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Posted: 12/17/2005 4:04:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2005 3:44:41 PM EDT by ar15hookem]
All righty now, I finally got a 03A3 at the austin show. Yes I know I should research about them before buying but the price matched the money in my pocket sooooo.........I bought it.

The rifle stock is 90% with a few dings. The parkerizing is 100%.
The rifle barrel is marked RA 5-44 and a flaming cannon ball. I am assuming this means Rock I sland Arsenal May 1944 manufacture. The barrel looks 'new' in the bore and has no scratchs with a perfect crown.
The receiver is marked with the serial number, model 1903a3, and Santa Fe(santas gun toting brother maybe?) And it has the magazine cut off switch and peep sights.

The dealer said it is a 'civilian model' for what ever thats worth but at 350 it was in my range.

I'll try to post a photo when I find batteries for the camera.

Was the 03 manufactured in Santa Fe NM during ww2? The serial number is in the 5000000 range so I am assuming late manufacturing.

Now I have to go back and get som 06 surplus ammo to feed it.

Update Range Report: Well I finally got to fire the rifle. With remington ammo the rifle shot 1 inch groups at 100 yards and with winchester it shot .75 at 100 yards. So I guess I got a keeper even if it is a parts gun.

Only problem I had is when I shot some mil surp ball. I blowed a 12 inch diameter mesqueit tree in half. Finally a fun way to cut wood.

Link Posted: 12/17/2005 4:30:56 PM EDT
Remington Arms, Not Rock Island for the barrel. Never heard of a "civilian model" 03A3, but then, I'm no expert on them.

The highest serial number reported in the two Springfield books I have is 4997367; June 1944 production.

03A3's were not produced in Santa Fe, to the best of my sketchy knowledge.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 4:44:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ar15hookem:
All righty now, I finally got a 03A3 at the austin show. Yes I know I should research about them before buying but the price matched the money in my pocket sooooo.........I bought it.

The rifle stock is 90% with a few dings. The parkerizing is 100%.
The rifle barrel is marked RA 5-44 and a flaming cannon ball. I am assuming this means Rock I sland Arsenal May 1944 manufacture. The barrel looks 'new' in the bore and has no scratchs with a perfect crown.
The receiver is marked with the serial number, model 1903a3, and Santa Fe(santas gun toting brother maybe?) And it has the magazine cut off switch and peep sights.

The dealer said it is a 'civilian model' for what ever thats worth but at 350 it was in my range.

I'll try to post a photo when I find batteries for the camera.

Was the 03 manufactured in Santa Fe NM during ww2? The serial number is in the 5000000 range so I am assuming late manufacturing.

Now I have to go back and get som 06 surplus ammo to feed it.




They are junk. Santa Fe was a rebuilder. Sorry for your loss. I almost got took but was able to return mine and swap it out for a Remington.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 5:24:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2005 5:26:25 PM EDT by glazer1972]
You did not do good my friend. It is a parts gun built on a Santa Fe reciever. You did not get a real 03a3.
Link Posted: 12/17/2005 6:48:35 PM EDT
Oh well, it might not be a 'real' 03a3, but if it goes bang and hits where I aim then I will be satisfied. Even if I am on a budget.
Live and learn, but even as a parts gun it looks clean and the barrel looks good.

Link Posted: 12/17/2005 6:59:15 PM EDT
pics.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 6:51:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ar15hookem:
Oh well, it might not be a 'real' 03a3, but if it goes bang and hits where I aim then I will be satisfied. Even if I am on a budget.
Live and learn, but even as a parts gun it looks clean and the barrel looks good.




It happens. Have the headspace checked.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 9:24:57 AM EDT

Well here is the picture of the rifle. Headspaces is good btw.

After having a bout of insomenia I found out that the Santa Fe on the receiver is for a company that assembled rifles in the 1946 to 52 period. They used new manufactured(by them) receivers on the springfields and they used rewelded receivers to make garands. They then used surplussed parts to assemble the rifles.
From what I have gathered the garands had problems and you can tell them by their weld marks inside the receiver.

Oh well I don't care what anyone says I like the gun. Besides it gives me the excuse to look for a real 03, as if I needed an excuse.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 10:01:33 AM EDT
If you like it, then that's all that matters. Have fun and go shootin'!
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 10:39:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/18/2005 10:39:56 AM EDT by pighelmet]
One thing is nice, you got a SC bolt sleeve thingy on the end of your bolt.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 11:13:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/18/2005 11:14:08 AM EDT by glazer1972]
I did not mean to sound condesending. I am sure it will be fine. I was just thinking that it was $350 when you could have gotten one from the CMP for $400.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 11:37:23 AM EDT
Glazer no offense taken, sorry if my reply sounded like it.
Sometimes you live and learn like I am about 03's. But the way this one looks I could not pass it up, especialy since it was payed for by a friend as a christmas pressent(gave me the cash).

Now that I know what to look for, I have an excuse to get an other one.
Now, what I have seen at the austin shows, for the most part, are butchered sporters or rifles that look like they just came off the beach at bataan. looks like time for a road trip.

Now I have seen 2 1917's that are in good shape. Both were priced at 595 which is a little high for me. Maybe I will get one for my collection(along with a bigger safe).

Link Posted: 12/18/2005 11:46:02 AM EDT
Santa fe and National Ordinance were two makers of "civilian model" 03's...both are done on investment cast recievers, I think. Anyway...that does not mean that these things don't shoot well, you will have to determine that yourself. These things were made during the 50's and 60's because the demand for 03's was high, as were the surplus parts inventories, but there were few origonal rifles yet available to civilians. This was in the time alot of Garands were rewelded and made into "tankers" and so on...I had a Nat. Ord.'03 as sold by Century YEARS ago, and it shot fine and held up just as good as an origonal. I still see them at funshows. They are worht a bit more than what a good parts set would cost, if in good shape.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 10:35:27 AM EDT
Those Santa Fe receivers are indeed cast. QC was spotty from the reports I have heard. Have it checked out. Bent receivers are also known to happen with these rifles.

Also, if you notice, those Santa Fe receivers do not have a stripper clip guide either.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 1:17:13 PM EDT
Well checking it out, the receiver is strait and all parts fit well/tight. Trigger pull is good with no creep. the bolt is solid with no play and locks up nice and tight. Bolt also works butter smooth opening/closing.
Other than the receiver, all parts are marked with a 'R' which I assume is remington parts.
All n All it seems to be a solid little rifle. I will post a range report Sunday after I get to shoot it.
BTW head space is good.

Only thing that is bugging me is the front blade sight. Bad eyes on my part. A littile marker paint dot for aiming should help.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 1:31:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By glazer1972:
I did not mean to sound condesending. I am sure it will be fine. I was just thinking that it was $350 when you could have gotten one from the CMP for $400.



The CMP sold out of 03A3's a week or two ago.
If you don't already have one from there, you ain't gettin' one now.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:50:55 PM EDT
CMP still has the 03 in stock but no a3's. I am really thinking about them to fill my nich for 03's.
03A3 - ok not a real 03a3 butttt

want to get
03- for model side beside models
1917 eddy- I know 2. one is a traing rifle rearsenaled with a new manufacured1944 barrel. Yes it's real.
and if I can find one 1914 enfield.

funds availability pending.


Dang this c&r is getting expensive. The 03a3 now gives me a 38 count btw
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 3:53:04 PM EDT
Update Range Report: Well I finally got to fire the rifle. With remington ammo the rifle shot 1 inch groups at 100 yards and with winchester it shot .75 at 100 yards. So I guess I got a keeper even if it is a parts gun.

Only problem I had is when I shot some mil surp ball. I blowed a 12 inch diameter mesqueit tree in half. Finally a fun way to cut wood.
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