled backwards) Farms territory. He, apparently, was a quite a well established nationally ranked shooter and Winchester team member...he never 'bragged' about it.
I've had 'facial hair' for most of my adult life, and normally keep it cropped fairly short. When I started that job, I guess somewhat rebellious against recent Army rules experience (boy, I'll show THEM!), I started growing my beard and let it get several inches long. One day, Charlie was teasing me about my beard, with a cautionary tale. He related an experience he had had one year at Camp Perry. He said there was this high power competitor, that had a large red beard, he was watching during a match. When the match had concluded, Charlie said his beard looked redder than normal. When he looked closer at him, he saw it was due to all the blood from the bolt ripping the hair out of his beard. He said the shooter wasn't phased by it and it didn't stop or affect his shooting...that's pretty tough! I'm betting that guy was competing with an 03 Springfield.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,292 Posts
I've had facial hair off and on ever since I could grow it, before starting my own company I had pia boss who insisted I be clean shaven everyday. Now I'm glad he was that way about everything because it was that final push to say ef it I'm not not working for anyone ever again! Tired of ties and dog and pony shows.
If you have facial hair even trimmed short like I have to much cheek pressure with a hard kicking rifle is brutal especially if your perspiring.
Imagine what it was like for the guys in the south pacific during WW2, thinking 30 carbines were very desirable over any rifle in 30-06.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I'm not sure I'd agree with your 'miserable' assessment Kevin, I had an 03in the early '80's, that had been fully 'sporterized' (likely in the 50-60's), Bishop (or Fajen?) stock, safety, bottom metal, and even to include a Herter's Model Perfect Muzzle Brake. It had a well worn (or shall I say 'smoothed') four groove barrel. It shot both jacketed and cast bullets very well, regularly with 100 yard five shot groups being between 3/4" to 1 1/2", not bad for 'an old soldier'.
I'd agree that the '03 is 'miserable' - IF/ONLY in regards to recoil/shoulder punishment.
I shot one in competition for years from age 15-21; 200, 300, 600 yards, and as an oem steel butt plate equipped like this one - it was not pleasant if not wearing a shooting jacket with shoulder pad.
Most of my 200-300 yard comps were with AP (black tip) ammo as it was cheap back then ($2/20).
Since it was corrosive primed, my Dad reloaded and would pull the bullets, pour the 1945 era 4895 powder into his sized/factory primed LC brass, then reseat the bullets.
'03 and ammo were amazingly accurate though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
Both are steadily climbing it value so it's a toss up for that. If you reload the K31 is a great shooter. If you don't the 03 is easy to find ammo for. I love 03's for their durability and parts availability if you need something. The K31 is a collectable but the 03 is a shooter. Take your pick.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top