Gun and Game Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A few years back, I purchased a Winchester Model 70 chambered for the .270 caliber. I liked absolutely nothing about the gun, from its stock, to its trigger, to the caliber itself. For me and others, the gun never shot better than 4-inches at 100 yards. I always thought Winchester made good rifles, but I think this was apart of a bad batch (I was far from Pre-64).

I believe that a gun only contributes so much to accuracy. The shooter has to be decent, and they also have to have confidence with the rifle. Confidence comes with practice, and practice is difficult when shooting a .270 (unless you handload, which I don't). After missing a nice deer this year, I became fed up with the gun, and decided to trade it in.

I went to a local gun dealer, which is probably the worst place I could go (as far as getting a good deal for my rifle goes). I originally paid $200 for the gun, which seemed like a good deal at the time (although I wouldn't may $100 had I known how bad I'd be with it), and this dealer said that he'd give me $300 for it. Heck, I couldn't turn down that, I just made $100.

I began searching his gun rack...figuring I might as well get another gun while I'm there, and I had him list off the bolt action rifles that he had. After he got done listing off a bunch of 300mag's and 7mm mags, I noticed a gun that he didn't list set on a different rack. He said it was a military gun, Springfield M1903-A3 that had been put in a sport stock, and said he'd give me the gun and $50 for my rifle (meaning the 03 was only $250).

Wow...how could I turn that down? My goal was to get a new bolt action rifle that I could shoot more often (cheaper bullets). I figured I'd need to get either a .308 or 30-06. This filled both the need of a new gun and the new cheaper caliber, and also added some history to it.

When I got home, I noticed the scope was hiding the model number, so I removed the scope. What I found was the following:

(Drill Hole) A N T (Drill Hole) F E

I didn't have a clue what it was, and went online searching...what I found kind of sucked. I bought a Santa Fe 1903-A3 rifle, and learned that it had no history behind it what so ever. This really didn't bother me, since I just wanted a gun that I could have fun with, shoot decently, and shoot for cheaper than the .270. What upset me most was one review on how the receivers have been know to blow up and potentially cause injury.

The gun is in very nice condition, the barrel is like a mirror, and everything else seems nice. It was a tad dirty when I got it (like 30 rounds worth of residue), but it cleaned up nicely.

What do you guys think...For $250, did I get ripped off? Am I going to die if I shoot this? Is this gun going to be good enough to hunt deer with at 100-200 yards?

Thanks for reading :D :thanks:
 

·
I can justify anything.
Joined
·
4,879 Posts
What do you guys think...For $250, did I get ripped off? Am I going to die if I shoot this? Is this gun going to be good enough to hunt deer with at 100-200 yards?

Thanks for reading :D :thanks:
I'd take part of that left over $50 and have a reputable gunsmith give it a good once over. If he gives it a thumbs up, shoot it.. If nothing else, it's a good price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,237 Posts
Since it is a cast receiver I've heard pros and cons. The Cast receiver is strong and tough, ie the Thompson contender, Investment castings have proven themselves...The good news is that one is for sale on Gunsamerica.com for 595.00 . The other good news is that they were built with all USGI parts except the receiver, so it could be parted out bringing 400-500 or more for parts if they are in great shape, no pits ,rust or refinish.Stocks in good shape,sights, bolts are all worth money, check the barrel for ordnance markings, and if the bore is excellent, and it is dated, will bring a good chunk of change !
Some Santa fe rifles were found to be very accurate, and I have never heard of one blowing up anywhere.
Rich
 

·
Resident Sasquatch
Joined
·
9,496 Posts
The only probs. that I've ever heard of in an '03a3 is that some of the early mods weren't heat treated properly. do a Google search for the numbers. I think you did good, but if you are unsure, i've got a nice Mauser I'll trade ya!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I'd take part of that left over $50 and have a reputable gunsmith give it a good once over. If he gives it a thumbs up, shoot it.. If nothing else, it's a good price.
I thought about doing that, but the guy that sold this to me is a gunsmith, and told me that everything he sells is guaranteed to work, and to bring it back right away if it doesn't.
I'm going to classify blowing up in my face as not working...so I'm not worried about losing money, just injuring myself.

I brought the gun out today and decided to give it a mini stress test. I threw on some safety glasses, gloves, and took 10 rounds of 150-grain Remington Express Core-Lokt ammo. I had put a new scope on the rifle, but had no intentions of sighting it in today, I just wanted to see that it all operated fine. I put some orange clays on a big dirt pile to give me something to aim for and loaded 5 rounds into the box magazine.

...Bang.

A good bang, the gun shot perfectly (I missed the clay by inches from 50 yards, I could tell because it flew feet in the air). I breathed a sigh of relief and loaded the next bullet. I got the same result.

I continued to load bullet after bullet, firing at roughly 10 second intervals. Each bullet seemed to consistently miss by just enough to make the clay fly in the air.

My question is, the gun fired flawlessly...but does that mean that I'm out of the woods as far as having the gun not being dangerous? Can the gun suddenly break without warning? I know all things break, and a crack wouldn't bother me, but a receiver blowing off would bother me :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,237 Posts
If you stick with Factory 150 Gr. loads which will stress the reciever the least, You should be fine. Stay away from Hot Loads, and Military ammo, if you feel uncomfortable . Investment cast receivers are tough and durable and really have to be stressed to fracture. It sounds to me like you have a shooter or some trading material whatever you decide. Take a very high power magnifying glass and inspect the receiver carefully from the Barrel breech back inside and out and look for any stress cracks any size that may be visible. Small stress cracks will normally appear if the gun has been overloaded at any time ,if you find any, Mark them and return the rifle to the dealer as a safety precaution.
Rich
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for responding. Since all I really plan to use this rifle for are deer and targets, I will probably stick with 150-grain ammo. If I get another moose permit, I may use 165-grain, but it would be for 1 shot hopefully, so I wouldn't be afraid to do that.

You mention to stay away from hot loads and military ammo. What would you classify this stuff as? AMM-681 - Ammo .30/06 FMJ 145gr 20-Rd Silver Bear 20 Rounds Box - Manufactured by: DKG

Aside from shooting dirty, would this ammo push my gun past its limits?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,237 Posts
165 gr. would be fine to shoot as well as 180 gr. Factory Load hunting ammo.
I would stay away from that Russian ball ammo , it not recommended for a Garand so that says it may be Hot ammo. The Russians use a double base powder that develops high pressures in some guns. Find some M2 Military ball ammo and that will be OK to shoot. The Garand stuff is fine !
lots of it available right now cheap!
Rich
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I know this question belongs in the ammo section, but do any of you have any recommendations on where I can find cheap 30-06 ammo of any quantity that would be safe to shoot from my 1903-A3?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
935 Posts
I know you said you don't reload...But...You can start reloading SAFELY, for just a small investment. You can make whatever you want for your 30.06. All you gotta' do is get a reloading manual, a press, a set of 30.06 dies, a powder scale and a priming tool and you're set. You can expand/upgrade at a later date. If you'll go to MidwayUSA, and look around, you'll be surprised at what you can do. Now, there's some folks that are gonna' tell you that you need 2 or 3 reloading manuals, and all kinds of extra stuff. What I'm telling you is "bare bones" ...to get started. Study the manual and it will tell you exactly what to do and what not to do. Stay with the manual, and you can't go wrong. Try it, you'll like it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for the advice.

I've always wanted to get into reloading, and might have to look into that.

Aside from buying the equipment, would the actual purchasing of brass, primers, bullets, and powder be as cheap as 30 cent mil-surplus ammo?

Even if it's a bit more, I like the idea of being able to make my own hunting ammo and know that it will be consistent.

If anyone else has any other advice on hand loading, please post, I'd love to hear it...I'm really interested now :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
935 Posts
If you buy it, new brass is the most expensive part of reloading...normally runs between 12 and 15 cents each.But don't sweat that, brass is easy to come by.Range brass is easy to get. use your shell casings from your preveiously fired rounds...look on E-Bay, heck it's everywhere. Powder will run you approximately 17 to 20 dollars a pound (7000) grains. Shop around for best prices...primers are about $20 per 1000. YES, YOU CAN RELOAD FOR LESS THAN 30 CENTS A ROUND. bUT, ACCURACY IS WHAT YOU'RE AFTER. i DON'T RECKON i'D BE HUNTING WITH MIL-SURP AMMO ON ACCOUNT OF IT'S USUALLY FULL METAL JACKET AND DOESN'T EXPAND WHEN IT HITS THE ANIMAL. Dammm, I didn't know I'd hit the caps lock button. Sorry 'bout that. Where are you located?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No no, I won't be hunting with Mil-surplus ammo, just plinking. I always use Remington or Federal ammo with a good lead tip when I hunt. I'm located in Maine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,237 Posts
I believe you can find M2 Ball Surplus at "centerfire systems", "Cheaper than dirt", Sportsmans guide, J&G sales, all have M2 ball surplus ammo right now.
They will ups ship it right to your door !
Rich
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,219 Posts
CMP has the cheapest noncorrosive ammo available. Personally if you could I would return the rifle and get your money back or trade for something else. Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My first thoughts were to return it, but after shooting it the other day, I really don't want to. The trigger had a clean break to it, and the shots consistently missed their targets (I wasn't going for accuracy, but the precision was nice).

I'll have to check the receiver over for cracks, if I see any, then I will return it. As of right now though, I'm liking the gun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
589 Posts
Yeah 1903A3's are sweet. My girlfriend's Father lets me use his sporterized 1903 (I was a bit upset at what he had done with the rifle) but anyway it is outstanding. the past few years I have used 180 grn Federal Fusions for white tail hunting and omg lol those things are sweet but kinda pricey $21 per box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah, hunting rounds for the 30-06 can range from $10 to $35 per 20, but I've found nice military surplus ammo for under 30 cents a shot. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
How does CMPs work? I tried looking at their website, but it looks confusing. Do I need to become a member?
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top