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Thread: M1903A1 sniper clune, redux

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Annapolis,Md
    Posts
    2,237

    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
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    swmissouri
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    2,824
    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Rochester NY heading to Gaults Gulch
    Posts
    1,136
    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NW PA
    Posts
    205
    That is really nice. I want one. Any plans to take it to shoot vintage sniper?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    Uncle Grinch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Middle Georgia
    Posts
    1,226
    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Annapolis,Md
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    2,237
    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NW PA
    Posts
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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
    Location
    Annapolis,Md
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    2,237
    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
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    North Coast - Oregon
    Posts
    369
    I saw that same rifle and group on FB

  11. #11
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    97
    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!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

    Shiloh's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    Upper Midwest
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45-70bpcr View Post
    Sorry to hear that. Arthritis is cruel. You can still enjoy it off the bench!
    Off the bench and off-hand for me. Arthritis and a total knee arthroplasty did it for me. I can't get into a sitting or kneeling position any more.
    Prone shooting for a short time only if I have someone to help me up.

    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