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  #1  
Old 04-05-2013, 07:54 PM
JamesD JamesD is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: PA
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Exclamation M1903A3 AIM Surplus

Well I bought one and I do not know if I should be satisfied or upset. Now first off I wanted a decent shooter and I was not looking solely as collector value and I figured this would be the route to take. Well I have a bunch of pictures and what I expected was mostly original parts minus the barrel when I took it apart. Well many of the pieces are reproduction which I was not expecting but that is not where it gets bad. I remember reading about welded drill rifles and to my surprise, I believe this is one of them. Before I bought this from AIM Surplus, I searched on the net and most people said they are a quality built rifle and not rewelded drill rifles. Now being I'm new to these rifles, should I expect this for the price I paid? Basically, should I call them up and complain or this is what to be expected when buying one of these? http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=F3S1903A3SS

Thanks, James



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  #2  
Old 04-05-2013, 09:03 PM
PKelly PKelly is offline
 
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Yes, it's a reactivated drill rifle manufactured by the Gibbs Rifle Co., a subsidiary of Navy Arms. I'm assuming most of the comments you found on the errornet came from people who know little to nothing about the 1903 platform and simply wanted something new looking to play Saving Private Ryan with. I've seen several of these and wouldn't pay half of the asking price, especially when a genuine unmolested '03A3 can be had in the same price range with a little effort. The receiver finish on the ones I've seen isn't parkerizing, but rather one of the common bake-on finishes like Duracoat. Generally they're substandard copies of a mediocre wartime expedient rifle. If you haven't fired it yet you should contact AIM about a return and refund, then search for the genuine article.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:42 PM
JamesD JamesD is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKelly View Post
Yes, it's a reactivated drill rifle manufactured by the Gibbs Rifle Co., a subsidiary of Navy Arms. I'm assuming most of the comments you found on the errornet came from people who know little to nothing about the 1903 platform and simply wanted something new looking to play Saving Private Ryan with. I've seen several of these and wouldn't pay half of the asking price, especially when a genuine unmolested '03A3 can be had in the same price range with a little effort. The receiver finish on the ones I've seen isn't parkerizing, but rather one of the common bake-on finishes like Duracoat. Generally they're substandard copies of a mediocre wartime expedient rifle. If you haven't fired it yet you should contact AIM about a return and refund, then search for the genuine article.
I just received it today. I'm going to call Monday and see what they will do but going by their website I would have to pay shipping+15%+3% credit card fee. I never dealt with AIM before.

How do you know it is a Gibbs? Some say other rebuilders used RRWA barrels as well. So many stories I do not know who to believe.

thanks, James
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:53 PM
PKelly PKelly is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesD View Post
How do you know it is a Gibbs? Some say other rebuilders used RRWA barrels as well. So many stories I do not know who to believe.
I don't know who "some" may be, but it's always best to go to the source. If you ask AIM that's what they'll tell you themselves. There's nothing underhanded about it, the rifle just happens to be a crappy copy and AIM is merely the retailer not the maker. I don't think there's anything dangerous about the rifle, it's just not a well executed build. My dealings with AIM have always been satisfactory. I'm sure they'll let you return it if you choose to do so.
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2013, 10:06 PM
JamesD JamesD is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKelly View Post
I don't know who "some" may be, but it's always best to go to the source. If you ask AIM that's what they'll tell you themselves. There's nothing underhanded about it, the rifle just happens to be a crappy copy and AIM is merely the retailer not the maker. I don't think there's anything dangerous about the rifle, it's just not a well executed build. My dealings with AIM have always been satisfactory. I'm sure they'll let you return it if you choose to do so.
Well in my opinion, I think they (AIM) knew these were old drill rifles. It is not the first time they are selling these as I come to find out. I will call and give them the benefit of the doubt. I wonder what other parts of this rifle has been welded. I could not tell if the receiver was welded to a barrel at one time.



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  #6  
Old 04-05-2013, 11:14 PM
capone capone is offline
 
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I rebuilt some of these drill rifles myself and used all genuine USGI parts and NOS GI barrels and sold one or two and they were cheaper than the above mentioned rifles. And original finish..
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  #7  
Old 04-05-2013, 11:17 PM
Mwieczorek Mwieczorek is offline
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First, let me say that, for ammunition, imported C&R rifles, and magazines, the guys at AIM are great. I've always had great dealings with them.

In this instance, though, everything about those 03A3's and 03A4's screams "stay away". They are definitely coming from Gibbs.

I guess I'm struggling with how anyone could look at these rifles and NOT come to the conclusion that they're built from drill rifles? Believe me, if they were imported or received as shootable guns, even if they had terrible bores, the importers would not spend the time or money to rebarrel them. They buy cheap and sell for whatever the market will bear. With the exception of maybe Century, the importers are not in the business of gun smithing.

If you just want a shooter, keep it. It's not a copy of an M1903A3, it is, in fact, a rebuilt M1903A3 rifle. It's a mix of new and old parts. So are a lot of other rifles (Springfield M1A comes to mind). It's got a brand new barrel and should be safe to shoot. Think of it as the "Mitchells Mauser" of Springfields.

Matt
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  #8  
Old 04-05-2013, 11:33 PM
TMB TMB is offline
 
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If I had already bought it & was going to have to pay return shipping + fees I would just keep it.
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  #9  
Old 04-05-2013, 11:55 PM
JamesD JamesD is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mwieczorek View Post
First, let me say that, for ammunition, imported C&R rifles, and magazines, the guys at AIM are great. I've always had great dealings with them.

In this instance, though, everything about those 03A3's and 03A4's screams "stay away". They are definitely coming from Gibbs.

I guess I'm struggling with how anyone could look at these rifles and NOT come to the conclusion that they're built from drill rifles? Believe me, if they were imported or received as shootable guns, even if they had terrible bores, the importers would not spend the time or money to rebarrel them. They buy cheap and sell for whatever the market will bear. With the exception of maybe Century, the importers are not in the business of gun smithing.

If you just want a shooter, keep it. It's not a copy of an M1903A3, it is, in fact, a rebuilt M1903A3 rifle. It's a mix of new and old parts. So are a lot of other rifles (Springfield M1A comes to mind). It's got a brand new barrel and should be safe to shoot. Think of it as the "Mitchells Mauser" of Springfields.

Matt
I have a funny feeling I will not be the only one complaining about this. Rebuilt is fine but you do not throw in welded receivers on a rebuild for that kind of money. I will find out Monday and see what they will do. I have not heard many bad things about AIM so hopefully they will do something. I believe I have a legitimate complaint. Any of you think I would be out of line for complaining?

James
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2013, 12:42 AM
abtex1 abtex1 is offline
 
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Aim has never made it a secret that these are Gibbs rifles and are reactivated drills.

Here is a link from the Aim Surplus forum on AR15.com archives where Bryan from Aim posts a note from Val Forgett of Navy Arms clarifying the Gibbs rifles: http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.ht...f=217&t=192768

The Mitchell's Mausers analogy is a good one, except Mitchells aren't reactivated drill rifles, they're just plain cobbled up and over priced unoriginal pieces.
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