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  #1  
Old 10-28-2017, 02:19 PM
Snipesrule Snipesrule is offline
 
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Default 1903 or 1903A3 for Springfield matches

I am in the market for either a 1903 or a 1903A4 for Springfield matches. I know the A3 sights are easier to use, but I have heard that once one gets used to the 1903 sights the rifle can be more accurate than the A3. The reported quality of the 1903 (i.e. milled parts vice the A3's stamped) has me wondering what I should get as a shooter for these matches. Any feedback from those who shoot the Springfield matched of what rifle I should get?

V/R,

Roger
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  #2  
Old 10-28-2017, 02:56 PM
Roadkingtrax Roadkingtrax is offline
 
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Both do well if you can see. Swedes and Swiss rifles dont suffer much for a shorter sight radius.
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  #3  
Old 10-28-2017, 03:12 PM
bruce bruce is offline
 
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Been shooting 03 and 03-A3 rifles since 1980. If you are able to use the small aperture on the 03 rear sight, you can do some fine shooting. If you obtain a spare slide, you can open it up to .10 which which IIRC is the size the USMC settled on for shooting the 03. It will make the rear sight easier to use in the hurry of rapid fire events. The 03-A3 does not have that problem. With care you can obtain extremely excellent results for match shooting using the 03-A3. I have found it best to buy the best rifle I can condition wise. Then I put on a tall front sight and file it down till I zero the rifle with my selected load. The 03 sight allows easy fine adjustments, but repeatability is a problem unless you have something like a O'hare rear sight adjustment tool. Windage is a bit of educated estimation as the windage marks on the base are 4 minutes. The 03-A3 has a nominal one minute adjustment for windage. If the rear sight is nice and tight, you can get fairly decent adjustments.

I currently use a Remington 1903 that was rebuilt w/ a High Standard 1944 barrel. I use it with cast lead bullets. It will routinely hold ten shots in 1.7 inches at 100 yds. firing prone slow fire. I have a Smith-Corona 03-A3 that was rebuilt w/ a Remington two groove barrel. It will with the same load shoot virtually the same groups. It is easier to use under less than ideal light conditions. My club does not offer any matches beyond 100 yds., so I cannot speak to how adjustments, etc. work at 200 yds., etc. I will say that day in and day out, I find the 03-A3 to be more useful for both the range as well and the woods and fields. HTH. Sincerely. bruce.
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Old 10-28-2017, 08:38 PM
Greg Ficklin Greg Ficklin is offline
 
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Both are equally suited to win any Springfield match. I would say that more have been won with A3's, and the record shot by DeMille was with an A3. You really need an O'Hare sight tool with an 03, because it allows for 1/2 min elevation changes, and stores it for you should you drop the rear leaf. Mine is a repro from Ray-Vin, now sold by Stallings Machine. They are not cheap, but worth every penny if shooting the 03. Either way you go, you should swap the front sight to the .100" Marine front sight. I opened the rear peep (03) to .075 with a drill bit, and blackend with a carbide smoker. The A3 is simpler to use with less stuff to keep up with. A good A3 is a spindle destroyer.
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  #5  
Old 10-28-2017, 09:05 PM
Snipesrule Snipesrule is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce View Post
Been shooting 03 and 03-A3 rifles since 1980. If you are able to use the small aperture on the 03 rear sight, you can do some fine shooting. If you obtain a spare slide, you can open it up to .10 which which IIRC is the size the USMC settled on for shooting the 03. It will make the rear sight easier to use in the hurry of rapid fire events. The 03-A3 does not have that problem. With care you can obtain extremely excellent results for match shooting using the 03-A3. I have found it best to buy the best rifle I can condition wise. Then I put on a tall front sight and file it down till I zero the rifle with my selected load. The 03 sight allows easy fine adjustments, but repeatability is a problem unless you have something like a O'hare rear sight adjustment tool. Windage is a bit of educated estimation as the windage marks on the base are 4 minutes. The 03-A3 has a nominal one minute adjustment for windage. If the rear sight is nice and tight, you can get fairly decent adjustments.

I currently use a Remington 1903 that was rebuilt w/ a High Standard 1944 barrel. I use it with cast lead bullets. It will routinely hold ten shots in 1.7 inches at 100 yds. firing prone slow fire. I have a Smith-Corona 03-A3 that was rebuilt w/ a Remington two groove barrel. It will with the same load shoot virtually the same groups. It is easier to use under less than ideal light conditions. My club does not offer any matches beyond 100 yds., so I cannot speak to how adjustments, etc. work at 200 yds., etc. I will say that day in and day out, I find the 03-A3 to be more useful for both the range as well and the woods and fields. HTH. Sincerely. bruce.
Bruce
Thanks...that helps a lot. I thought the 1903 had more
fine tuning capabilities, but at 4 MOA that doesn't seem to be the case. Is this true?
V/R,
Roger
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  #6  
Old 10-28-2017, 09:50 PM
Roadkingtrax Roadkingtrax is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snipesrule View Post
Bruce
Thanks...that helps a lot. I thought the 1903 had more
fine tuning capabilities, but at 4 MOA that doesn't seem to be the case. Is this true?
V/R,
Roger
4MOA between windage graduations. The ladder sight is infinitely adjustable for elevation...even better with a micrometer.
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  #7  
Old 10-28-2017, 10:17 PM
Snipesrule Snipesrule is offline
 
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Copy all. Is there a noticeable difference in quality between a 03 and a 03A3 (I've only held a 03A3)?
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2017, 08:29 AM
ceresco ceresco is offline
 
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An original 1903 reflects more "old world" craftsmanship. Receiver milling and finish, stock, bands, sights--all are noticeably higher quality than the A3. None of this makes much difference in match performance. The rifles are different. Shooters would need to get some experience to make a choice. Either rifle can and has won matches. The A3 has a few sight issues with bent pinions, sliding apertures, loss of "cliks" etc. while the 1903 sight requires some skill to get around it's failings. A quality barrel is first in any rifle. You really should have both. Good Shooting. ..
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Old 10-29-2017, 11:48 AM
Snipesrule Snipesrule is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceresco View Post
An original 1903 reflects more "old world" craftsmanship. Receiver milling and finish, stock, bands, sights--all are noticeably higher quality than the A3. None of this makes much difference in match performance. The rifles are different. Shooters would need to get some experience to make a choice. Either rifle can and has won matches. The A3 has a few sight issues with bent pinions, sliding apertures, loss of "cliks" etc. while the 1903 sight requires some skill to get around it's failings. A quality barrel is first in any rifle. You really should have both. Good Shooting. ..
Thank you so much for all the info! Do most Springfield match shooter shoot the 03 or the 03A3? I know $700 seems to be the going rate for 03A3 shooter. How much would a high serial number 03 go for with clean bore?
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2017, 01:50 PM
Shomway Shomway is online now
 
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1903 just listed today.....
http://forums.thecmp.org/showthread.php?t=218253
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