I picked up an 03 Springfield yesterday. This one must have been in a vault for a while. It's been "sporterized". I sure hope it's as accurate as the last one was. It has Stith mounts and a vintage Lyman Alaskan scope. They cut the stock down, and bedded the action and barrel with what looks like acraglass. I'm taking it out today. I'm going to try it out with some unsized Lyman 311299's lubed with Roy's Best Lube over Ed's "The Load". Hopefully it's a shooter. I plan to use it this deer season.
New To Me 1903 Springfield
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- Last Post 21 September 2017
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I hunt Deer with a 1903A3 and mine was built from new, old stock parts including an un-fired pristine1942 barrel. These rifles aren't hard to get shooting well for hunting. Bullet nose shape and LOA can be troublesome for feed through the action. I like flat nose bullets for hunting but round nose feed much better in the 03A3. My simple inexpensive choice works well, the Lee C312.185-1R casts large enough to size for any 30-06. Mine pass the ink test for a sliding fit chambering at .311". I cast them in BHN 15 Lyman #2 to match my load level. I tumble lube once before size/check and twice after with White's Deluxe 45:45:10. I load using Lee Collet Neck sizing die set and the Lee FCD crimp. The Lee bullet seated to .3.105" LOA and feeds well.
I hollow point the loaded ammo with a Forster Large HP bit in a drill press. My charge is 34.0 gr H4895, velocity checks 2160 fps @~32.3Kpsi. The load consistently groups 10 shots under 1" @50 yards and has plenty of accuracy and power to humanely clean kill Deer to 150 yards with a broadside vital shot anywhere in the 10" Deer vital. I use a new reproduction of the Mil Issue rear sight and the issue front sight with Marine Corps sniper hood along with the USMC better trigger. The lowest rear sight setting hits groups right on center bull at 100 yards with a 6 o'clock hold on a 2" bull.
I use Winchester Brass and CCI 200 primers. I flair case mouths .004" larger than sized OD with the Lee universal expander die before seating the bullets and crimp .004" smaller than sized case mouth OD with the Lee FCD. I use aluminum gas checks from forum member SagesOutdoors.
I use a slip on 1" thick recoil pad to lengthen the 13" stock length of pull to 14" for my body size. I fit a leather reproduction Mil sling. I worked the trigger to 3.5 Lbs. and it came out crisp. I used a new mainspring in the bolt as the old one was below spec weak and misfired. It is a 9+ pound full size rifle and it carries and shoots well. I practice and shoot hunting standing, with a self adjusting Triggerstick Monopod and the rifle hits what I aim at. The hollow point in #2 alloy opens right up, doesn't splatter, passes through and leaves a 60 cal hole through Deer at any angle on the 10" vital very well to 150 yards with my load..
Thanks. I loaded a few rounds with my RD TLC311-165 RF's. That's what I use, most of the time, in my 30-30. They fed great too. I also have Ideal 308291, Lyman 311291, Lyman 311041, SAECO 30-30 bullets, and Lyman 311359's. Plus assorted jacketed bullets. Since I started casting, I don't use them. Might have to load a few and see what they will do.
It was made in 1926. Now I'm wondering if it is an NM.
The 1903 is different but easy to completely disassemble bolt parts by studying YouTube videos. There is tricks that must be followed to stripping down the bolt and you won't figure them out without the videos or watching an expert. CAUTION: You could put your eye out with flying parts doing this wrong. All of them need to be stripped, cleaned and re greased for reliability. The huge coil spring in the bolt doesn't age well and originals should be replaced for reliability. If you have a 1926 spring in your bolt it is under spec for reliable ignition. I got a new one 2 pounds over spec and it is fast and reliable.
Thanks. I've worked on them before. It's been over twenty years. Might need a refresher.
I think I have a spring, bolt, and assorted small parts in a box. It's probably in the attic.
I also have and tried the RDCTL-311-165 FNGC with the giant flat nose. That is a wonderful Deer hunting bullet! It is a big plus that you got it to feed in your rifle. I could NOT get it to feed reliably in my 1903A3 and gave up on it. I tried seating it to the crimp groove, longer and shorter and had miserable feed even with a ramp polishing. I wish that one would feed in my rifle !!! It is a great first choice for Deer.
You can see in my picture that I tried the Lee 170 gr FNGC 30-30 bullet. They work fine but I had to hone the mold to drop .312 on the driving bands and size/check to .311" for any accuracy. Additionally the round nose 185 Lee shoots a lot better for me. Plus hollow pointing the 185 Lee RNGC does not change the POI for me at all.
A 3.010" COL works in this one. My RD mould is one of the old Lee customs. It may have a bit more taper.
I went to sight in this afternoon. It has a Lyman Alaskan 2.5x scope. I had a hard time adjusting it. I came home and downloaded the instructions. I understand why I had difficulties now. One click equals ONE INCH at one hundred yards! I'm used to quarter minute clicks. I have to find or make some weaver mounts to use the existing base, and holes. I do not want to drill and tap this receiver. On a good note it is pretty accurate. It held 1.250 minutes, before I monkeyed with the scope. That 1" per click thing, has to be a misprint.
The original Alaskan's without adjustment covers were 1" per click, but I believe the "All Weather" models are 1/2 inch. Nobody shoots sheep more than 300 yards, and who can see 1 and 1/2 inches at 300 yards? Of course they last three lifetimes and never need repair, so if you just can't stand it, let me know, I have a home for it! Ric
I like it, other than it having such a small focal point(?) or what ever it's called. I think I would like it more on a vintage Savage 99. I may end up making my own mount. I think it's the later "All Weather" model. It has crosshairs. I think the early ones had posts.
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