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Old 02-05-2015, 04:52 PM
Chap17 Chap17 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: NE Indiana
Posts: 336
Default Accurazing M1903

I've seen articles on line and book chapters that deal with getting the best accuracy from the M1 Garand. I've found nothing comparable on the M1903.
Does anyone have a source or link? My purpose is "as issued".

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Last edited by Chap17; 02-06-2015 at 06:53 AM. Reason: Speling
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Old 02-05-2015, 05:20 PM
Allen Humphrey Allen Humphrey is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Dry side of Washington
Posts: 437

No perfect source, but lots of information is available with some searching. Here is a start

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Old 02-05-2015, 06:03 PM
rcolarco rcolarco is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Oblong state west of the Mississippi River
Posts: 4,274

A 1903 is just a bolt gun. Proper stock fit is important. Bedding usually improves any bolt gun. Instructions abound, any do-it-yourself gunsmith book will tell you how to fit a stock. Any mods you make takes your rifle out of the "as-issued" category.

It's wise to remember that national match 03s were just issue guns that were well fitted into normal stocks, with barrels selected for uniformity from production supplies, and a bit of trigger work. Minimal mods, and they shot pretty well.

Most 03s with barrels that have not been abused shoot very well. If yours does not, stock fitting is the first place to look.

Ammunition choice, and your skill level, have a lot to do with how a rifle shoots.
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Old 02-07-2015, 09:48 AM
Slapshot Slapshot is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Kalamazoo County, Michigan
Posts: 342

Jess, I copied the following from a post by Bob S. some time ago. Just about all of what he says about the 03-A3 applies to accurizing the 1903 as well.
See ya at Ceresco's next Dec. 26th if not before.

The barrel must bear on the stock at the fore-end tip, called the "barrel bed" in the tech manual (it's called that for a reason). The term "float" is not used correctly in this tech manual, nor is it used correctly in the K31 manual, either. The term "float" in the tech manual is used to mean that the barrel is not "trapped", or clamped tightly between any two surfaces (like the stock and upper band, or stock and handguard).

On the 03A3, the stock should not touch the barrel between the receiver and the barrel bed of the stock, where it should bear evenly upward. This is not "free floating", it is pressure bedding. For service rifles, the "up" force to displace the barrel from the bed should be about 4 lbs. (see para 45.a(2)(d) in the tech manual). The barrel guard ring should be clearanced from the stock so you can wiggle it when the receiver is tightened into the stock: it should not be clamped tightly between the receiver ring and the stock.

For the M1903, the fixed base of the '03 rear sight may bear lightly in its mortice in the stock, as long as the pressure at the receiver flat (behind the recoil lug) bears hard, and the up pressure is present at the barrel bed.

For National Match rifles, the "up" force to displace the barrel from its bed was specified as 7-9 lbs. In 40+ years of building up Poor Man's Match rifles with 03's and 03A3's, I've found that even more pressure at the barrel bed ~on the order of 15 lbs~ is usually beneficial. In that time I've found only a handful of issue barrels that would group better if truly "free floated", and If I recall correctly, they were all pre-war barrels. The WW II contract barrels really need that damping.

It's really important that the barrel is not "trapped" at the forend: you do need to be able to push the barrel clear of the barrel bed with the rifle assembled. It can't be "clamped" by the upper band or the handguard tennon. There has to be visible clearance between the top of the barrel and these parts. It doesn't need to be a bunch; about .025" is OK. If you can't push the barrel up about that much, then relieveing some material from the upper band and/or handguard tennon with a Foredom tool (or Dremel) is indicated. It is usually counter-productive to remove wood from the barrel bed of the stock to get this clearance, as you lose the needed pressure on the barrel here.

In the days before "CMP rules", we used to remove the metal handguard clips so they wouldn't bear on the barrel, but that's a non-starter for "as-issued" rules.

For an 03A3, substitution of a milled trigger guard for the stamped one is beneficial; I don't know how CMP would feel about that. (I see photographs of rifles on the line at Perry with FLAGRANT violations of "as-issued" conditions, and nobody seems to get upset about it, though). Lacking a milled guard, I recommend getting a stamped guard with a "pad" welded in it if yours does not already have one ... it is little flat surface just aft of the forward screw hole that gives some real bedding surface so the side rails of the stamped guard don't just cut into the wood when the bedding screws are tightened. When we were poor undergraduate students in the 60's, we used a solid block of steel or even aluminum glued in to perform the same function. It makes a world of difference. Of course you can't glue a block in and pass "as-issed", but you can buy the as-issued stamped guards with the welded-in pad from Bill Ricca.

Some of this I learned in the School of Hard Knocks, some I got from Roy Dunlap. With one of my first 03A3's tuned as above (no glass bedding), but with a milled guard, "C" stock and Lyman 48 rear sight, I made Master in my first "serious" season (1973) after I got out of the Navy the first time, so it does work.

Bob S.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:29 AM
ilionkid ilionkid is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Wyoming, DE
Posts: 176

If you will send me an email, I will send you scans of an April 1956 article on bedding the 03A3.

Mike email: ilionkid AT live DOT com

Last edited by ilionkid; 02-08-2015 at 09:15 AM. Reason: clarify email address
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:01 AM
Chap17 Chap17 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: NE Indiana
Posts: 336

Thanks everyone for sharing the knowledge pool. Great stuff.

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Old 02-08-2015, 03:47 PM
dprice3844444 dprice3844444 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: se florida 01/sot
Posts: 5,595

i believe that is inch lbs,not foot pounds.
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