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View Full Version : Where to 1903a4?


Bakwa352
October 06, 2017, 05:32
I have this fantasy of picking up a 1903 rifle as a piece of history, maybe hunting with it, and printing decent groups [1.5MOA] on target with it. So I figure a 1903a4 would probably be the best candidate to start out with.

So where can I get a solid reproduction 1903a4 at? I've been looking into Rock Ridge, Mitchell, Gibbs, Creedmoor, James River, etc... I'm not sure if any are better than the next. The ready availability of any of the above is come and go as well. Does anyone here have any suggestions of what 1903 would be a better build or use better parts over another?
Maybe it would be a good idea to re-barrel a random 1903 and turn it into what I want?

I've only shot other peoples 1903's at the range enough to know that I really like them, and of course they look sexy.

I want a good shooter but don't really know what I'm looking for, so any help is appreciated.

ArtBanks
October 06, 2017, 06:23
I set out on the same quest a few years ago. Ended up with a James River and very happy with the rifle. The Hilux M82 repro scope is better than the originals.
I zeroed the scope at 150 yds and shoot AR500 prairie dogs often. Haven't changed the scope settings in 5 years. I know when I grab the rifle, the bullets will hit where they are supposed to. Wish some of my other rifles were as stable.

http://i1180.photobucket.com/albums/x413/nf1e/IMG_0451_zpsim3pxhiz.jpg (http://s1180.photobucket.com/user/nf1e/media/IMG_0451_zpsim3pxhiz.jpg.html)

Semper Fi
Art

yovinny
October 06, 2017, 12:23
Their are a whole Bunch of different places making repro A4's ???

Whats an original worth, correct and unmolested, but it's a got the later rings and a clean, clear M84 ?

Got a couple of original M84's in the soft carry cases too, but the optics are all somewhat kind of dusty inside and could use servicing. Those worth anything today ?

Thomas
October 06, 2017, 16:02
Do you realize they are using drill rifle receivers for builds.
Let me know if you want one for your build.

ArtBanks
October 06, 2017, 17:28
Do you realize they are using drill rifle receivers for builds.
Let me know if you want one for your build.

As long as they have been checked out, what the heck difference does that make? Picky picky picky.

Bakwa352
October 06, 2017, 18:07
Yeah, some do use drill receivers. But I've seen some of these drill receiver rifles shoot sub MOA consistently with their good Criterion barrels on them.

I'd actually prefer a repro over an original because I feel like the newer barrel will be more conducive to good accuracy and being a good shooter in general.

Thomas,
Can you really get me a drill receiver for a build? If so PM me. This is a possible route that I may be willing to take if I can't find a solid one already built.

Brother Wayne
October 07, 2017, 18:23
Bakwa352,
Have you checked Buffalo Arms' web site in Sand Point ID.
They have a few for sale. I just looked. I have done business with them before. They are good people and give good and helpful service.

MilsurpMonkey
October 08, 2017, 16:01
These types of projects here are exactly why I buy any of the cheap hack job sporters I find at the gun shows on Sundays when the sellers will usually sell for $175-$250 depending on the gun. I'd much rather take a poor sporter action, have any unwanted holes filled, and go from there. As a bonus, you usually get the action free after you add up all the small pins, springs, screws, and other hardware you'd have to otherwise hunt down when starting with a bare action. That said, when I find bare actions cheap or free, I always make the mistake of taking those home too. I've got a pile of projects that I really need to get to work on. An 03a4 will eventually pop up in that que, I'm sure.

If you get a chance to browse your local gun show or pawn shop, my advice is to keep an eye out for a bubbafied sporter that looks horrible, but has an unmolested bolt (or one that is scope modified and close in appearance to an a4 bolt). Don't worry about the bore (in fact, find one with a sewer pipe and use it to drop the price) as good barrels pop up on GB for decent prices regularly. Your big expense on this type of project will be the keystone stock, or look-alike of your choosing. The bolt can be sent to any number of competent smiths for reforging of the handle. Since you want a shooter and not an all "correct" clone, you don't have to worry about the type or time period of many of the parts, and can utilize old junk looking metal, because it will all have to be parked anyhow.

Just my theory on "cause I want to" projects :beer:

Bakwa352
October 08, 2017, 22:07
These types of projects here are exactly why I buy any of the cheap hack job sporters I find at the gun shows on Sundays when the sellers will usually sell for $175-$250 depending on the gun. I'd much rather take a poor sporter action, have any unwanted holes filled, and go from there. As a bonus, you usually get the action free after you add up all the small pins, springs, screws, and other hardware you'd have to otherwise hunt down when starting with a bare action. That said, when I find bare actions cheap or free, I always make the mistake of taking those home too. I've got a pile of projects that I really need to get to work on. An 03a4 will eventually pop up in that que, I'm sure.

If you get a chance to browse your local gun show or pawn shop, my advice is to keep an eye out for a bubbafied sporter that looks horrible, but has an unmolested bolt (or one that is scope modified and close in appearance to an a4 bolt). Don't worry about the bore (in fact, find one with a sewer pipe and use it to drop the price) as good barrels pop up on GB for decent prices regularly. Your big expense on this type of project will be the keystone stock, or look-alike of your choosing. The bolt can be sent to any number of competent smiths for reforging of the handle. Since you want a shooter and not an all "correct" clone, you don't have to worry about the type or time period of many of the parts, and can utilize old junk looking metal, because it will all have to be parked anyhow.

Just my theory on "cause I want to" projects :beer:

You make it sound so easy. LOL
I'm with you though.

I actually passed up a 1903a3 this morning for $900 at a show. It had an original barrel, but it was slightly frosty. Not sure if it would have been what I want accuracy wise with the barrel being an old two grove either.

I do think I'll keep an eye out for a project rifle though. After picking up a new barrel for it, I probably would be close to the cost of a freshly built a4 repro by one of these companies anyway.

MilsurpMonkey
October 08, 2017, 23:10
You make it sound so easy. LOL
I'm with you though.

I actually passed up a 1903a3 this morning for $900 at a show. It had an original barrel, but it was slightly frosty. Not sure if it would have been what I want accuracy wise with the barrel being an old two grove either.

I do think I'll keep an eye out for a project rifle though. After picking up a new barrel for it, I probably would be close to the cost of a freshly built a4 repro by one of these companies anyway.

Good 4 groove barrels are usually around $100 on gunbroker. As long as you don't go in with the mindset of having to have NOS parts or the "correct" parts, projects are obtainable. If you want the "correct" route, buying the finished product will always be cheaper.

jimmieZ
October 11, 2017, 18:58
As an example, I have a nice A4 bolt ( modified from a nice specimen) that nearly perfectly matches my real A4 bolt. I've been trying to sell it for $100 just to help reduce my stock of parts.

Jim

ramiller
October 16, 2017, 09:01
If you have time look over on the cmp website www.cmp.org, there is a wealth of information on this topic.

ER
October 19, 2017, 21:12
luv me some A4....2016 Vintage Sniper match, CMP Eastern Games....original A4 in the rain, lol https://i.imgur.com/3qtVCnmm.jpg

Better shooter though...Marine clone....
https://i.imgur.com/Rqp2kMMm.jpg

(I`ve got 2 of the Marine clones....This one is getting ready to hit the sales forum if anyone is interested...high number M1903 receiver, not a drill rifle take-off, reparked original parts, NEW parts are Wolff spring kit, C-stock, Criterion bbl, broken in per their instructions, , Hilux scope w/Steve Earle blocks. Minimum headspace, set with pull-thru reamer Will clean a 300yd CMP target with Sierra 168 HPBT`s and IMR 4350. Haven`t stretched it to 600yds yet.... it does need a front sling swivel though)

yovinny
October 23, 2017, 07:19
luv me some A4....2016 Vintage Sniper match, CMP Eastern Games....original A4 in the rain, lol https://i.imgur.com/3qtVCnmm.jpg



Good on you ER...:bow:

My son and I shot a vintage D-Day match a few years ago with my original A4...
No rain, but we cleared the field for 1st & 2nd and had a blast...:biggrin:

MountainBear
October 23, 2017, 20:13
Built up mine piece by piece from gathered parts, a previously drilled and tapped receiver, and an altered replacement bolt. I like the Weaver K3 scope on mine, but technically if I wanted to compete in vintage sniper matches, I would have to find either a weaver 330, K2.5, or Lyman Alaskan.

But this works. It’s fun. I generally use it to ring steel, but at some point I will see what it does on paper...

https://imgur.com/gallery/Kgb1A

denny
October 28, 2017, 19:25
I found a 03a3 national match that was turned into a chrome drill rifle.
It now is an A4 sort of .
used a non drill mount.
I hate to drill a receiver.
Denny