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Old 10-05-2021, 09:08 PM
Spud17 Spud17 is offline
 
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Location: OH
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Default A3 Receiver/Trigger guard fit and screw issues

To start I am new to this forum and 1903 rifles. I have searched this forum and other internet sources and have not found the answers I am looking for.
I purchased a C-stock 03A3 earlier this year on an online auction. As I remember the photos weren't the best but it looked nice. The first thing that I noticed when I received it was that it was coated with some type of wax (turns out there was much more under the metal). Next, I saw the rear guard screw had been replaced with a plated round head machine screw. It was a 12-24. Upon disassembly, I found that there was some type of thread repair insert and maybe some JB Weld in the hole. I removed the insert with a couple drill bits, both right and mostly left twist, and cleaned it with an appropriate bore brush. I expected the worst but I would guess those are some very tough threads. It has a Keystone stock with no markings other than a 'K' in the cutoff recess.
The front screw would not tighten properly and I found that the threaded hole in the receiver was cracked for at least the first five threads. This begins my issues.
First, there seems to be plenty more good thread in the receiver ( .6" total, .3 to .4 beyond the damaged thread), and I can fix this with a longer screw and careful fitting. Can I buy a longer front screw or will I have to have one made?
Second, is the bottom (small ring) of the threaded part of the front receiver mount supposed to fit slightly inside the front trigger guard bolster? It does not but contacts, metal to metal, at the rear.
Thirdly, once the above issues are corrected the receiver does not seem to fit properly. When placed in the stock and held down at the front lug area the tang does not seat in the wood and when pressed raises the barrel out of the channel. This may not be resolvable within CMP rules. Are the 'D' shaped 'Greek" shims legal? The stock bushing is proud on both ends and there is no wood contact.
Lastly, I need to remove the wax. I read that mineral spirits may cut it. It is very soft.
Any advice is appreciated. Photos when I figure out how to.
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2021, 07:44 AM
navyrifleman navyrifleman is offline
 
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You seem to have a number of issues and questions. Without photos, it is hard to offer specific advice, but I will attempt to answer a couple of your questions.

Yes, Guard Screws of the proper Baluster type are readily available from a number of gun parts sites. They can be had in different lengths. I would suspect that your front screw might be of an incorrect size or thread count just by your description of the damage to the front lug area and the fact that the rear screw is not correct.

The hole in the stock which channels the rear guard screw should have a steel bushing fitted in it very tightly.

A very important part of attaching the stock to the action, for both safety and accuracy, is to have good guard screws properly torqued to the receiver.

The "wax" you mention might be hardened grease of some sort. Try some solvent on a small part of it and see how it works at removing it.

Brownells sells stockmaker's files and rasps which work great when needing to fit an action to a stock. Shims might be used to add wood needed to fit the action, and these are good for working out what is needed to get the fit right - especially before doing any kind of permanent type modification like glass bedding or epoxy work.

There are CMP and Match requirements in regard to what type of modifications are allowed for competition.
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Old 10-06-2021, 02:40 PM
Calif-Steve Calif-Steve is offline
 
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Location: California
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Front guard screw hole is cracked? Is that correct? I would get it to Chuckindenver to see just how bad the crack is. You should contact the seller and advise him of this immediately. I think I might just return the rifle to the seller.
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Old 10-06-2021, 04:35 PM
ZvenoMan ZvenoMan is offline
 
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Maybe before sending out (and CID is a great suggestion of course) simply take some pics and post them here.
How was the rifle described? If these items were not disclosed that sounds like a problem, but based on the "earlier this year on an online auction" that is probably a moot point.

Machine screws
Thread repair insert
Maybe JB Weld
Thread hole cracked

All significant issues

Removed the insert with a couple drill bits, both right and mostly left twist
Ouch!

When pressed raises the barrel out of the channel
Way down the list, and do not take a file to wood (or metal) until the above issues have been professionally diagnosed and repaired. No mater how much you file you can't put the material back on.

Seriously, post some photos of these issues and the peanut gallery can offer some useful advice for you to decide to cut your losses, address some/all of the issues yourself, or send to an expert (CID).

JH
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Old 10-06-2021, 08:55 PM
Spud17 Spud17 is offline
 
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Here are some photos. The high resolution makes some look worse than they are.
Two of the rear receiver hole before and two after insert removal. No 'ouch' here. My bit was just smaller than the inner diameter of the threads, I used a cordless on the slowest speed and the lowest clutch setting and 'walked' most of it out with a left-hand drill bit. I actually started smaller and worked up. The receiver threads are very hard.




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Old 10-06-2021, 09:48 PM
Spud17 Spud17 is offline
 
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If anyone know better please tell me if I am on the wrong track here.
On to the first issue: the front receiver screw. This needs to be resolved before I can do anything else, other than cleaning the wax off of everything. I ordered Forrester long screws and Midway shipped them today. Hopefully, the front screw is longer than the original. The front screw was the correct diameter and pitch, 1/4-25 about 13/16" long. The hole is damaged from recoil or a similar force, but there is still a lot of good thread in there. I'll just have to make sure my screw does not bottom out. My question is, does the (see photo) receiver 'blue arrow' fit inside the TG bolster 'red arrow'. My caliper says 'yes'. Because the front of this hole is cracked I will have to remove a small amount of material (0.040) for a proper fit.


I also realized after comparing it to another NOS one that the trigger guard magazine well has been bent back at the top for some reason. This pushes the guard forward and throws the screws out of alignment. I will press this back to it's original shape. Someone also beveled the inside of the well.


I did purchase this rifle on an online auction, so it's unfortunately my problem to fix.
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  #7  
Old 10-07-2021, 07:00 AM
navyrifleman navyrifleman is offline
 
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To answer your post, yes, the little "ring" around the forward receiver lug hole should fit inside the bolster on the trigger guard. Note that when this is done, the top of the magazine will be closer to the bottom of the receiver as well.

The back of the magazine can be easily bent forward to match up with the back of the receiver. The "bevel" in the back was done during the manufacture of the stamped magazine/trigger guard assembly and is perfectly good.

That "wax" you refer to appears to be old caked on cosmoline or some similar preservative grease. Simply soak the action in kerosene, dunk-it, or some other solvent and brush it out with a small paint brush or toothbrush. Be sure to do this in a well ventilated area or outside.
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  #8  
Old 10-18-2021, 05:32 AM
Spud17 Spud17 is offline
 
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Location: OH
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Default Long front guard/receiver screw needed

Does anyone out there have a 1/4-25 die who could cut an additional 0.70" thread on an original rear screw for me? I need a longer front screw: 1.10" long with 0.60" thread. The first 5-6 threads in my received are damaged.
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2021, 01:34 PM
Calif-Steve Calif-Steve is offline
 
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The Army made both '03 and '03-A3 front guard screws. Go through your screws and find one long front screw and find a short guard screw. That will help you.
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  #10  
Old 10-18-2021, 02:31 PM
ZvenoMan ZvenoMan is offline
 
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I needed a longer rear screw for a mauser. I made a drawing (as in with a pen) and took it and the original screw to the local machine shop.
$15 and a week later I had my new screw.

JH
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