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Firearms >> Other Firearms >> 1903 project & 'Khyber Pass gunsmithing'

Message started by butlersrangers on Jan 17th, 2020 at 7:26am

Title: 1903 project & 'Khyber Pass gunsmithing'
Post by butlersrangers on Jan 17th, 2020 at 7:26am
A while back I bought a 1903 Springfield (1921 vintage) that had been 'cut-down', scoped and restocked. The short Sporter weighed too many pounds, was not a candidate for restoration .... it made no sense, but, the 1903 was cheap and spoke to me!

My plan had been to have a 1903A3 barrel put on it and make a "quasi-sniper looking" rifle.

Well, current prices for 1903A3 barrels and decent Stocks gave me Sticker Shock.

I went to a plan "B" .... make a fun "carbine" out of junk 1903 & 1903A3 parts that are taking up room in my basement.

The barrel had been stripped of its rear-sight & collar. The 21" barrel had no front sight.

I luckily had sights and a wrecked stock and hand-guard.
I decided to patch the 'Compass Hole' in the comb and reshape the stock tip along the lines of an experimental carbine made for the cavalry in 1921.

project_1903-0.jpg ( 218 KB | 1 Download )
Springfield_1903_exp_carbine_1921.jpg ( 61 KB | 0 Downloads )
project_1903-1.jpg ( 96 KB | 0 Downloads )

Title: Re: 1903 project & 'Khyber Pass gunsmithing'
Post by butlersrangers on Jan 17th, 2020 at 8:01am
I don't have a lathe or access to one. I needed to cut a 'step' at the muzzle of the 21" barrel for the 1903 front-sight.

I decided, I would hand file the step. I made a 'barrel holder' by nailing two small pieces of thin plywood to the ends of a stub of 2"X 2". I cut a "V" notch in the plywood at each end.
I put four layers of masking-tape around the barrel to serve as a guide and protect the full diameter barrel 'shoulder'.

By intermittently rotating the barrel with my left hand as I filed with my right, I was able to create a neat 'step'. I varied using coarse and fine files. I polished out file marks as I went along using strips of emery cloth (using both hands, like a shoeshine boy).
khyber_gs-1.jpg ( 129 KB | 0 Downloads )
khyber_gs-2a.jpg ( 81 KB | 0 Downloads )

Title: Re: 1903 project & 'Khyber Pass gunsmithing'
Post by butlersrangers on Jan 17th, 2020 at 8:13am
I need to final shape the stock and re-stain it, put some 'cold blue' on the bare metal at the muzzle, and replace the '03A3 barrel-band with a nicer looking 1903 band.

This should be a fun shooter with both iron sights and a scope option.
project_1903-6.jpg ( 146 KB | 1 Download )
khyber_gs-3a.jpg ( 63 KB | 2 Downloads )

Title: Re: 1903 project & 'Khyber Pass gunsmithing
Post by Baltimoreed on Jan 17th, 2020 at 3:15pm
Nice job. Your 21 inch ‘03 looks more like a carbine than mine does. Mine’s a throwback to the short rifle concept. I like your build. Also agree that the ‘03 milled furniture is sharper looking than the 03a3 stuff. Try the Birchwood Casey rusty walnut military stain. It’s water based and doesn’t look like much until you put on multiple coats. The first ‘03 stock I did was sanded bare but the second one I didn’t sand just wooled and it had some kind of stain on it but both turned out pretty good. Don’t get lost without your compass.

Title: Re: 1903 project & 'Khyber Pass gunsmithing'
Post by pickax on Jan 17th, 2020 at 10:44pm
I really like it! An 'old school' gunsmith job. You had the right combo of parts on hand, and talent to put them together.
I especially like the Faux A4 bolt with scope rather than a Lyman peep, a deer rifle for sure for older eyes.
Must have been quite a job to file the barrel, but it came out nicely.
A compass was standard in the handle of the '54 Fred Bear Kodiaks. You might want to retain it for the '50s 'tacticool' look.(A little further from the butt plate).  8-)
You and Baltimoreed, FredC have some skills!

Title: Re: 1903 project & 'Khyber Pass gunsmithing'
Post by King carp on Jan 18th, 2020 at 1:14am
Nicely done! Looks a little like a bolt action M1 carbine. Should be handy in the brush.

Title: Re: 1903 project & 'Khyber Pass gunsmithing'
Post by FredC on Jan 20th, 2020 at 3:26pm
Another nicely done. How many days to did you think about how to do this? Solutions to problems like this usually come to me after several days, sometimes the solution wakes me up at night.

My dad used to do stuff like that. He would use his father in law's old mike to check for roundness as he filed lawn mower cranks round. Then he filed the caps on the connecting rods and shimmed them with brass shim stock. I used one of those repaired lawnmowers for many years to mow neighbors laws for spending money.

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