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My gunshop has a Remington 1903A3 restored by James River Armoury. He picked it up at the North CMP store, priced at $800. What are your thoughts on them, I had always considered these as not historical, just a new gun of an old model "a step up from Mitchell's Mausers"! It is great looking, all Remington parts, new barrel, new grey parkerizing. I don't have the $800 now, but can always find something to trade in the safe, or just wait for a beat up old "REAL" O3A3.

http://www.jamesriverarmory.com/com...flypage_new.tpl&product_id=258&category_id=31
 

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Im not sure if JRA restores them for CMP. JAMES RIVER ARMORY is close to me and right around the corner from my work. I look at their restored rifles as they set up at all local gunshows. I see them as overpriced for me personally. Its like buying a Mitchell Mauser refurb. They usually are good shooters though and nicely refinished. The price you found it for is much cheaper then what JRA sells them for. I believe they run $1200 on up at the shows.
 

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I would buy it

It is a high quality gun, classic cartridge, ready to work for you if you truly wind up in the rough and tumble, and it will continue to grow in collector value.
 

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Same as the stock on my '43 Remington 03A3.
 

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You can't go wrong with either a Smith Corona or a Remington 1903A3! The straight stock with no finger grooves is correct for the mid WWII rifles. Maybe it is the picture, but the stock seems a bit thick.
 

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03A3 reworks

Careful, boys. These were not made up out of CMP drill rifles, were they? The ones that had the cut-off welded, and a spot weld on the bottom, right where the barrel buts up against the action? When taken out of the wood, these welds are very obvious and are hard to cover up.

I once bought a Smith Corona action advertised as "new in the cosmoline." Well, it had a new park job, and was covered in grease. My 'smith spotted the welding marks after he cleaned the grease off it and mounted my barrel on it. He called me, and I told him to stop everything and dismantle it. I got my money back after a quick call. But I was lucky.

Those drill rifles were selling for between $15-30 dollars, a few years ago, as I recall.

Buyer beware!!

(I had noticed some burning or slag or something in the cutoff slot, but I was too stupid or too unaware or too naïve to realize that a scam was going on. I think that I paid him $150, on GB or AA, can't recall.) Thank goodness my 'smith called me.
 

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I've restored an O3-A3 from CMP Drill Rifle. First took it to the smith concerned about loss of strength from the barrel weld. The ol smith not to worry the weld was small not effect the lug area. Put a NOS 2 groove barrel on it and it can do 1 1/2" group from bench @ 300 yards w/ match ammo. I'm very pleased.
Had the "Stock Doc" make two repairs to stock.
Another enthusiast had a 5 gallon bucket of drill receivers. Some of them were questionable.
There is an 03 at local pawn shop. Minor cracked stock with great finish, excellent RA 43 barrel but the Cut Off area is machined out. Buyer Beware.
Last, bought a Remington Receiver from Aim Surplus. Figured it's a drill restoration but can not see any weld repair or metal discoloration.
 

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I've restored an O3-A3 from CMP Drill Rifle. First took it to the smith concerned about loss of strength from the barrel weld. The ol smith not to worry the weld was small not effect the lug area. Put a NOS 2 groove barrel on it and it can do 1 1/2" group from bench @ 300 yards w/ match ammo. I'm very pleased.
Had the "Stock Doc" make two repairs to stock.
Another enthusiast had a 5 gallon bucket of drill receivers. Some of them were questionable.
There is an 03 at local pawn shop. Minor cracked stock with great finish, excellent RA 43 barrel but the Cut Off area is machined out. Buyer Beware.
Last, bought a Remington Receiver from Aim Surplus. Figured it's a drill restoration but can not see any weld repair or metal discoloration.
I did pretty much the same thing a little over a year ago. A friend gave me an unissued 03A3 barrel and I picked up a drill rifle barrelled receiver off GB at a a reasonable cost. The spot welds were small and I was able cut them with a dremmel. It turned out pretty well and is very accurate. I've got about $275 in it. I consider it a "real" 03A3 that has been "refurbed" by me as the receiver is an orriginal Remkington .Not trying to hijack your thread. JR
 

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My gunshop has a Remington 1903A3 restored by James River Armoury. He picked it up at the North CMP store, priced at $800. What are your thoughts on them, I had always considered these as not historical, just a new gun of an old model "a step up from Mitchell's Mausers"! It is great looking, all Remington parts, new barrel, new grey parkerizing. I don't have the $800 now, but can always find something to trade in the safe, or just wait for a beat up old "REAL" O3A3.

Welcome to James River Armory
I got a '43 Smith Corona '03A3 from JRA. It is my most beautiful and most accurate rifle I have. I have a few people complain that it is too perfect. I tell them it is like a rifle that was set aside and placed in a argon filled glass case by the manufacture 70 years ago. It's perfect and in my opinion there is nothing wrong with that. I have a '43 NPM carbine that has a original WW2 stock and barrel and that is it's own cool as well. I like them both. BTW I paid $850 for my JRA rifle from a dealer of JRA in early 2012.
 

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I would consider them as very good shooters and very nice looking firearms. I would snatch one up for the right price.

I have heard that Hill Side Firearms in Roanoke has two 1903 A4's.I need to check them out. I really don't know their origin our their pedigree so to speak.
 

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I really need to get me an american battlerifle soon to keep all of my foreign ones in-line
 

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I recently purchased a remanufactured Smith Corona that was rebuild to M1903A4 Specs. The only thing I can complain about is a small spot I the left side of the receiver on the rear top edge of the opening. It has a small defect that looks like maybe a bit of broken of metal about 2mm wide and in the shape of a "V" Otherwise the rifle is perfect and with the new Criterion barrel it is a tack driver. I don't have $5000 bucks for a real A4 so I'm happy with what I have.
 

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I owned an 03A3 for approximately one weekend. The one I got had been sporterized. The barrel had been nicely cut and re-crowned and a fiber optic front site had been installed.

Everything looked nice on it (for a sporter), and it certainly wasn't a Bubba job, but that thing kicked harder than any 03 I've ever been around, and I couldn't hit the bullseye on a target at 20 feet with it. I took it back to my buddy and he told me he had had the same problem, but thought it was him. After all, the bore was perfect, the crown was nice and the action was slick.
He took it back where he got it and got an M1917 for the return and a little cash.
I couldn't get him to sell me that one.
 

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I picked up a decent 1903A3 Remington drill rifle barreled receiver at the last Knob Creek machine gun shoot cheap and got a nice barrel off epay. Eventually going to assemble an 03A4 clone with it. Just about every US military rifle from WWII has been arsenal redone at least once. All the Gibbs 03A4 sniper rifles are built from restored drill rifles.They aren't correct collectibles but are nice rifles and good shooters. JR
 
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You guys have me concerned / worried with all of this talk about drill rifles, spot welds etc. I recently bought a 1903A3 through GB and never thought that it could be a drill rifle, I have not fired it yet so it is still just the way I got it. So now I will disassemble it and look for something irregular, where should I be looking and what should I be looking for? Thanks, Roy
 

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I had bought a copy of a M1903A4 and obviously could not dis-assemble at the gun show. When I got home I spotted the evidence. Usually the cut-off area on the frame has grind marks where the weld was removed. The cut-off was welded so one could not remove the bolt. The other mark was a minor grind mark about the size of a BB, where the barrel meets the frame. Mine is at about 7'oclock looking toward the rear sight. The welds would have been tiny, and I agree would not endanger the steel's integrity. I have had no issues with the gun.
 

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Thanks M14man. I disassembled my beautiful 1903 A3 that had been reparkerized and looked very closely at the areas you mentioned, as well as any other place that might have been altered, since it had been reparkerized I thought that might have been done to coverup something, the tooling marks around the barrel and receiver looked normal with no shiny or smooth spots and I could find nothing around the cutoff that looked like it could have been tampered with, so with that in mind I will calm my fears and thank you very much for your help. Roy
 
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