1903A3 Conversion to A4 Sniper Variant

Sniping and sniper rifles are subjects that have become very popular among riflemen of late. True sniper rifles are rare and very expensive. Here is how I built a replica of a 1903A4 from parts.

by Paul Mazan

I was at a gun auction when a lot came up for bid that nobody seemed interested in. It was an assortment of 1903A3 parts that included a stripped receiver, four stripped bolts, and a number of internal parts. There were a few half-hearted bids and it looked like it was going to sell for $75. It struck me that the receiver alone was worth more than that so I placed a bid for $100 and won the lot. The parts languished in my shop for a couple of years waiting for some 1903A3 Springfields to come in needing work or replacement parts. Those jobs never appeared and this last winter I decided building a 1903A4 Sniper rifle would be a fun project.

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A brief history. The M1903A3 was America’s last general-issue bolt-action military rifle. The A2 variant released in 1942 is defined by its more simple rear aperture sight that replaced the more complicated M1905 ladder-type rear sight. The A3 also had less finishing with a rough, Parkerized finish and many used a two-groove barrel.

The U.S. Army used the M1903A4 as their sniper rifle during…

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