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

  1. #61
    Boolit Master
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    blatantly stolen from NRA website-

    While Remington was struggling with increasing its production rate, the Ordnance Dept. sought other manufacturing sources for new ’03 production. To this end, in January 1942 the Ordnance Dept. began negotiations with High Standard Mfg. Co. of New Haven, Conn., for the production of 100,000 ’03 rifles. High Standard was interested in the contract, but it was already operating at near peak capacity with existing contracts and would be unable to serve as prime contractor on the new project. The company offered to accept the contract if it would be permitted to manufacture only the barrels and subcontract the rest of the production, including assembly of the rifles, to the L.C. Smith & Corona Typewriter Co. of Syracuse, N.Y. The Ordnance Dept. was reluctant to agree to such a proposal and, logically, took the position that Smith-Corona should be named prime contractor with High Standard serving as the subcontractor for barrel production. Since the Smith-Corona factory was in relatively close proximity to the Remington plant, it was believed that the latter would be able to assist the new manufacturer with the technical aspects of rifle production. All parties concurred with the proposal and on Feb. 25, 1942, Smith-Corona was granted a contract for M1903 rifle production.

    While Smith-Corona was in the process of procuring the necessary manufacturing equipment, the M1903A3 rifle superseded the M1903. Accordingly, in May 1942 Smith-Corona’s contract was modified to substitute the M1903A3 for the M1903 rifle. Concurrently, the original contract for 100,000 rifles was increased to 380,000. The first “pilot” batch of 20 Smith-Corona M1903A3 rifles was completed in October 1942, and mass production began in November, a month ahead of Remington’s initial delivery of ’03A3 rifles. Production slowly increased, and by December 1942, Smith-Corona had manufactured 5,540 ’03A3s. As had been the case with Remington, some problems with procurement of rear sights from subcontractors resulted in the delay of initial deliveries. Eventually that problem was resolved and sufficient quantities of the sights were procured, and increasing numbers of ’03A3s began to flow from the Syracuse plant. Other than the manufacturer’s name on the receiver ring, the Smith-Corona ’03A3 rifles were quite similar to those made by Remington, but differed in some minor aspects. The salient features of the Smith-Corona M1903A3 rifle were: The receiver ring had the same marking format as the Remington rifles except for the name of the manufacturer, “U.S./Smith-Corona”; and Smith-Corona was assigned two distinct “blocks” of serial numbers: 3,608,000 — 3,707,999 and 4,708,000 — 4,992,000.

    Interestingly, Remington “over ran” some of Smith-Corona’s first block of serial numbers. Consequently, there were an estimated 3,600 Remington ’03A3 rifles produced with numbers initially assigned to, and used by, Smith-Corona. The receivers with these duplicate numbers were stamped with a “C” next to the serial number for identification and inventory control purposes.

    The barrels were marked “SC” and the month/year of barrel production. Reportedly, very early in production, High Standard (the maker of the barrels) acquired some unfinished barrel “blanks” from Savage Arms Co. These had six grooves and were initially produced for commercial rifles before being diverted to the ’03A3 production program. High Standard completed the machining of the barrels and marked them “SC” along with the month and year of manufacture. The Ordnance Dept. granted the company a waiver for use of these non-standard barrels as their utilization would permit High Standard to deliver barrels to Smith-Corona sooner than would otherwise have been possible. The number of six-groove barrels used in Smith-Corona ’03A3 production is estimated to be about 5,000. After using up the six-groove barrel blanks, High Standard began manufacture of four-groove barrels, which were used for the balance of production except for a few two-groove barrels that were used for about a one- or two-month period in late 1943. Regardless, the majority of Smith-Corona rifles had four-groove barrels.

    https://www.americanrifleman.org/art...-corona-03a3s/

  2. #62
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    A little factoid: High Standard has been making replacement barrels for the 03 when the war got started. They were offered the 03A3 contract but some some reasons I don't remember they pulled Smith-Corona in on the contract. The early S-C rifles had barrels marked HS (High Standard), but the marking was changed to SC on the barrels. However all the S-C rifles had High Standard barrels whatever the stamp said.

    High Standard continued to make replacement barrels for the 03 during WWII. They were of very good quality.

    Agreed the H-S barrels were of outstanding quality..I just recently sold my last two NOS ones for the 03's..

    What I was saying was that ,if memory serves (I'm 69.5), there were a limited number of H-S barrels used on the SC's that had an odd number of grooves...again if memory serves they didn't want to immediately change their milling practices from 5 groove to four when they started supplying the 03a3 barrels..could be wrong ..the "way back machine" is not always working correctly ...Dan

    And it wasn't.... quick research says they were 6 groove...

  3. #63
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guicksylver View Post
    Agreed the H-S barrels were of outstanding quality..I just recently sold my last two NOS ones for the 03's..

    What I was saying was that ,if memory serves (I'm 69.5), there were a limited number of H-S barrels used on the SC's that had an odd number of grooves...again if memory serves they didn't want to immediately change their milling practices from 5 groove to four when they started supplying the 03a3 barrels..could be wrong ..the "way back machine" is not always working correctly ...Dan

    And it wasn't.... quick research says they were 6 groove...
    I am 75 and memory is near as trustworthy as it was when I was 69. See what you have to look forward to.

    I have always attributed, without any proof, the superior performance of the S-C 03A3 to the High Standard barrels.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  4. #64
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by guicksylver View Post

    Where's the LG?.....I might send you the money to buy it ..the parts alone are worth more than the asking ptice..$300.00+ in sights $250.00 in hardware...$200.00 in stock even with chip..not to mention the barreled action...If that in fact is on 03a3..that's all 03 milled hardware on that gun..
    people have been known to put 03 hardware on 03a3 target lik that ..I have an 03a4 Sniper clone I did that to...also they removed the rear sight collar on 03's and installed a 03a3 hand guard when making target guns out of 03'3s ..they end up looking like the one pictured..
    I forgot to answer your question.
    Here in Tallahassee Fla, where are you?
    I could ask him if he would ship it. (and what it would cost if you want)
    let me know

  5. #65
    Boolit Master
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    I love this site ..while your typing away showing off all that useless stored knowledge..someone comes along and post better information on the same subject before you can finish...

  6. #66
    Boolit Master
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    [QUOTE=aephilli822;4111597]blatantly stolen from NRA website-

    blatantly "borrowed" from NRA website-my friend...

  7. #67
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by guicksylver View Post
    blatantly "borrowed" from NRA website-my friend...
    nope, stolen, as in "i ain't givin' it back"

    P.S. let me know if you want me to check with the shop about shipping the 1903, or more details

  8. #68
    Boolit Master
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    Do i need a mint gun or will it shoot ok with some wear on it.
    that's one of the benefits of casting your own. if the barrel is a bit worn, just increase boolit size. I have a garand that I shot the barrel out of, wouldn't hit a 24x36 pig at 300 meters. I started shooting .311 sized boolits (instead of .309). shoots just like it did when I first bought it.

  9. #69
    Boolit Master GARD72977's Avatar
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    Because of the massive amount of knoledge that is avalible on this sight Im going to buy a sportrized 1903 with Redfield sights. Im wanting a gun to shoot and I think this will be the best way to spend my money. I know this is a total 180 but you have shown me the flaw in my original plan.

  10. #70
    Boolit Master
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    Still a great move.
    Still get a great gun..still fot great hostory..still got great acuracy. ..and still got money left over to customize it making it even more yours..wins all along...good luck..

  11. #71
    Boolit Master

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    I've seen and fired both 2 and 4 groove rifles that shot better than I could shoot them. my 61 year old eyes no longer lend themselves to really tight groups. If I can keep them in the black at 200 yards, or ring the 13" gong at 200, I'm thrilled.

    Shiloh
    Je suis Charlie

    "A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."
    Bertrand de Jouvenel

    “Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one.” – Joseph P. Martino

    “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years there would be a shortage of sand.” – Milton Friedman

    "Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns; why should we let them have ideas?" - J. Stalin

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check