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Thread: 1903 and cast bullets. Want advice before I buy

  1. #21
    Boolit Master GARD72977's Avatar
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    I have a lot of guns with target sight of one form or another. Im open to this gun having regular military sights.

    I am very particular with my guns. I cant imagine the gun having much noticeable wear from several thousand rounds of low pressure cast loads. I bought several guns this year and have one more to purchase befor the end of the year. Im going to start buying one nice gun per year. I decided next year I want a m1903. I would be fine with a $1000 gun or could push it to $3500+ if i see the added value to owning the gun. Im not a collector im a shooter.

    I shoot USPSA and most of my range time is used up with with the pistol. I shoot rifles for fun. Im not above shooting a collectable gun. I would take extreme care with it.

    From this thread I have decided I do not want the Lyman sight. If the 2 groove barrel would require specific molds i may want to go with the 4 grove. Im thinking i want the gun in plain military form. This may mean that spending more money wont increase my enjoyment of the rifle. I apperciate all the comments. Im leaning toward a high condition original rifle without any thing that makes it more collectable.

    The accuracy posted here is better than I expected. Every thing I have read here make me want one more. There are some really nice 03's in those pics. Im jealous!

  2. #22
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    Where are you guys getting the Lyman 48 and 17 sights? Seems like they are discontinued? I'd like to get a set for my 1903.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterAZ View Post
    Where are you guys getting the Lyman 48 and 17 sights? Seems like they are discontinued? I'd like to get a set for my 1903.
    They are...a couple of years ago they could be found on E-Bay for what seems like a steal today...I bought 10 or so 17's and 17A's made for 1903's, 1922 's , and 03a3's ...I was paying $50-$75 and was complaining for a year... now you can add another $100.00 if you can find one...as for the 48s ditto...they still pop up but are up there in price...are they worth it..yep....

  4. #24
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I got several from Ken Bean in PA who frequents the gun show circuit.

    They call him the "Sight Man".

    His company's name is "Sights and Antique Guns."
    He is located at: 383 Yorkana Road, York, PA 17406, (717) 755-9070.

    Lyman sights are his specialty but he had tons of other model sights for different firearms as well.
    Last edited by Outpost75; 07-25-2017 at 02:03 PM.
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  5. #25
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by GARD72977 View Post
    I have a lot of guns with target sight of one form or another. Im open to this gun having regular military sights.

    I am very particular with my guns. I cant imagine the gun having much noticeable wear from several thousand rounds of low pressure cast loads. I bought several guns this year and have one more to purchase befor the end of the year. Im going to start buying one nice gun per year. I decided next year I want a m1903. I would be fine with a $1000 gun or could push it to $3500+ if i see the added value to owning the gun. Im not a collector im a shooter.

    I shoot USPSA and most of my range time is used up with with the pistol. I shoot rifles for fun. Im not above shooting a collectable gun. I would take extreme care with it.

    From this thread I have decided I do not want the Lyman sight. If the 2 groove barrel would require specific molds i may want to go with the 4 grove. Im thinking i want the gun in plain military form. This may mean that spending more money wont increase my enjoyment of the rifle. I apperciate all the comments. Im leaning toward a high condition original rifle without any thing that makes it more collectable.

    The accuracy posted here is better than I expected. Every thing I have read here make me want one more. There are some really nice 03's in those pics. Im jealous!
    The bolt, bolt face, handle ,stricter, receiver rails and follower will show plenty of wear...it'll get smoother and you won't hurt it mechanically but the wear will depreciate the gun....I got a second bolt to spare the 03a3 bolt in my as new condition Smith Corna 03a3 so I could shoot it a couple of times but that doesn't help if I wear the finish on the follower or rails....replacing the follower doesn't help if I screw up the screws while doing so...

    Understand values....80% + of mil surps run in the good to very good condition...lets say $800.00 the others in excellent condition run in the $1,200.00 -$1,600.00 range, one in exceptional condition could start from $2,500.00 ...so what happens with a $2,500.00 specimen that has had the bolt worked " a couple of thousand times"...it looses $900.00....now I'm talking condition and not rarity....don't forget most buyers also check the muzzle and throat for erosion.... those numbers even for collectors are important..

    Bear with me just a little longer....two groove barrels don't "need" special molds nor do four groove they just like different types of cast boolts better...boolit molds are split almost equally between "Bore Riding design" and Conventional design... the two groove "prefers" bore riding types.. the four groove "prefer" conventional... both shoot all designs equally well

  6. #26
    Boolit Master GARD72977's Avatar
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    A lot of good advice. It looks like a gun in exllent condition in the 1000-1500 dollar range will fit my needs.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by GARD72977 View Post
    A lot of good advice. It looks like a gun in exllent condition in the 1000-1500 dollar range will fit my needs.
    And you will literally have hundreds to choice from in that price range...enjoy..

  8. #28
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterAZ View Post
    Where are you guys getting the Lyman 48 and 17 sights? Seems like they are discontinued? I'd like to get a set for my 1903.
    Haunt Ebay, Gunbroker and those folks who deal in old sights. They are there to be found, but get ready to pay a good price for them.

    There are about a half dozen on Ebay right now. Here is a long slide 48S. It says for the 03A3, but will fit either the O3 or O3A3 just fine. It a later post war model with target knobs. Just the ticket after a little clean up.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/vintage-lyma...wAAOSwG0BZcFlI
    Last edited by Char-Gar; 07-25-2017 at 01:53 PM.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  9. #29
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    Thanks Charles. What all is involved in installing one of these? I assume no drilling tapping? Thanks again.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterAZ View Post
    Thanks Charles. What all is involved in installing one of these? I assume no drilling tapping? Thanks again.
    Drilling and tapping IS required.

    Best look for a used rifle which already IS drilled and tapped for one, and use that fact to negotiate a lower price!

    Another option if not hung up on an '03 Springfield is to look for a sound Winchester Model 54 in .30-'06. These all have a stripper slip slot in the receiver for reloading and are factory drilled and tapped for the Lyman 48 receiver sight.

    The Model 54 has a well proportioned stock for iron sight shooting, being very similar in proportion to the NRA Sporter, and you can usually find one in nice condition for about $100 less than a pre-64 Winchester Model 70 or an un-Bubba'ed original '03 Springfield. I have two, actually.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Outpost75; 07-25-2017 at 03:30 PM.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  11. #31
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    Thanks Outpost. I already have the 1903, It's a very late Remington, another month or two and it would have been an 03A3. It has small milling marks on the receiver bridge, they were getting ready to do the transition to the new sights. It's an all original rifle, and I don't wish to drill & tap it. Guess I'll scrap that idea.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterAZ View Post
    Thanks Outpost. I already have the 1903, It's a very late Remington, another month or two and it would have been an 03A3. It has small milling marks on the receiver bridge, they were getting ready to do the transition to the new sights. It's an all original rifle, and I don't wish to drill & tap it. Guess I'll scrap that idea.
    WHAT ????..got a picture ?....I'd like to see that...Early Remingtons 03's (like first month production) had some "borrowed parts" ..like the rear sight assembly sleeve, but milling on the receiver bridge??..you may have the only one out there...

  13. #33
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    It's a very LATE Remington 1903, and the condition exists. I'm not the only one who has one! I'll try to post up a pic when I get off work.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
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    Outpost...don't want to drift this too far ..BUT..those 54's are amazingly accurate old girls..I had two in 30-30 ..one with a Stith mount and Stith scope...I shimmed up the scope so I wouldn't have to have work done on the bolt..the other remains stock..except I swapped out the front bead for a an early style 94 front blade...(what a difference in accuracy!!!)...

    Here's some pictures...

    that group was at 100 yds with iron sights

  15. #35
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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	200446 quicksylver, here is a photo showing the start of the sight milling cuts on the receiver bridge on my 1903. Mine is dated 12/42, one of the very last 1903's before the the transition to the 03A3. Hope the photo posts OK.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master GARD72977's Avatar
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    Guys the longer this thread goes the more I change my mind on what I want!

    Atleast im learning before i buy.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by GARD72977 View Post
    Guys the longer this thread goes the more I change my mind on what I want!

    Atleast im learning before i buy.
    Stick around it gets even better...

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    ShooeterAZ...the picture is perfect..thanks...I know those...

    I envisioned something entirely different from your description....Dan

  19. #39
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    There are an abundance of vintage 30-06 rifles around that turn in accuracy fully equal or better than the military rifles. The Winchester 54 has already been mentioned. I have also had pre-war Remington 30S in 30-06 that turned in MOA accuracy. The post-war Winchester 70s and Remington 721 are no slouches either. Of course there are plenty of more recent 30-06s to choose from as well.

    I have a 1954 standard Winchester 70 in 30-06 that shoots very very well with cast bullets as well, I have an old Weaver K3 scope on it, but have a good Redfield receiver sight for it, should I ever decide to ditch the scope.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master
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    ^^^^ True words

    Here's the Winchester 54 in 30-30 with the modified Stith scope base..the Stith scope is interesting in that it only has elevation adjustments on it..windage is achieved by the screw you see just above and to the left of the rear brass spacer...the scope is 4x with fine cross hairs..

    Here's an early Springfield sporter with a star gauged barrel...all metal parts have the drawing numbers stamped on them , the barrel is serial numbered, the stock, sight, trigger guard all have the last three digits of the serial number on them..the stricker is stamped "CV"...it dates from about 1926 ..the barreled actions could be bought from the NRA, these were the same actions used in the NRA Sporters..you just had to build a stock for them and replace the front sight if you wanted something different..


    Last edited by guicksylver; 07-26-2017 at 10:48 AM.

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