PDA

View Full Version : Thinking of sporterizing my 03-A3


zx10r203
10-12-2012, 11:49 PM
My father-in-law passed away and left me his 03-A3 that he used in shooting competition when he was enlisted. I would like to start hunting and would need a rifle and since the 03-A3 is in 30-06 it should be good for hog and a few other types of game and also some target shooting from what I have been told. As my budget does not allow me to buy another rifle at the moment, sporterizing the 03-A3 came up.

Seem a video on the net that if I am careful enough I should be able to remove the original wood stock (which is not my favorite, sorry I like things modern), sporterize the 03-A3 without any permanent modifications and if needed eventually return to original format.

Any opinions on this??

Also has anyone done this?? As I have mentioned above, this is just a though. I would like more to keep it original in the family than sporterizing it.


Additional info:

He was with the Navy.
From what my father-in-law told which wasn't much and I was not able to get much information as the type of cancer he had was extremely aggressive and passed away within 5 months of diagnosis. As I was not expecting to inherit the firearms left to me I did not think of asking for more info.

The little info that he told me was that he signed up for the shooting competition per request of one of his officers. At the time, he did not have a good rifle to shoot and went into a pawn shop near where he was stationed and picked up the 03-A3 for $20. He told me that rifle performed amazingly and won more than a few competitions.

I will be getting it checked out as some of you recommended, just don't know where. I am in the central cal area (Turlock/Modesto/Tracy area). The rifle has not been shot in over 30 years, does anyone know of a gunsmith that I could send it out to get it checked out so that its safe to shoot?????





UPDATE*************************************
Thanks for all the help. I'll be keeping the rifle as is. Got some good new s this morning since I was last on here and turns out I'll be picking up another rifle to use for hunting and or target shooting.

Last night I sat down at my workbench and really took the time to look at the 03 go over it and see it for what it was, a piece of my family's history, part of what made my father-in-law who he was. I'll be keeping the rifle and will send it out to get it checked to make sure its safe to shoot.

Once again thanks for all the replies replies, suggestions, opinions, and help.

Here are a few pictures I just took since some of you wanted to know what it looks like:

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l113/zx10r203/Guns/03-A3/DSC_1205_zpsace2d9ee.jpg
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l113/zx10r203/Guns/03-A3/DSC_1206_zps9d043989.jpg
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l113/zx10r203/Guns/03-A3/DSC_1213_zpsd9270508.jpg
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l113/zx10r203/Guns/03-A3/DSC_1218_zps891ac05e.jpg
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l113/zx10r203/Guns/03-A3/DSC_1233_zps0c7f82e7.jpg

Maddog5150
10-12-2012, 11:53 PM
I had to delete and re-write my response a few times. Screw it. I dont want to get banned. have fun creating an abortion. Even though you can reverse it, it's a crime to do that. Just take it hunting as is and use irons.

zx10r203
10-13-2012, 12:11 AM
I had to delete and re-write my response a few times. Screw it. I dont want to get banned. have fun creating an abortion. Even though you can reverse it, it's a crime to do that. Just take it hunting as is and use irons.
Deleted

badreligion
10-13-2012, 12:15 AM
If it was truly a rifle that was used in military shooting competitions it may have been worked over by military armorers who made it a more accurate rifle than regular issued weapons. If that is the case it may be more valuable than you think. I would try and get some more info on your father-in-law and the rifle before doing anything. Depending on the information you find you may want to have a professional take a look at the rifle and get informed as to what you really have. A rifle with a known history is worth a lot more than a rifle without one.

I have a 1917 eddystone rifle that belonged to my great grandfather then my father and now me. Amazingly it is a nearly parts matching gun except the front sight and the stock with British and American proof marks. The original stock was removed from the rifle and a Monty Carlo sporterized stock fitted in its place. Luckily it was not chopped up for mounting a scope but it kills the value of the gun, and it is difficult to find a proper replacement.

Was your Father-in-law a Marine? Are you left eye dominant by chance?

Maddog5150
10-13-2012, 12:18 AM
I have a 1917 eddystone rifle that belonged to my great grandfather then my father and now me. Amazingly it is a nearly parts matching gun except the front sight and the stock with British and American proof marks. The original stock was removed from the rifle and a Monty Carlo sporterized stock fitted in its place. Luckily it was not chopped up for mounting a scope but it kills the value of the gun, and it is difficult to find a proper replacement.


I'm extremely jealous! Thats a hell of a rifle :)

tujungatoes
10-13-2012, 12:28 AM
Provided that you 03 isn't a total basket case you'd probably find more than a few people willing to trade you another bolt gun for it. I always hate to see a nice old rifle get butchered.

Hell...You might be able to sell it and buy a savage axis and a halfway decent scope that would serve your purpose.

durandal
10-13-2012, 12:36 AM
Do NOT sporterize that rifle for the love of god and all that is holy

zx10r203
10-13-2012, 12:40 AM
Thanks for the helpful responses.
He was with the Navy.
From what my father-in-law told which wasn't much and I was not able to get much information as the type of cancer he had was extremely aggressive and passed away within 5 months of diagnosis. As I was not expecting to inherit the firearms left to me I did not think of asking for more info.

The little info that he told me was that he signed up for the shooting competition per request of one of his officers. At the time, he did not have a good rifle to shoot and went into a pawn shop near where he was stationed and picked up the 03-A3 for $20. He told me that rifle performed amazingly and won more than a few competitions.

I will be getting it checked out as some of you recommended, just don't know where. I am in the central cal area (Turlock/Modesto/Tracy area). The rifle has not been shot in over 30 years, does anyone know of a gunsmith that I could send it out to get it checked out so that its safe to shoot?????

gat
10-13-2012, 2:01 AM
Can an 03-A3 handle modern 30-06? I'm not sure...

Noonanda
10-13-2012, 6:57 AM
Can an 03-A3 handle modern 30-06? I'm not sure...

an 03-A3 will handle any modern day 30-06 load with no issues, you are thinking of low numbered M-1903 springfields. Also if it is a HP match rifle, I would recommend you sell it and buy a Savage or something that you wouldnt have to modify to take hunting.

Pics would help

toby
10-13-2012, 7:54 AM
Do as you please with the rifle, it's yours and if you don't care for it's current configuration then change it to suit your needs. Don't mind the naysayers or the purists.

zfields
10-13-2012, 9:26 AM
Please dont.....

Suppressive-Fire
10-13-2012, 9:31 AM
I have a sporterized 03-a3 if you want to trade your non sporterized?

fcr
10-13-2012, 9:33 AM
I have my fathers 03 too. He got it with the intentions of "sporterizing" it in 1960. He never did and I am glad. I would just leave it alone if I were you.

Cessnapilot89
10-13-2012, 9:38 AM
Please don't sporterize.

Lone_Gunman
10-13-2012, 9:45 AM
Please, please, please, please don't sporterize it. Keep it as is and pass it on to your son.

Bhobbs
10-13-2012, 9:57 AM
You can buy a modern hunting rifle with a scope for a couple hundred bucks. Why ruin a piece of history when you can get a hunting rifle so cheap? It's not like back in the day where 03s are 30 bucks.

Marcus von W.
10-13-2012, 10:53 AM
Some photos would be nice.

The beautiful thing about an 03-A3 is that you can carefully remove the stock, drop it into a nice sporter stock, and you have a handy, accurate, light, shooter for hunting, target practice, whatever. They have acceptable sights and use the ever popular, available, and affordable .30-06 cartridge.

Then you can take it out of the sporter stock, put it back in the original military stock, and no harm done.

Just don't drill and tap it or do any other damage like that that can't be reversed.

Since many 03 rifles used as shooters or competition rifles have already been modified as far as the sights go, I gotta ask - does this one still have the original military rear sight, or has it been drilled and tapped for something like a Lyman 49-S adjustable rear sight?

Marcus von W.
10-13-2012, 11:38 AM
When you say "not worth much", that is a relative term. Good shootable, original condition and configuration A3's are running from the $500-$600 range up to around $800, maybe a little more for really pristine and original examples.

Even restorable sporterized ones are in the $350 range, as you will generally spend around $250 for a nice stock set and the hardware.....stocks and handguards are out there, but nice bands and swivels are getting harder to find.

Over the years, I've restored A LOT of sporterized '03's and 03A3's. Many were done back in the 1940's-1950's era, and had some beautiful period sporter stocks. Examples of these show up once in a while on the various gun & parts sales sites or auction sites.

There are also some very nice ones made and available today, including classic and simple ones that are functional and attractive but don't cost a small fortune. Various sporterized original stocks, ranging from simply cut down with a hacksaw to very nicely done with buttpads and checkering, are also available. If you look around, you can often find one of these in the $25-$50 range, and while plain and economical, these do work well. The people who originally designed the 03 were shooters and marksmanship was viewed as a necessary and valuable military skill back then, and even the old straight stocks, as well as the later full or semi pistol grip "C" stocks, reflect this.

Divernhunter
10-13-2012, 11:45 AM
I am in Denair and would be happy to look at the rifle. I have a friend who is a retired gunsmith and gun shop owner for many years. I could get him to look at it also.
Remember that sporterizing a rifle is the process of taking a $400-1000 rifle spending several hundred dollars modifying it into a $150 rifle. Not worth it. You can buy what would actually be a better hunting rifle for about $300. Savage are excellent, so are T/C, Marlin(who are closing their doors),Stevens and Ruger who have econimical rifles of good or better quality. Stay away from the Rem 710 or 770.

zfields
10-13-2012, 11:49 AM
I am in Denair and would be happy to look at the rifle. I have a friend who is a retired gunsmith and gun shop owner for many years. I could get him to look at it also.
Remember that sporterizing a rifle is the process of taking a $400-1000 rifle spending several hundred dollars modifying it into a $150 rifle. Not worth it. You can buy what would actually be a better hunting rifle for about $300. Savage are excellent, so are T/C, Marlin(who are closing their doors),Stevens and Ruger who have econimical rifles of good or better quality. Stay away from the Rem 710 or 770.

Since when is Marlin closing its doors?

Sent from my fingers, to your face.

rojocorsa
10-13-2012, 12:00 PM
Just sell/trade it for a gun that more closely fits your needs.

Or hunt with it in its stock form. People carried it in war like that, so it's no big deal.

rusty815
10-13-2012, 12:45 PM
I don't really care whether or not someone wants to sporterize a military rifle, but in this case I'll make an exception. The 03-A3 is a killer rifle, even when left all stock, and this one was used in competitions, which adds more to its value. Even though there are many rifles like it, this one actually has history, sporterizing it would be like taking that history away. I don't mind people sporterizing stuff, but when it has a history, and a good and traceable one, then it should be left alone.

Mossy Man
10-13-2012, 12:56 PM
Don't do it!

here's mine :)

Very accurate, very powerful (my shoulder can only take about 20 shots before I need to put it down and go back to my AR-15...which then feels like a pellet gun)
VERY cool gun in its stock form

http://i.imgur.com/Ocg4D.jpg

missing a screw still though up front

klewan
10-13-2012, 1:51 PM
Seem a video on the net that if I am careful enough I should be able to remove the original wood stock (which is not my favorite, sorry I like things modern), sporterize the 03-A3 without any permanent modifications and if needed eventually return to original format.

Doesn't anybody actually read what he wrote? He's bright enough to know not to do a permanent change to the gun. No wonder Cali is sooo messed up.....

a1c
10-13-2012, 2:13 PM
Surely you can find $200 for a sporterized Enfield or such.

Noonanda
10-13-2012, 2:17 PM
Doesn't anybody actually read what he wrote? He's bright enough to know not to do a permanent change to the gun. No wonder Cali is sooo messed up.....

if all he is wanting to do is change the stock then that really aint sporterizing it. Dont know what he is going to do for an optic if he wants to use it for hunting, the 03a3 non-permanant scope mounts out there are not very good, so if he wants good optics he will have to drill and tap, not much of a choice in the matter

zx10r203
10-13-2012, 4:57 PM
Thanks for all the help. I'll be keeping the rifle as is. Got some good new s this morning since I was last on here and turns out I'll be picking up another rifle to use for hunting and or target shooting.

Last night I sat down at my workbench and really took the time to look at the 03 go over it and see it for what it was, a piece of my family's history, part of what made my father-in-law who he was. I'll be keeping the rifle and will send it out to get it checked to make sure its safe to shoot.

Once again thanks for all the replies replies, suggestions, opinions, and help.

Here are a few pictures I just took since some of you wanted to know what it looks like:

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l113/zx10r203/Guns/03-A3/DSC_1205_zpsace2d9ee.jpg
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l113/zx10r203/Guns/03-A3/DSC_1206_zps9d043989.jpg
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l113/zx10r203/Guns/03-A3/DSC_1213_zpsd9270508.jpg
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l113/zx10r203/Guns/03-A3/DSC_1218_zps891ac05e.jpg
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l113/zx10r203/Guns/03-A3/DSC_1233_zps0c7f82e7.jpg

klewan
10-13-2012, 6:08 PM
Definitely not the OEM sight; my 03-A3 has the stock peep sight. Redfield target sight. How does that mount? Just remove the stock one and install that one?

TheHammerOfTruth
10-13-2012, 11:41 PM
Please...dont sporterize that rifle, ever.

Wrangler John
10-14-2012, 3:02 AM
Good man. Keeping a family rifle, especially a '03 in it's original condition is wise. There are numerous inexpensive rifles on the market today, the Ruger American and Weatherby Vanguard immediately come to mind, that will scratch your itch for something modern and take any game.