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Thread: Anyone have a good 100 yard target load for an 1903A3

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default Anyone have a good 100 yard target load for an 1903A3

    Just wondering if anyone had worked up a good 100 yard target load for a 1903 A3? I am used to working up Swede Mauser loads.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1903A3 Smith Corona 022.jpg  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    Just wondering if anyone had worked up a good 100 yard target load for a 1903 A3? I am used to working up Swede Mauser loads.

    You might try a few of these:

    http://www.accuratereloading.com/30-06s.html



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    Default 03-A3 Loads

    Don't know if you have a 2, 4, or 6 groove barrel in your Smith-Corona; most likely it is a 4 groove. Probably won't make much difference with jacketed bullets but the 2 groover barrels are more touchy on cast bullets.

    My best target load in my 2 goove Rem. 03-A3 wa 58 gr. of Dupont 4350 with a 150 gr Sierra splizer flat base and a Remington 9 1/2 primer. It would consistantly put the first 3 shots in a 1/2" c-c at 100 yds with 5 shot groups running around an inch. This was with a K4 Weaver scope- I wish my eyes were still good enoguh to shoot that well with that old scope.

    For 100 yd targets consider cast bullets. A lot cheaper to shoot and a lot easier on the gun and your shoulder.


    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    Just wondering if anyone had worked up a good 100 yard target load for a 1903 A3? I am used to working up Swede Mauser loads.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    I have a Remington two groove '03A3 that does pretty well with Lyman 311332 over 22 grains of IMR 4227. 19 grains of 2400 also worked pretty well. No filler with either. Both loads used LC67 match cases and standard CCI LR primers.

    For jacketed, I've had good results with 47.5 grains of IMR 4895 and 150 grain bullets. I just picked up a pound of Varget and am going to start experimenting with that.

    Mike

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    It's been a long time since I shot competitively with an 03A3 (like 35 years), but in my stock rifles 52 grains of IMR-4064 under the Sierra 150 grain flat base was a consistent producer. According to my logs it was only pushing 2900 fps, but I sure had a lot of confidence in that combo. You don't hear many people using 4064 these days, but it has always been a very consistent powder for me in the 06 with both 150's and 165's.

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    Wow! Slick old typewriter, F-P. SC's have High Standard barrels right? Is that a six or a four groove? Sweet.

    The original (for the Garand) M-2 ball was with 4895 and I think about 45 grains. I'd use the Sierra 150 FPJ.
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    Default S-C barrels

    I have read that High Standard made the 4 & 6 groove barrels for S-C. I have a HS marked 03-A3 barrel - I'll have to compare it a HS barrel sometime.

    Don't know who made the 2 groove barrels for S-C - probably HS also.



    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    Wow! Slick old typewriter, F-P. SC's have High Standard barrels right? Is that a six or a four groove? Sweet.

    The original (for the Garand) M-2 ball was with 4895 and I think about 45 grains. I'd use the Sierra 150 FPJ.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    Don't know who made the 2 groove barrels for S-C - probably HS also.
    I may be wrong, but I believe that Remington was the only one that made 2 groove barrels.

    Mike

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    Mine is a 4 groove barrel made for Smith Corona by High Standard. Although it is marked S.C.
    The stock is also a Smith Corona. Although the entire bolt assembly is a Remington, but it appears to have been re-parkerized at the armory level to match the receiver.

    This rifle is a re-arsenal by the Ogden Utah Arsenal. (OG stamped on the left side of the stock.


    I also experimented around with shooting it with the real S.C. stamped 03a3 trigger guard and then shooting the same loads with a milled 1903 trigger guard and floor plate.
    WOW. the solid milled bottom really helps.
    BUT, it disqualifies it for use in as-issued CMP matches.

    Shooting issue sights at 100 yards.


    So far I have tried:

    Using Trimmer Remington Brass and 9.5 primers. No Crimp except 110gr

    110 grain Hornady SP with 55.5gr IMR-4064=3,200 fps & a 3.2inch group.


    220gr Sierra Match King, 56.0gr RL-22 = 2,484fps & a 3.0 inch group


    200gr Sierra Match King, 58.0gr RL-22 = 2,613 fps & a 2.0 inch group.

    NOTE: This load had all shots within 3 fps and shoots one hole group in other rifles.

    165gr Nosler B-Tip, 52.0gr IMR-4064 = 2,840fps & a 3 inch group

    Note: this load shot a half inch group from a 1957 Husqvarna lightweight hunting rifle.

    150gr FMJ-BT REM, 49.0gr H-4895 = 2,780 fps & a 2.5inch group


    150 FMJ-BT, rem, 48.0 gr Benchmark = 2,785 fps and a 3.0 inch group


    168gr Speer Gold Match, 55.0gr H-4831 = 2,357fps and a 2.0 inch grp


    165gr Nosler B-tip, 58.0gr H-4350= 2,860fps and a 2.5 inch group


    180gr Hornady SP-BT, 55.5 grains H-4350 = 2,668fps and a 2.0 inch group



    WITH SOLID FLOOR PLATE:

    200gr Sierra Match King, 53.0gr H-4350= 2,500fps and a 1.5 inch group

    220gr Sierra Match King, 54.0gr H-4831= 2,340 fps and a 1.75 inch group
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1903A3 Smith Corona 006.jpg   350 Rem Mag 006.jpg  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeT View Post
    I may be wrong, but I believe that Remington was the only one that made 2 groove barrels.

    Mike
    Yeah, I think that's right. Some A3's had two groove Remington barrels.
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    Default A3 barrels

    Most orginal Remington A3s are found with 2 groove barrels - RA switched pretty early to the 2 grooves even for the A4 sniper rifles. Then the DCM sold off tons of the surplus 2 groove barrels for $.99 back in the 60s and many found their way to rebarreled guns of all types.

    They aren't found in any reference books I've read but S-C did make 2 groove barrels dated 11-43. These are distinctively different from the Remington barrels lacking the center rest cut and being turned down for the front sight band. I only seen two of them in looking at hundreds or thousands of A3s and barrels and managed to buy both of them - one in TX and one here in AK. Don't know if they were ever installed at the arsenal on a new gun - they may have been sold off as surplus after the war.

    I've been looking for a S-C A3 that needs a barrel to put one on. It would get a lot of double takes as most collectors have never seen or even heard of a 2 groove S-C.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    Default S-C bolt and trigger guard

    Interesting that the milled guard would make a difference. Do they both thighten down corrrectly etc.

    Parkerizing looks orginal with the green tint but hard to tell from a picture.

    I've got some orginal new S-C bolts in blued and parkerized. They are stamped with the "X" on top whatever that was supposed to mean. The other bolt parts are unstamped i.e no "R" or other letters.

    Lyman made an apature from sight for the A3 that replaced the orginal band. They are fun to use but of course not match legal. I also have and adapter that fits over the rear sight male dovertail and allows the use of a Lyman 48 with altering the gun. It is all hand machined and must have cost someone a lot of hours. I figure someone in a tool and die shop made it on night shift.

    For what it is worth the stamped A3 followers are ackowledged to feed better that the milled ones. You can find a lot of old guys shooting guns with milled guards and keeping the stamped followers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    Mine is a 4 groove barrel made for Smith Corona by High Standard. Although it is marked S.C.
    The stock is also a Smith Corona. Although the entire bolt assembly is a Remington, but it appears to have been re-parkerized at the armory level to match the receiver.

    This rifle is a re-arsenal by the Ogden Utah Arsenal. (OG stamped on the left side of the stock.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Smith Corona bolt bodies had either an X mark at the top of the bolt handle where it meets the body, or no mark at all.
    This rifle has a Remington bolt. I have some other Smith Corona bolt parts but still need to find a parkerized bolt body. Most I have seen recently are black.
    I ended up with a black field replacement bolt while looking. It is marked B.F. which means it was made by Bonney Forge and tool.
    B.P. parts were made by Bay Products.
    B & S parts were made by Brown and Sharpe
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    Default 03 A3 bolts

    It is amazing the variety of Springfield bolts that I've seen. Remington alone made quite a variety including the early 03 variants and the later A3 and A4 models in both blue and parkerized finishes.

    I've also found that all the bolts and receivers are not interchangeable even ignoring headspace. Some won't close in some receivers and some are too tight to operate even on the later guns.

    I'll look thru my stuff and see if I have a gray-green parkerized S-C body. I know I have some blued ones - like the Remingtons - and some of the flat black ones.

    There are also bolts marked "CC" for Custom Controls - I got some of those thru the DCM. I don't know if any of the secondary bolts were actually used in production line guns or were only for replacement.


    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    Smith Corona bolt bodies had either an X mark at the top of the bolt handle where it meets the body, or no mark at all.
    This rifle has a Remington bolt. I have some other Smith Corona bolt parts but still need to find a parkerized bolt body. Most I have seen recently are black.
    I ended up with a black field replacement bolt while looking. It is marked B.F. which means it was made by Bonney Forge and tool.
    B.P. parts were made by Bay Products.
    B & S parts were made by Brown and Sharpe
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    MURPHY:

    I pulled some WWII era bullets and weighed the components.

    1940 Frankfurt Arsenal, Silver bullet, reduced recoil Army National Guard Contract M-2.
    Bullet: 151.4 gr, Powder: 49.2gr 4895, primed brass: 191.6gr

    1941 Frankfurt Arsenal M-2, copper jacket
    Bullet: 150.5 gr, Powder: 49.5gr 4895, Primed Brass: 194.8.gr

    1942 Denver Arsenal, M-2 ball
    Bullet: 150.5 gr, Powder: 52.0 gr 4895, Primed Brass: 200.3.gr

    1941 WCC M-2 ball
    Bullet: 149.5 gr, Powder: 51.2gr Ball Powder, Primed Brass: 189.7.gr

    1954 Lake City Arsenal, Post Korean-War M-2 ball
    Bullet: 150.2 gr, Powder: 50.3gr 4895, Primed Brass: 195.8.gr
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    Looks like your handloads are doing what they should. If you are shooting 2.5 inches our less, you're probably on the right track. I used to shoot IMR 4064 exclusively, but got tired of the way it metered through the powder meter. IMR or H4895 meters much better and shoots almost as well as 4064. My experience is that my 1903 and Garand likes the upper middle 1/4 of published handloading velocities. For a 150 grain bullet, about 2800FPS, for a 168 grain SMK, about 2650FPS. Bottom line, go for accuracy over velocity.

    If you want some more specific advice, have you hit the CMP website forums? Here is the link:

    http://www.thecmp.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=79

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