View Full Version : What caliber ideas for an 03 receiver?

April 09, 2002, 06:13
i have an 03 receiver with the bolt, trigger, ect. only thing missing is the barrel. it's serial number is in the 77,000 range and was made in 1905. there were lots of failures of the receivers from 1904-1907. therefore, i'd like to chamber it in a lower pressure cartridge. I'd also like to use the orginal bolt so the rim dameter should be close to 06 as possible.
any ideas? anyone know the chamber pressure of .45-70?


April 09, 2002, 07:09
7x57 mauser, .257 Roberts, 300 Savage, 35 rem

[ April 09, 2002: Message edited by: GSF1200 ]

April 09, 2002, 10:09
.280 Remington would be an easy conversion,.. a good, flat shooting 7mm. A .35 Whelen would also be good through an 03 action.

I'll also add that Sarco has new 03 barrels for about $75. A few years ago a friend and I decided to rebarrel our 03's,.. both of them had pitted bores. We had never attempted to do a rebarrel job on anything but I had bought 3 new 03 barrels at a gun show and wanted to give it a try.

The barrels had to have just a bit relieved from their shoulders to time properly. We had no headspace guages and I really thought that we'd have to get a chambering reamer to finish the job. First, I tried to chamber a cartridge that had been fired in the original barrel and reloaded. It wouldn't chamber. I was about to shelve the project until a chambering reamer and headspace guages could be obtained,.. then I thought to try to chamber a new factory round. It slid into the chamber perfectly. When fired, the case exhibited no sign of excessive headspace,.. no backed out primers,.. ect. (not surprising since the reloaded cartridge wouldn't even chamber) The rifles are still being used today.

Anyway,.. if you choose to just put the rifle back into action, it may be a simpler chore than you think. Many times it's simply a "screw it on and shoot it" proposition.

[ April 09, 2002: Message edited by: Templator ]

April 09, 2002, 10:19
Since the low number Springfields are known to be brittle, why do you think it wouldn't crack with 45.000 psi instead of 50,000 psi. Of course it's your eyes, face, etc. behind the bolt, and your fingers along side the receiver. I'd think the best bet would be to follow accepted practise as reiterated by the CMP with the low number rifles they are selling. Don't consider it to be a useable rifle. A non-shooting collector only.
BTW, how brittle can some of the early '03's be? I've personally seen one shatter when it got pushed off the workbench and fell 38" to a concrete floor. Broke in half, about midway between the front and rear ring. So how many psi did it take to do that?
Hate to rain on your parade, but hate to see people get hurt too.

April 09, 2002, 10:34
double tap,

i think you're right. i finally found my reference book with the info on pressures of various cartridges. looks like there aren't any super low pressure cartridges that will work well.
looks like this baby will be shelved until the next gun show. maybe someone with lots more time than i have will make a beautiful .22 out of her.

thanks for all of your inputs and time.


April 09, 2002, 12:35
.25-06 sounds neeat

April 09, 2002, 12:59
243 would be nice :D

April 09, 2002, 13:22
You guys are missing the point, he wanted a low pressure round, 280 243 and 25-06 dont cut it.

April 10, 2002, 07:05
This is not a low pressure alternative but my Dad had an O3A3 reworked into a .308 Norma Magnum. Back in the 50's, he and a couple of his buddies purchased surplus 03's from the DCM. He got two wonderful arsenal rebuilt rifles for $18.95 each! Life was greate before the 68 gun laws. One is in original condition, one was "sporterized". He inletted a stock blank for it and had a trigger job done. A little off-topic but that's what he did.

April 10, 2002, 11:35
What about the good old 30/30 win.?

April 10, 2002, 11:49
Actually domestic 8x57 is loaded to 37,000 psi, less than the 30-30, and the head size is .473 just like the 06

April 10, 2002, 12:15
the 8 x 57mm is a good idea, but i need another caliber like i need a hole in my head. anyone interested in a 70,000 s/n 03 receiver.


April 11, 2002, 01:20
Caspian: what about going to the 7.62x39? It is close to the 30-30. Would take blocking the mag well and extending the extractor. Also a .312 barrel instead of a .308 would keep pressure in check. IMO, just a 1 more choice. RM

April 11, 2002, 07:37
I have a M98 converted to 7.62x39 it's really sweet, shoots great, and cheap!