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Thread: Re-stocked my 03A4 reproduction.

  1. #1
    Moderator nf1e's Avatar
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    Re-stocked my 03A4 reproduction.

    In the process of re-stocking my 03A4. Time to do some relief work on the wood. This rifle always held it's zero even when hot with the old loose fitting stock. This morning , top 3 rnds were where they were supposed to be and then hits walked down as rifle warmed up. Wood seemed to have free movement to start then as things started to warm up it got tight as the dickens. That's what they make sanders for.




  2. #2
    Sgt Major VanHahner's Avatar
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    Re: Re-stocked my 03A4 reproduction.



    Maybe grandma sometimes needs to be just grandma?
    U.S.M.C. Scout Sniper 67-68

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  4. #3
    Owner / Administrator Hawk's Avatar
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    Re: Re-stocked my 03A4 reproduction.

    I remember someone telling me......

    Not to fix what ain't broken.....lol
    Semper-Fi! Hawk
    USMC 71-73

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  6. #4
    Moderator nf1e's Avatar
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    Re: Re-stocked my 03A4 reproduction.

    You are probably correct Van, but I have never been one to leave well enough alone.
    You know the old " always room for improvement" thing.
    I have ruined plenty of good stuff over the years by not being satisfied with the way it was.
    Too late in the game to change at this point.
    Having way too much fun sawing and a chopping at wood.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk View Post
    I remember someone telling me......

    Not to fix what ain't broken.....lol
    Exactly right Hawk. I just love breaking things so I have a chance to do something about it.
    Got to admit I got tired of seeing a couple of brandy new 03 stocks hanging around for over 30 years.
    Hardest part for me was chewing away enough wood for the 04 bolt to set right.

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  8. #5
    Moderator wrwindsor's Avatar
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    Re: Re-stocked my 03A4 reproduction.

    Ain't nothing more dangerous than a marine that needs to fix something.

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  10. #6
    M14BR Chaplain Dwight55's Avatar
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    Re: Re-stocked my 03A4 reproduction.

    Quote Originally Posted by wrwindsor View Post
    Ain't nothing more dangerous than a marine that needs to fix something.
    "Ain't nothing more dangerous than a marine with a room full of power tools that needs to fix something."

    There, . . . fixed it for you wrwindsor, . . . I could tell you just forgot, . . .

    May God bless,
    Dwight

    PS: (got to remind self that some day, some where, some how, . . . gotta get me a bolt action rifle)

    LIFE MEMBER

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  12. #7
    Moderator nf1e's Avatar
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    Re: Re-stocked my 03A4 reproduction.

    Problem with losing elevation solved by the simple shimming of the barrel at the bayonet mount.
    All three shots out of the black were called as the crosshair on the M73 repro scope just covers the 6 ring on the 50' target when shot at 100 yds.








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  14. #8
    Machine Gunner NMC_EXP's Avatar
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    Re: Re-stocked my 03A4 reproduction.

    This will be old news to many of you. The 1903 and 03A3 were designed to have "barrel bedding. By design this is a raised area near the front of the barrel channel on which the barrel rested. Going from memory but the contact force for service rifle was 5 to 10 lbs. The target shooters adjusted them to 10 lbs or a little more.

    Shimming as Art did is an effective field expedient. Was common to use matchbook covers and business cards in a pinch. The other way is to remove a little wood where for lack of a better term the receiver recoil lug sits in it's stock mortise. This lowers the barreled receiver down and causes an interference fit between the bottom of the barrel and the hump in the barrel channel.

    The intent of this is to get everything to return to the same place after recoil. To check barrel bedding force (1) verify the bottom of the barrel is actually in contact with the tip of the barrel channel in the stock - if not inlet work is needed. (2) if so, grasp the the rifle out at the front of the stock sights away from you and push up on the bottom of the barrel with your thumb. It should require a few lbs of force to lift the barrel away from the stock. (3) when you release thumb pressure the barrel should return to battery in the channel.

    The 03 target shooters commonly opened up the barrel channel in the front band so it could not contact the barrel statically or under recoil. Those barrels whip a lot.

    The rear tang screw "torque tube" or stock reinforce is commonly longer than the thickness of the stock wrist. So when you torque it the rear tang and the triggerguard are only in contact with the metal tube. This can result in slipping and that aint good. Common practice is to cut the tube so it's maybe 1/8" short. That way when torqued the metal parts are in contact with the stock. There is a similar situation with the front guard screw - if the stock is thinner than the tube is long it cannot hold torque.

    There are several handguard adjustment that affect precision on paper as well.

    In general all full stocked rifles have a long list of potential trouble spots from day one of manufacture. Add 100 years of wood aging / shrinking / swelling and battering by recoil and it's amazing any original rifles can hit the paper.

    I collected tips from M1903 shooters over the years and I believe I have them in a Word file. I ought to see if I can find then cut and paste it here in the forum.

    I used to own several 03s and A3s. The only one that shot well was a M1903 National Match rifle. All the rest required some adjustments to make them group. Big problems were POI walking and random fliers.

    Incidentally with nothing but selected parts and careful bedding with a chisel it was not uncommon for a National Match M1903 to group 1 MOA at 200 yards fired from a bench from the shoulder - not a machine rest. This for pre-sale targeting and is according to Bill Brophy.




    In addition to this step there are several other areas that need attention

    - - - Updated - - -

    Forgot one important test if you're not happy with how it shoots. That is to shoot groups without the handguard in place. Compare results to with handguard installed. This will tell you if the handguard needs adjustment.
    “After all is said and done, successful rifle shooting on the range is nothing more than first finding a rifle and lot of ammunition which will do precisely the same thing shot after shot, and then developing the same skill in the rifleman.” ~ Capt. E. C. Crossman (The Book of the Springfield)

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  16. #9
    Moderator nf1e's Avatar
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    Re: Re-stocked my 03A4 reproduction.

    Got out with my , work in progress, 03A4 repro again today. Target was first 10 rnds out of cold clean bore. I think it is coming along nicely.


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  18. #10
    Moderator 4570govt's Avatar
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    Re: Re-stocked my 03A4 reproduction.

    Well done!

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