1903 barrel condition

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  • Last Post 28 August 2022
sghart3578 posted this 20 August 2022

Hello Neighbors,

I have a Remington built 1903.  I think it was built in 1943 but I will double check.  It has been sporterized.  I'm fairly sure that it is the original barrel that has been cutdown to 21" and a new front sight added.  It has a receiver mounted Lyman peep sight on it.

I slugged the bore and it measures .301-.302" X .310".  I have a muzzle gauge and it measures a 2.  I read somewhre that during the war some of the specs were relaxed to meet production goals so that would explain the .310" groove diameter.  It has a long throat and a considerable jump to the lands.

For several years I have been content with shooting a NOE 314299 sized to .312".  It shoots this bullet very well, 2"-3", with just about any powder or load.  But lately I have been wanting to shoot jacketed.

This rifle shoots 147 gr FMJ's or 150 gr SP commercial bullets very well as long as the velocity is under 1500 fps.  If I try to duplicate factory loads similar to my ones for my deer rifle, 2500-2700 fps, the groups open up and sometimes don't even make it on paper.

I had consider having it bored out to a 35 Whelen but for now I want to stick to 30-06.  Am I looking at a new barrel?  New Criterion barrels are available I think.  Is there something I am missing?  Should I just be content with shooting cast?  Which I love by the way.

Thanks for your time,

Steve in N CA

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Idahocaster posted this 20 August 2022

If you can find some .310 or .311 bullets for the 7.65 Russian or .303 British they might fit your bore better.

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sghart3578 posted this 21 August 2022

Ric,

You are right.  With 16-18 gr of 2400 and my bullet sized to .312" I get excellent groups.  I guess I am wondering if I will need to re-barrel it if I want to shoot standard 30 cal jacketed.

I am leaning towards leaving it alone and sticking with cast bullets.

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RicinYakima posted this 21 August 2022

You are correct in that the throats are longer on WW2 barrels and spec's allowed larger because of the billions of rounds of ammo loaded. Springfields, other than the 03A4, were mostly made for training, non-infantry troops like engineers, MP's and Artillery. 

If the bedding is good, you should be able to shoot sub-2 MOA groups with 16 grains of 2400 and your bullet. 

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RicinYakima posted this 21 August 2022

There is no reason to rebarrel if you are going to shoot cast. If you want to shoot jacketed and not CBA matches, you can rebarrel. It is not the barrel, but the chambering dimensions that are not US Military. Or you can buy a new US Military surplus barrel for less than a Criterion barrel. 

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sghart3578 posted this 21 August 2022

Thanks Tom.  I like the looks of the 1903 ladder sights but I started looking at an 03A3 specifically for the peep sights for the same reason.

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sghart3578 posted this 28 August 2022

Thanks for all of the help guys.  After shooting it again I have decided to send it off to JES for a re-bore to 35 Whelen.

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sghart3578 posted this 21 August 2022

That's a good idea, thank you.

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Bud Hyett posted this 21 August 2022

Are you going to compete in Military Rifle Cast Bullet competition? The Criterion barrels are not allowed as of now. If you are not going to compete, then the Criterion barrel is a good buy. (My thought is they are military specification and should be allowed under that consideration.)

You can develop a heavy cast bullet load at higher velocity that you can use deer hunting. Then you can lower the velocity for pratice. 

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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Tom Acheson posted this 21 August 2022

I have a 1903 that was a “sporterized” thing. I wanted a “real military” 1903 so I converted it back. That hard to use rear ladder sight was found. The barrel is a 4-groove Sedgley from fleabay, which supposedly is a barrel maker that some of our Marines requested that armorers use in their rebuilds during the war. The rifle left the factory in 1918. On fleabay I found a Rock Island 1917 stock.

It has been shot in several CBA matches but that rear sight is a real challenge for 75-year old eyes!

Tom

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Wineman posted this 24 August 2022

I got a cut down front sight in USMC width from Bill Bentz [email protected]">[email protected] I did some calculations to find out how short is should be and he was anxious about the height. At 100 I usually use 500 yards. It may not be much less than an issue sight, but in my M1903a3 it is nice.

Dave

 

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