View Full Version : It is finished... Pics inside

10-06-2006, 04:34 PM
After five years my NRA Sporter is finished and took it first full dress trip to the range. The loads was my SWAG used when tweaking the bedding. 311284/18/2400. Groups were one ragged hole at 50 yards (.60 - .55")

Action is a SC 03A3 with all the tool marks hand filed and polished off. Barrel was a new SC 4 groove, again hand polished. Stock is Claro Walnut. The rear sight is a Lyman 48 long slide and the front is a Redfield Sourdough Patridge.

All stock dimensions were kept in accord with the original NRA sporter except LOP which is 14". Stock blank came from Great American Gunstocks.

All work done by me except the blueing which was done by Accurate Plating and Weponry.

10-06-2006, 04:48 PM
Great looking rifle!

10-06-2006, 05:11 PM
A tip of the hat to ya, very well done!!! Makes me feel young again to see such a clasic on the bags! BE U T FULL !!! Kin I shoot it?

10-06-2006, 05:24 PM
If mine turns out that nice, I'll be super happy. Great Job!

10-06-2006, 06:13 PM
That is a stunningly gorgeous example, sir. It sounds like she shoots as well as she looks, too.

10-06-2006, 07:22 PM
Great looking finish on the stock what did you use? OLPDon
Lots of coats I expect.

10-06-2006, 07:30 PM
OLPDon... Good ol Tru-Oil. Allow to dry throughtly between each coat, rub with 1,200 grit paper and give another coat. Try and make one drop go as far as possible.

When you are ready for the final coat, polish the stock with a fine rubbing compound and apply a thin coat.

This wood was pretty dense and only took about 15 coats. I have done others that have taken 50 coats. Figure 2 to 6 weeks for the finish.

10-06-2006, 08:14 PM
Charles, HOOAH! sundog

10-06-2006, 09:01 PM
Have noted you fine tune with vice grips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10-06-2006, 09:36 PM
Did you cut the Tru oil with anything or use it straight? It is gorgeous.

10-06-2006, 10:01 PM
I use straight Tru-Oil. When you start a job get a new bottle. After a time the dryers go by-by and it doesn't work near as well.

I can't get enough force on the little knob to keep the front rest locked down and that is why the vice grips live there. I don't have to hunt them up when I want to tighten the knob.

This highly figured fiddle back walnut looks nice when finished, but it is a bitch to work. The dark streaks are harder than the matrix wood. Cutting tools want to dig and gouge. Working this stuff really takes some time.

10-06-2006, 11:18 PM
Yo, Mr. Chargar, Crop here,

Beautiful piece.

I gotta say, though, you either have a great personal shootin bench or you have a range mambership that is lax in its range safety procedures.

I don't personally have an '03A3, but I do have a '03.

It looks to me like it's cocked and locked.

I can only hope that you are photographing the piece on your personal shooting bench at your personal firing range. Otherwise........

Bad JuJu.

I have a scope on my '03 and there is like a lever that flips right to left on the top of the bolt. Since my scope prohibits flipping that lever, I am unsure if it will prohibit firing (such as like a safety). I am a newbie here and I don't know how an '03A3 works exactly, but if it is like my '03 then I would suspect that the safety is on.....

Good for you.

My rifle club requires that bolts be opened on the range unless we are shooting. Prolly nobody on this group is dumb enough to leave a loaded piece on the bench cocked and locked, so I may be wasting bandwidth, but I just felt like I hadda point it out for us newbies.

Like I said, Please forgive if you are at your personal firing range.

Still, It's a beautiful piece.

10-07-2006, 12:09 AM
Woohooo on the rifle Charles. Now I want one... :mrgreen:

10-07-2006, 08:43 AM
Crop... The 03A3 works just like 03. I removed the rifle from it's hard case, opened the bolt and sat it on the bench. I then closed the bolt on an empty chamber to take a few photos. Yes, it is cocked and locked, but the chamber is empty.

It was a private range yesterday. I had it all to my self. Nobody there to tell me it was a no-no.

BTW.. Our range rules call for the bolt to be open and hands off when the range is "cold". When the range is "hot", bolts can be open or closed as firng is taking place. There is no rule that the bolt must be open on a hot range.

Lloyd Smale
10-07-2006, 09:00 AM

10-07-2006, 11:51 AM
Prettiest 03A3 I have ever seen!...way to go Charger ~:) ~

10-07-2006, 03:47 PM
Nut... It is often though a fine rifle can't be made from an 03A3 action. Tain't so. I filed and polished off all the machine marks. I also removed the rear sight dovetail. You can recontour the rear receiver bridge to the shape of an 03, if you are a mind to. I did that back in the 60's and used a Redfield Jr. bridge mount for the 03 on an 03A3. Of course you have to install a milled trigger guard, floor plate and follower. These parts are common. I bought some from the DCM some years back and that is what I used.

It takes some work, but an 03A3 can be made as slick and pretty as a nickle steel 03. You want to do the work by hand to perserve all the contours and details.

10-07-2006, 08:56 PM
Even though i'm left handed, I have a soft spot for Springfield sporters. I've found two over the years, different states of sporterization, but both are a pleasure to shoot and accurate with cast bullets. You have really done well with that one. Where did the barrel band come from?

I think strictly speaking as shown it is not locked, as I have always taken the word "locked" to mean the safety engaged. In dim bygone days the range command "load and lock" meant (USMC) load the rifle and put the safety on. A subsequent command "unlock" meant take the safety off and get ready to shoot. If I recall, the sequence of range commands was:
"load and lock"
"Is the line ready"
"The line is ready"
"Ready on the right"
"Ready on the left"
"All ready on the firing line"
"Watch your targets"
(the targets were run up)
"Commence firing"
(the targets drop)
"Cease firing"

These days the phrase locked and loaded seems to mean ready to shoot.

All that aside, a Springfield sporter is one of the most useful and versatile iron sighted rifles you can have, IMHO.

10-07-2006, 09:10 PM
That is very, very nice. I admire someone who stays the course.......Creeker

10-07-2006, 10:25 PM
26Charlie.. The barrel band was the hardest part to come by. The original NRA Sporter used the M-22 band. I looked for months without sucess. Finally somebody on the old Shooters.com board sold me the one on the rifle.

This band is the same size and shape of the M-22 but was made for the Springfield T rifle. Springfield Arsenal cut and welded 1917 Enfield bands to make these. They are heavier and more sturdy than the stamped M-22 bands.

In the past month I have seen two M-22 brands for sale on Ebay. They went for $55 and $65 respectively.

10-07-2006, 10:30 PM
26 Charlies... at our gun club there is no range officer and no commands unless there is an organized match.

10-07-2006, 10:53 PM
Good looking rifle. Have you fired it off-hand, sitting, prone, and kneeling or sitting" ?

Bench rest is good for getting your zero, marksmanship is off the bench.

10-08-2006, 02:05 AM
If I had a gun that pretty I don't think I could bear to shoot it.


10-08-2006, 07:44 AM
I have fired the rifle off the bench, offhand and prone with a tight sling. The trigger pull is not quite what I want it to be. It has the military trigger and when it came back from the metal finishing, there was lots of drag in the pull. I have polished all the bearing surfaces and taken out about 80% of that drag, but I would like it better. I really don't want to change out the trigger, but I may end up doing that.

The rifle is indeed pretty, but not too pretty to shoot. That is why I made it.

10-10-2006, 09:08 AM
Chargar, A fine example.....good job!! -JDL

Pop Gun
10-10-2006, 10:01 AM
Isn't it satisfying when you do something yourself?

From guns to bullets, the more you do or can do to something, the more you get out of it.

What impresses me more than looks these days is the group sizes with the opens which .... will .... probably improve some as things move along.

A family airloom for sure now.

10-10-2006, 11:16 AM
Pop... I have enjoyed working on guns since the days when I started to clean up the shop of the local gunsmith when I was 14. That was back in 1956. I didn't get paid, but I did get to watch and ask questions if they were not too stupid. As time progressed I got to work on my own guns under his supervision and then work on some for customers. I still draw on that experience to this day.

I built this rifle with the express purpose of creating an heirloom for the kids. I didn't manage to hang on to any of the others I built. Well.. now it seems this one project has grown into three more. Got to treat the kids equal. After three more, I will pretty much have used up my stash of actions, barrels, stocks and sights.

I get to shoot them until I croak or can't see any more.