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So, if I wanted ONE '03 (any variant) for a shooter grade rifle, which would it be? Normally I'm partial to gas operated rifles.

Make your suggestions based on affordability, including ease of finding spares. I don't have to have a perfect, cartouched stock, but I certainly don't want a sporterized '03 either.
 

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Bill, since you and most people are used to gas guns and also most of us have peep sights on our M-1s, M-1As, or AR-15s and with a budget in mind. The 1903 A-3 Remington is a great buy, as they are usually seen at the gun shows for about $400.00 in near mint condition. The 1903 A-3 has a peep sight mounted on the rear of the receiver in the same placeas as an M-1 Garand. I found a Remington 1903 A3 at a show for $210.00 and all it needed was a $7.00 upper hand guard to be put into excellent condition. Last week I bought a Remington 1903 for $485.00 in excellent condition and it was a real find as it was marked USMC on its almost new Sedgley 9-43 marked barrel. As an ex Marine this rifle was a treasure from the time when men fought with wood and steel rifles. Any decent Springfield will shoot with any M-1 match rifle head to head. Thanks for your interest.:usa:
 

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Great forum-
I have been unintentionally collecting US battle rifles (Have an AR, M1A and just ordered a CMP Garand) so an '03 would be the next logical step.
Thanks for the recommendation on the model.
The Scott Duff books were essential in my understanding of M14s and Garands. The chapters on what to look for when buying a used gun were essential.
Are there any books on the '03 that are recommended?
What are the opionions on Mil Tech rifles? (I like my antique firearms new :) ) I know there are several outfits who re-furbish/restore/build M14s and Garands but haven't seen many for '03s.
Where is "the place to go" and get parts if needed?
 

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I agree with what John said. I bought a mint condition Smith Corona 1903A3 with all original matching parts for a song at a gun show. A fair to good condition 1903 goes for much more.

A good place to look for parts is Gun Parts Corporation (Numrich Arms) and Amherst Depot.

From what I have heard, MIl Tech does very good work, but you pay for what you get.
 

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The best book I have found is Bruce N. Canfield's A collectors Guide To The '03 Springfield. It takes you from 1900 to Viet Nam. Its a paperback and costs 17.50 at Barnes And Noble.:usa:
 

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Key word in your post is 'shooter'. I think the early 03s sights suck. I have one, and wish I'd gotten an A3 instead. I only got it cause its a MKI version. I'm bidding on a stock right now, so I can make a sporter stock to use it for hunting if I want, just as I have for my 7x57, and am going to do for my 6.5 Swede also. I get bored, ya know, gotta do something for fun. Dont worry, I only cut up stocks that no one with an ego would be seen with on their guns.:eek:
 

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OK I''m gathering my $$ and heading to the Reno gunshow in a couple of weeks and a 1903A3 is my target.
Questions:
If I had a choice, would I go with a:
Remington or Smith Corona?
"C" stock or "S" stock?
 

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Hello, you would be better off looking for a Remington 1903 A-3 because they are more common. The Smith-Carona was made in smaller numbers and is more collectable, thus more costly to buy. Neither had a C type stock when made. The Springfield and Remington 1903s had C type stocks as made on request. The Remington 1903 had a C type stock until the 1903 Modified was started in early 1942, after that the S stock was used until the War Department decided that all 1903s and 1903 A-3s must have a pistol grip type stock. Remington and Smith-Carona then used the Scant Grip stock to allow some blanks to be used that couldn't be used to make full grip stocks. For collecting go with what is on the rifle you find, for a shooter try to find a C type stocked rifle as you will have a much better shooting session due to comfort and better control of the rifle. E mail me at [email protected] or instant message me at Yahoo messenger id john__humphries4 if more info is needed.
 

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CMP has jst announced what they call the last batch of
03s, and 03A being released from Fed arsenals. I think you are limited to one 03 and one 03A with several variants of each. These like the M-1s are likely arsenal rebuilt or services so that are not like new. Prices are better than I see around here, but not as good as some posted above.
 

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OK -
I too ended up ordering a CMP A3, a Remington with a pistol stock. I read on the CMP site that they won't start processing my order untin May 1 :( . Seems that they have to give people in a 1903 lottery first crack. I won't see my rifle 'til June :( :( :( :(
Oh yeah - I think I'm going to send my rifle off the this company
http://www.nationalmatcharmory.com/homepage5.html
for a once over, maybe a trigger job - any thoughts?
 

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Looks like a good service. Maybe I'll send mine there for a check over. I don't usually shoot my military rifles much but having somehow doubled up on an order of LC 30-06 ammo (1600 rounds total) I guess I'd better start.
Good luck on your new rifle. I'm waiting too.
 

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I was just at the CMP website and as of the end of April it would appear that low serial number Rock Island 1903s and C-Stock A3 Smith Corona's are out of stock.
I would guess it would be because these are the most desiarble and most scarce? High demand and low supply?

http://www.odcmp.com/Services/latest_news.htm

They didn't start processing new orders until May 1. So I wonder what they do with orders for those types. Next best available? Phone call?
I ordered an A3 C-Stock Remington.
Can't wait til they start getting delivered so we can have something to talk about!
:p
 

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I got a call from CMP earlier in the week. They were filling my order and asked me what if anything I would like instead of the Corona C stock. I said an S stock would be ok. Hopefully it will come next week. I'm also getting a 03 Springield.
 

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I had an early springfield 03 issued to me in aug 42 for the Guadalcanal campaign. It was serial no. # 123. It must have come out of the springfield museum. Anyway it had the standard folding rear leaf sight with the rotating base for windage. It was quite accurate and fast. ?????
 
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