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#5412684 - 07/11/11 07:26 PM Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action
SLDUCK Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 495
What do you guys think about a Springfield as a custom action. I was thinking 35 Whelen as the chambering.
Give me the pros and cons

thanks

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#5413405 - 07/12/11 05:39 AM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: SLDUCK]
sactoller Online   content
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 09/06/06
Posts: 6725
Loc: Weatherford, TX
Cool chambering for that action...no doubt about that.

Cons....who cares? If you want it, build it, just be ready to spend some money and don't be in a hurry.

Take lots of pictures!

grin
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#5413424 - 07/12/11 05:44 AM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: sactoller]
eclectic Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 494
If you are going to do a Springfield, try to find a 1903 double heat treat action.

They are slicker working and do not require nearly as much outside clean up to remove tooling marks. Also, the bottom metal is not stamped as is the 03A3 bottom metal.

Personally, I think they make a much nicer looking custom rifle than the Mauser.

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#5413502 - 07/12/11 06:17 AM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: eclectic]
ratsmacker Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 6797
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
It's up to you, of course, but it'll take a lot of money to put into a 70+ year old action, versus rebarrelling a commercial rifle with all the extras and doodads already stock items.
It would make a nice classic-styled sporter, but so do a lot of the usual suspects, for less money, trouble, and time.
I'd probably shop around, find a used Vanguard or something, and have it rebarrelled. No panache, of course, but the goodies you'd pay to have put on the 03A3, are already there, and possibly better engineered.

Then again, I'm a tightwad.
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#5413626 - 07/12/11 07:09 AM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: ratsmacker]
safariman Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 06/18/05
Posts: 25281
Loc: All over the place! missing Af...
PLUS: You get a really cool lookin control round feed action action. Big pluses.

Minus: A bit spendy to make it scope and sporter freindly.

Biggest minus: REALLY slow lock time. (long firing pin fall)
_________________________
LOVE God, LOVE your family, LOVE your country, LIKE guns and sports.

Show me good wood wrapped around a CRF action, chambered in a cartridge that is among the fastest of its caliber, or don't show me at all 'cause you did it all wrong.

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#5413801 - 07/12/11 08:18 AM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: safariman]
erich Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 1695
Loc: wash. state
About 30 years ago I had an 03 Springfield custom in 358 Norma. It had the cocking piece removed and the safety changed to on the trigger(after market trigger) it was a very nice rifle and very accurate. Used to load 148gr Double Ended Wadcutters over a few grains of 700x and killer a truck load of squirels and snowshoe rabbits. After a few years of not getting drawn for a moose tag I sold it
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After the first shot the rest are just noise.

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#5414300 - 07/12/11 11:20 AM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: erich]
taylorce1 Online   content
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 01/02/08
Posts: 1828
Loc: On the Santa Fe Trail
I've got a .35 Whelen on a 1903 action. I really like it but I didn't pay a lot for it. Think I've got $850 in it with scope, if you hang around GB enough you'll find one sooner or later.







Edited by taylorce1 (07/12/11 11:25 AM)
Edit Reason: add pics
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#5414737 - 07/12/11 01:48 PM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: taylorce1]
safariman Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 06/18/05
Posts: 25281
Loc: All over the place! missing Af...
NICE looking hunting rifle! A real hunters tool with panache, style and class in spades, that one.
_________________________
LOVE God, LOVE your family, LOVE your country, LIKE guns and sports.

Show me good wood wrapped around a CRF action, chambered in a cartridge that is among the fastest of its caliber, or don't show me at all 'cause you did it all wrong.

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#5416319 - 07/12/11 09:27 PM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: safariman]
1096here Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 04/30/11
Posts: 1116
Loc: Plymouth County, Ia.
I've got a 1903 made in 1918. My dad bought it for me when I was sixteen. Previous owner cut down the stock, altered the bolt and had the bolt jeweled, drilled and tapped for scope and blued. I bought a AA Fajen stock for it. Back then the California style was popular so I had rosewood forend (45 degree) and grip cap installed. I also had a Bueler safety installed. Did the inletting and finishing myself. Had a POS scope on it that I have since replaced with a Nikon.
I originally finished it with a high gloss spray on.
A couple of years ago I took it out of the safe and sanded off the shiny finish. I also reshaped the grip to eliminate the "hook" that it came with.
I finished it with Tru-oil and it really looks nice. I keep thinking about eliminatin the monte carlo but when I look at the beautiful wood it would take off I leave it be.
Wonderful rifle. It would be the last high=power I would sell.
If you want to do a custom go for it. I personally would leave the cocking piece on. It makes an '03 what it is.

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#5423577 - 07/15/11 09:29 AM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: 1096here]
mart Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 03/05/03
Posts: 1528
Loc: Wasilla, Alaska
Nearly all the pre WWII custom gun makers used the Springfield; Sedgley, Griffin and Howe, Hoffman etc. I would certainly not be afraid of one and coupled with a classic cartridge you would have a custom rifle that exudes class and nostalgia. Your choice of calibers doesn't get any more classic. Kudos. Check out the classic rifles section in the double gun shop forum. There are many custom pre-war Springfields pictured in that section of the forum. I would also recommend Michael Petrov's book, "Custom Gunmakers of the 20th Century". It would give you lots history on the custom Springfield as well as many ideas. It is available through Precision Shooting magazine. I wish you well with this endeavor. Keep us updated.

Mart
_________________________
"a large number of red blooded Americans have been striving to make us a Nation of Rifleman. We have succeeded. May we ever remain thus, for the privilege to bear, and the ability to use weapons is the greatest guarantee of Liberty." Townsend Whelen

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#5424314 - 07/15/11 02:11 PM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: SLDUCK]
efw Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 11171
Loc: Mi.
safariman hit the major points, though I don't think the lock time is long enough to matter on a hunting rifle.

Think of it as an American mauser which is all it is. You don't hear anyone balk at customizing mausers!?!?!?

I love Springfield 03-A3s, personally and have 2. One is a sporterized Smith-Corona that has never been D&T'd but wears a williams peep & shoots 200 gr Speers into tighter groups than I ever though I could achieve with a peep sight. It also has some gorgeous wood.

The other is a Remington with a Sako take-off barrel chambered to 6mm-250 with a nice old fajen stock. It was put together by a benchrest 'smith in Tenn and shoots extremely well. I purchased it here from a gunsmith who'd taken it as payment for work and it was rough. I had it parkerized and refinished the stock when the first group on paper was this:



She won't win beauty contests like your custom likely will, but I LOVE her and I think its proof that these rifles can be built accurate!
_________________________
I need a drink of something like water
I need a taste of love divine
Sometimes you just gotta do what you oughta
Sometimes you bring up the water when the well is dry

-Buddy Miller

PYCOTC...

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#5424537 - 07/15/11 03:45 PM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: efw]
safariman Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 06/18/05
Posts: 25281
Loc: All over the place! missing Af...
efw, I think that Sprigfield sporter is right handsome. A nice hnting rifle in any camp. If/when the barrel starts to show some wear it could be re-chambered to 6mm remington (6x57)or 6mmAI to clean up the throat, getting the throat then into nice clean rifling again and up the bullet speeds a goodly amount quite easily with no other changes and rock on for a long, long time.

Yous is about what a hunting rifle should look like, congrats.

Have any dead critter shots with it?
_________________________
LOVE God, LOVE your family, LOVE your country, LIKE guns and sports.

Show me good wood wrapped around a CRF action, chambered in a cartridge that is among the fastest of its caliber, or don't show me at all 'cause you did it all wrong.

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#5424768 - 07/15/11 05:10 PM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: safariman]
efw Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 11171
Loc: Mi.
Great minds do indeed think alike; my 'smith has a 6x57AI... although I must admit I'd thought of something even faster than your suggestions (put this down as a FIRST EVER! wink ) with a 6-06.

I shot a big fat 'chuck off a client's lawn with it from about 120 yards and even w/ the Weaver 6x I've whacked more than a few gallon milk jugs at 350+.

It has a slow-twisted barrel and favors 75s (the pic was shot w/ Hornady's 75 gr HP) but it does ok w/ 85 gr HPBTs & 90 gr NBTs. One thing I've been very surprised at is the performance of Ramshot Hunter in this cartridge. I thought it'd be too slow, but it delivers top velocities w/ heavier bullets and decent accuracy.

Being my first wildcat, I've locked the bolt a couple of times working up loads w/ RL15 but Hunter gives higher velocities and a lot less pressure.

Thanks for the compliments Mark!
_________________________
I need a drink of something like water
I need a taste of love divine
Sometimes you just gotta do what you oughta
Sometimes you bring up the water when the well is dry

-Buddy Miller

PYCOTC...

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#5434948 - 07/18/11 10:33 PM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: mart]
jt402 Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 07/25/10
Posts: 1632
Mine is an engraved 03 from the 50s-60s era likely done in occupied Japan. Beautifully grained maple with rosewood forend and cap. Smooth, shoots decent (about 1 1/4" + or- @100w/most factory '06 ammo/ The downer is the stock is reminiscent of Weatherbys (less Monte Carlo, but still angular and highly polished. ) Picked it up for a song at a gun show about 30 years ago. At first glance it looks like a low number. Must have had a little pitting because the first number (a 1, which puts it near a million and a half) was ground, buffed, or polished a little thin. The recoil pad is deteriorating with age. I have a new red Deaccelerator on the bench ready to install when the heat becomes bearable in the garage. IMO a fine hunting rifle. I have no idea who made the barrel, it could even be a reworked military. jack
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#5434990 - 07/18/11 11:33 PM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: jt402]
safariman Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 06/18/05
Posts: 25281
Loc: All over the place! missing Af...
Careful now Jack, some of us LIKE the Weatherby look! smile I am firmly in BOTH camps, love a nice Classic and long to replace the Weatherby Lazermarks I had to sell during my divorce years. I have rifles in my safe that represent both schools of thought and lines, use them and enjoy them all. Would like to see a picture of that '03 of yours if you get the time to post it.
_________________________
LOVE God, LOVE your family, LOVE your country, LIKE guns and sports.

Show me good wood wrapped around a CRF action, chambered in a cartridge that is among the fastest of its caliber, or don't show me at all 'cause you did it all wrong.

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#5435963 - 07/19/11 09:59 AM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: safariman]
458Win Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 01/04/05
Posts: 2443
Loc: AK peninsula
While the long lock time of the 03 may be a handicap on a target or varmint rifle it is no handicap on the game you would likely hunt with the 35 Whelen. In fact it is an asset on rugged hunting rifles as it insures that the rifle fires in cold, wet, filthy conditions.
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Phil Shoemaker
www.grizzlyskinsofalaska.com

Anyone who claims the 30-06 is not effective has either not used one, or else is unwittingly commenting on their marksmanship.

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#5436564 - 07/19/11 01:21 PM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: 458Win]
safariman Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 06/18/05
Posts: 25281
Loc: All over the place! missing Af...
Good point Phil. Probably why the military designed it that way. My 1917 in 338/8mm RemMag was similarly handicapped. The firing pin fall is still a long distance, but is now being propelled by a FS spring that is so stiff it requires one to use a drill press to dis assemble the bolt body and primers crater even if there is no powder or bullet in the case. Sped up the lock time, and it would take a pretty severe set of conditions to cause a failure to go bang.
_________________________
LOVE God, LOVE your family, LOVE your country, LIKE guns and sports.

Show me good wood wrapped around a CRF action, chambered in a cartridge that is among the fastest of its caliber, or don't show me at all 'cause you did it all wrong.

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#5437382 - 07/19/11 05:37 PM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: safariman]
eclectic Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 494
On a v-groove barrel tenon, it is quite common for the major diameter to be cut a little small. The barrel and receiver threads ride up one another aligning the center of the receiver and the barrel somewhat

A square thread lacks this ability to self align. Therefore, it is necessary to cut the major diameter of the barrel tenon to as close a fit to the receiver thread as possible. Otherwise, one risks having firing pin strikes quite a bit off center,

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#5464204 - 07/27/11 08:48 PM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: eclectic]
lawdog44 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/06/06
Posts: 120
Loc: Everett ,PA
This is my old 1929 03 springfield rock island armory she has a 28in douglas xx 1 in 12 twist 6mm-06 dose good job on groundhogs with a 55gr moving at 4300 fps [img]http://s865.photobucket.com/albums/ab220/lawdog44[/img]
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It is better to have it and not need it , than to
need it and not have it ( by master gunsmith & very wise friend )

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#5465569 - 07/28/11 10:01 AM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: mart]
Cag Offline
Member

Registered: 04/06/01
Posts: 191
Loc: Miami, Fl. USA
In have an 03-A3 made by Smith Corona, in 280 Rem. with a 26" Douglas air gauge barrel, put together by a gunsmith in El Paso, Texas named Ron Zerr. I have another 03-A3 made by Remington that I'm working on. I have a nice laminated stock for it and someday I'll rebarrel it.

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#5483178 - 08/02/11 02:22 PM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: mart]
Craigster Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 07/25/05
Posts: 1953
Loc: lost coast ca
Here's one of the two I have.




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#5483462 - 08/02/11 04:02 PM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: Craigster]
DonFischer Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1014
I have a sporterized 1903. Built by Paul Jaegger in 1945.



The scope is a 2 3/4 Redfield I got new in about 1971. The bases and rrings are Redfield from 1945, vertically split. 30-06 but the barrel is about shot. You'd never know it to shoot it though. With 180gr Hornadys it'll sray right at one inch as long as you want to shoot. Though about having it re-bored to a 338-06 but haven't done it yet. Woulkd also kill the value of it. It was appraised in 1993 at $7,500.

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#5483917 - 08/02/11 06:26 PM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: DonFischer]
WoodsyAl Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 02/11/06
Posts: 902
Loc: Minnesota & Mississippi
There are some beautiful rifles in this thread. That's an itch I have that I haven't scratched yet -- a custom on a Springfield action. Maybe there's still time.
_________________________
Al

Spend your life wisely.

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#5486925 - 08/03/11 05:36 PM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: Craigster]
efw Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 11171
Loc: Mi.
Craigster that is STUNNING!

Don Fischer do you get Precision Shooting? Michael Petrov, who is a member here, has a long running series therein on custom gunsmiths and his most recent was Paul Jaeger. That article would make a great companion to your rifle!

BEAUTIFUL RIFLES!!!!!!! I'm seriously turning green here gentlemen!!!!!
_________________________
I need a drink of something like water
I need a taste of love divine
Sometimes you just gotta do what you oughta
Sometimes you bring up the water when the well is dry

-Buddy Miller

PYCOTC...

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#5487799 - 08/03/11 09:28 PM Re: Springfield 1903-03A as a custom base action [Re: efw]
Craigster Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 07/25/05
Posts: 1953
Loc: lost coast ca
Thank you! If anyone is interested I have more pics I could post.

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