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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