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Thread: M1903A1 sniper clune, redux

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Apr 2007
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    Annapolis,Md
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    M1903A1 sniper clune, redux

    I finally finished a long standing project: a M1903A1 USMC sniper clone. I built the gun using a never-issued original Type-C stock, 1.3M serial number action, original National Match rear sight, and a new Criterion barrel.

    When I installed the barrel, I got the headspace set at bare minimum- cases don't stretch one iota. I then re-throated it with a 1 1/2 degree included angle leade specifically for cast bullet shooting. 500+ rounds through it and not one jacketed bullet, yet. Accuracy with a couple pet loads hovers in the MOA territory. (NOE 169 Elco/24 grains SR-4759/RWS primer, or, Old NEI 180 RN/18 grains 4759/CCI LR primer- all with LC Match brass. Bullets of COWW alloy+tin, bhn 12, sized .309 to perfectly fit the throat. Sizing and seating done with L.E.Wilson straight line dies.

    The scope fell into my lap recently- not an original USMC. It is the same model Unertl 8x 1 1/4" though, just without the black mounts. An afternoon spent playing with the Bridgeport and there she was. I'm hoping to shrink group size a bit, but am mainly looking forward to not squinting through that tiny peep any more!


  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    nekshot's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    swmissouri
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    Very very nice! Love seeing repo, restorations and anything from a slower more sane yesterday!
    Look twice, shoot once.

  3. #3
    That is one fine looking rig. I don,t have a 03 but I love my 03a3. It gets only cast too.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    merlin101's Avatar
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    Very cool, wish mine looked and shot like that.
    It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years (Abe Lincoln)

    "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government. George Washington

  5. #5
    Boolit Master 45-70bpcr's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
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    NW PA
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    That is really nice. I want one. Any plans to take it to shoot vintage sniper?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Uncle Grinch's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
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    Middle Georgia
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    A labor of love. Very nice.
    Shoot Safe,
    Mike

    Retired Telephone Man
    NRA Endowment Member
    Marion Road Gun Club
    ( www.marionroad.com )

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45-70bpcr View Post
    That is really nice. I want one. Any plans to take it to shoot vintage sniper?
    No, my arthritic back won't allow for position shooting anymore.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master 45-70bpcr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnoahhh View Post
    No, my arthritic back won't allow for position shooting anymore.
    Sorry to hear that. Arthritis is cruel. You can still enjoy it off the bench!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnoahhh View Post
    I finally finished a long standing project: a M1903A1 USMC sniper clone. I built the gun using a never-issued original Type-C stock, 1.3M serial number action, original National Match rear sight, and a new Criterion barrel.

    When I installed the barrel, I got the headspace set at bare minimum- cases don't stretch one iota. I then re-throated it with a 1 1/2 degree included angle leade specifically for cast bullet shooting. 500+ rounds through it and not one jacketed bullet, yet. Accuracy with a couple pet loads hovers in the MOA territory. (NOE 169 Elco/24 grains SR-4759/RWS primer, or, Old NEI 180 RN/18 grains 4759/CCI LR primer- all with LC Match brass. Bullets of COWW alloy+tin, bhn 12, sized .309 to perfectly fit the throat. Sizing and seating done with L.E.Wilson straight line dies.

    The scope fell into my lap recently- not an original USMC. It is the same model Unertl 8x 1 1/4" though, just without the black mounts. An afternoon spent playing with the Bridgeport and there she was. I'm hoping to shrink group size a bit, but am mainly looking forward to not squinting through that tiny peep any more!


    On a whim I dropped the powder charge from 24 to 15 grains SR-4759, NOE 308-169 Elco. I think I'm on to something...


  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Jan 2012
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    North Coast - Oregon
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    I saw that same rifle and group on FB

  11. #11
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    93
    Nice rifle, gnoahhh, great group! I've been having success with an older 03 sporter I bought a few weeks ago at a gunshow. It's an early double heat treat Springfield in the 900,000 range with a 1942 replacement barrel by Remington, a four groove. Came with Tasco World Class 3-9 scope in Bueler mounts. Shooting Lee 312 gas Checked 186 gr powder coated with 18 gr 2400. Three shots in a half inch at 100 yds! I was astonished when I walked out to the target!

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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