Go Back   CMP Forums > CMP Sales > CMP Bolt Action Rifles
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-08-2018, 09:27 PM
Cavtanker Cavtanker is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 321
Default The story of my M1903A4.....

My Grandfather passed away on 20 July 2000, a two time Korean War veteran (1st tour with 1CD, 2nd with 7ID). As is usually the case with most people in these situations, my Dad and I found ourselves inheriting some effects of his, most notably a Colt Army 1911 made in 1918...and this Remington M1903A4. Not knowing anything about the 03 series of rifles at the time, my Dad and I just assumed this was a 1903A3. Why? Because it said so on the receiver! Of course, after some research, we now know better.

Grandpa used this A4 as his farm rifle. We don't know where he got it. For all we know he got it at the local hardware store. Wherever he got it, he used it...and used it ...and used it. As I said, it was his farm rifle. So he used it to chase off any varmints of the 4-legged or 2-legged variety that wandered onto his property uninvited. Here is the rifle as me and my Dad got it in 2000:
https://imgur.com/0nAlUgH

Yes, you're eyes do not deceive you. That is electric tape holding the upper handguard to the stock. And the otherwise nice SA J stock that is on it has been chopped (on the buttplate end too for whatever reason), and an inlet for the turned-down bolt handle has been carved with what I imagine was the nearest Case knife that was handy. The A3 front and rear sights were put on it. Well, the front sights are of questionable origin, but I suppose Grandpa found a way to make them work. The bolt guts were missing. In general, it needed a lot of work. Here are some more pics of the rifle as we received it:
https://imgur.com/a/rzTPP

Since I've made myself a little smarter on the 03 series of rifles since then, I've tried to bring this rifle back to it's former glory. I've received a lot of help from the friendly folks in this forum on this project. Once some gents kindly hinted that what I have is a 1903A4 and not a 1903A3 (like I said, the 03 series of rifles was never my strong suit), it was then just a matter of assembling what parts was needed. I acquired some Redfield Jr mounts/rings from ebay or gunbroker. I found a Lyman Alaskan scope on gunbroker. The bolt guts I found in a bucket of other 03A3 bolt guts a few years ago at a gun show. The stock was the hardest part. The stock on it now was provided by forum member C Dexter. So I can't take credit for the amazing stock work he did. However, I highly recommend his quality stock work. I only dremeled out the inlet for the bolt handle. About a month after I put this stock on it, I acquired what looks to be a NOS A4 stock at a gun show. So I keep that as a spare.

So after some work, here's what the rifle looks like now:
https://i.imgur.com/lNOZHCa.jpg

And here's more pics of the rifle in it's current state:
https://imgur.com/a/epwPS

What's next?

Well, the barrel that is in it now is not original to the receiver. It's an H.S. 5 44 that measures a nice 1+ at the muzzle, but the throat swallows a good chunk of my gauge. So I plan to take this rifle to the range to see how it prints on paper with the barrel that's in it. However, the same gentleman that provided me with this quality stock also provided me with a NOS barrel that is more appropriate to this serial number range on this rifle. So if the barrel that is on it now is indeed shot out, then I have a replacement barrel available.

I also am in the queue at the CMP custom gun shop to give them this rifle to install the NOS correct barrel and repark everything. A lot of the original finish is gone, just some patina and oxidation over a lot of the original receiver. So maybe a NOS barrel and repark isn't a bad thing?

What say you?

My dilemma is....is that what I really want to do? Install a new barrel and repark? Or roll with what I got now? I consider myself a rookie at Garand knowledge, and even less so at the 03 series of rifles. So any input/thoughts/advice/knowledge/feedback/comments is greatly apprieciated.

Thanks!

Cav
__________________
US Air Force Contractor
US Army Retired
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-08-2018, 09:47 PM
xroads xroads is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: east hartford ct 06108
Posts: 219
Default

I would rebarrel w/ww2 rem 03a3. these are available for less than a new criterion, and it keeps your rifle all Remington.
you should be able to date the receiver by s/n to find a correct Remington bbl.
since it's not original anyway, a repark would make it look like an arsenal rebuilt 03a4.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-09-2018, 07:08 AM
Jack Hammer Jack Hammer is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Noreast
Posts: 159
Default

Cavtanker, it's looking nice. The throat erosion gague is M1 or 1903? If you use an M1 gague on an 03 you'll get a reading like that.
Your scope is mounted wrong. The front turret should be directly in front of the front ring. Also, the rings are backwards. The screws should be on the bolt side of the rifle.
You will have to cut a bevel in the back of the scope base to clear the scope bell. Look at pics of original G.I. bases and you'll see what I mean.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-09-2018, 07:19 AM
Kerz Kerz is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Eastern KY
Posts: 356
Default

Call Chuck Moline (720) 841-1399, Warpath Vintage. He is the man when it comes to these rifles and others. A search on this forum will provide many accolades to Chuck.

Great story!

Vic
__________________
Preparedness+ Opportunity= Luck
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-09-2018, 07:27 AM
Cavtanker Cavtanker is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 321
Default

Thanks Jack,

These are exactly the sort of details I need. My learning curve on these rifles is a tad high, especially since this is the first one I ever touched, let alone worked on. And yes, I used the same throat gauge I use on my Garands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Hammer View Post
Cavtanker, it's looking nice. The throat erosion gague is M1 or 1903? If you use an M1 gague on an 03 you'll get a reading like that.
Your scope is mounted wrong. The front turret should be directly in front of the front ring. Also, the rings are backwards. The screws should be on the bolt side of the rifle.
You will have to cut a bevel in the back of the scope base to clear the scope bell. Look at pics of original G.I. bases and you'll see what I mean.
__________________
US Air Force Contractor
US Army Retired
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-09-2018, 07:28 AM
smag smag is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Clarksville, TN
Posts: 159
Default

Get a 2 groove RA 2-44 or 3-44 and knock off the front sight base and have barrel re-parked and cut the shoulder back with a pull thru. You'll have your A-4.

Great story Cross Saber's.
RLTW
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-09-2018, 07:30 AM
Cavtanker Cavtanker is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 321
Default

Thanks for the referral!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerz View Post
Call Chuck Moline (720) 841-1399, Warpath Vintage. He is the man when it comes to these rifles and others. A search on this forum will provide many accolades to Chuck.

Great story!

Vic
__________________
US Air Force Contractor
US Army Retired
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-09-2018, 09:21 AM
Kleanbore 1 Kleanbore 1 is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: delaware
Posts: 429
Default

I've got a RA 2-44 two groove barrel I'd sell if you decide to go that route.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-09-2018, 06:50 PM
Cavtanker Cavtanker is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 321
Default

I've got a NOS RA 1-44 barrel still in the wrapper that I have earmarked for this project. According to this website, that barrel date matches the receiver number. Is that not the case? http://www.vishooter.net/RA4.txt
__________________
US Air Force Contractor
US Army Retired
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-09-2018, 07:06 PM
Mike D Mike D is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 914
Default

Nice rifle and story! Good piece to keep in the family.

Since you have a parts rifle, you can only improve on it's appearance and value.

If I were you, I'd have it rebarreled with an appropriately dated one, and repark all the metal, including scope base and rings.

In doing all that, I'd go with an M82 or M84 scope, whichever would be more appropriate for an A4 rebuilt after WWII and set up for use during the Korean War. In honor, of course, of your Grandfather's Korean War service.

Mike
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:06 PM.