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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took the floorplate off my 1903A3 project gun tonight, and discovered a primer in the magazine well. Given that a gunsmith recently said the headspace was fine, and it's only ever happened once, I'm inclined to believe it to be a freak event. I have noticed that PPU .30-06 fits unusually tight into the chamber, and have since stopped using it, so I'm guessing it may be the gun just doesn't like that ammo. Any thoughts?
 

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Take the firing pin assembly out of the bolt and check the tip of the firing pin for any gas cutting or pits in the tip of the firing pin. If anything looks like a pit or divot then replace the firing pin. I've seen this on a rem 700 firing reloads and when I took the bolt apart the tip of the firing pin was badly gas cut. Plus little pieces of the punctured primer were in the bolt. Evidently the shooters (at our gun club range) didn't notice the punctured primers at first and kept shooting. Even the firing pin hole in the bolt looked chewed up. He almost had a heart attack when I bumped the now disassembled bolt and all the little brass pieces from the primers came out. At least cost him a new firing pin assembly at worst a complete bolt and headspace check. Are you saying a complete primer was inside the magazine?. I can see pieces but not a whole primer. Not doubting you in the least. One good thing about the springfield is that all you would have to do is replace the tip on the end of the striker and check the firing pin protrusion when done. Should be about 55 thousandths. Frank
 

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Do you think the primer came out of a round you fired,or is it left over from a different owner? If a previous owner then it could be he reused brass with over size primer pockets from loading too hot.Shoot some factory Remington,and look the brass over for signs of anything out of the ordinary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Take the firing pin assembly out of the bolt and check the tip of the firing pin for any gas cutting or pits in the tip of the firing pin. If anything looks like a pit or divot then replace the firing pin. I've seen this on a rem 700 firing reloads and when I took the bolt apart the tip of the firing pin was badly gas cut. Plus little pieces of the punctured primer were in the bolt. Evidently the shooters (at our gun club range) didn't notice the punctured primers at first and kept shooting. Even the firing pin hole in the bolt looked chewed up. He almost had a heart attack when I bumped the now disassembled bolt and all the little brass pieces from the primers came out. At least cost him a new firing pin assembly at worst a complete bolt and headspace check. Are you saying a complete primer was inside the magazine?. I can see pieces but not a whole primer. Not doubting you in the least. One good thing about the springfield is that all you would have to do is replace the tip on the end of the striker and check the firing pin protrusion when done. Should be about 55 thousandths. Frank
The primer wasn't punctured. The indentation is normal. It just popped out of the casing. It theoretically could have been left over from the previous owner, but that's unlikely. I've had that floorplate off at least once before since I got it. Then again, I've never heard it rattling around, so it's possible it's been wedged under the spring this whole time. I don't have my brass to check because I don't reload so I gave my brass to another guy at the range.

This rifle has been something of an albatross. It's an old sporter conversion. I bought it at an estate auction for $250. Barrel was great, action was smooth, and trigger pull was spectacular, but the rear screw on the old Bausch & Lomb scope mount was missing. No big deal; had my gunsmith install a new screw. First time out, the stock cracked behind the action. It apparently was dry rotted on the inside, but the exterior showed no indication anything was wrong with it. So, new Boyd's stock (with custom length of pull), which I had the gunsmith glass and pillar bed. Next time I took it out, I kept running out of elevation adjustment on the mount (this thing adjusts via the mount, not the scope). So now it's in limbo until I get the cash to get a new mount and a new scope for it.

Maybe once I finally get some cash together I'll be able to finish it and make it shoot to its potential. I know it has the potential to be a 1 MOA or better shooter, but I keep running into problems.

Photo of the cursed rifle. The old stock is on top.



And here's the primer in question. Doesn't look too out of the ordinary, other than some fouling around the edges and, of course, not still being in a case.

 

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That primer is cratered. It was popped out of an overpressure round. If you only fire factory ammo, it's most likely left from the previous owner.
Normal factory ammo won't have the cratering effect.
The other cause of cratering is an oversize firing pin hole in the bolt face or an undersize diameter firing pin tip. That wouldn't explain the primer popping out of the pocket though.
 

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If you ran out of elevation adjustment on the mount try shimming either it or the scope to get it back on target. To avoid marring you can use plastic material for shims.
 

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Agree with jjk308 on shimming the mount to get additional elevation.

I think I might try and fix that original stock, looks very nice. There are epoxy products for fixing dry-rotted wood and should work. And use armorer's pins in conjunction to fix the crack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That primer is cratered. It was popped out of an overpressure round. If you only fire factory ammo, it's most likely left from the previous owner.
Normal factory ammo won't have the cratering effect.
The other cause of cratering is an oversize firing pin hole in the bolt face or an undersize diameter firing pin tip. That wouldn't explain the primer popping out of the pocket though.
Probably left over from the previous owner, then. I examined the floorplate and found it would be very easy for the primer to have been stuck under there all this time. It could easily have been under there for years, and I wouldn't necessarily have noticed it in a prior disassembly.

Blown primer, showing significant signs of overpressure, cracked stock, factory ammo that is hard to chamber? Friend, that rifle is trying to tell you something. I think that I would take it to another gunsmith. Are you sure that it is a .30 cal?
Original military barrel, and only PPU ammo has the problem. Federal, Remington, etc. don't have any issues. The recoil was not excessive, either; I have 2 other 1903's and I know what it should feel like. My gunsmith has been in the business for decades. He knows his stuff. I'm inclined to believe that it was the previous owner

Agree with jjk308 on shimming the mount to get additional elevation.

I think I might try and fix that original stock, looks very nice. There are epoxy products for fixing dry-rotted wood and should work. And use armorer's pins in conjunction to fix the crack.
Trust me, it's toast. My gunsmith thought it was fixable, too. Then he took a closer look at it and saw how brittle it was and that wood was easily spalling from it all over the place. It fooled a 75 year old gunsmith who's been in the business for decades, but that piece of timber is probably 60 years old and was stored in a desert climate for most of its life (estate auction from Arizona). That said, I liked the stock so much that I replicated its exact length of pull in the new one; the rifle fits me like a glove, so I'm not giving up on it just yet.

As for the scope mount, shimming it is an option. The rifle originally came with a 4x fixed power Balfor 4 scope, although I snagged a much-superior 2.5-8x Balvar 8a off EBay cheaply. Still, it'd be nice to be able to give it an 18x variable scope like the one I have on my Mauser.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you ran out of elevation adjustment on the mount try shimming either it or the scope to get it back on target. To avoid marring you can use plastic material for shims.
Just figured out what was wrong with it. First, what I previously mistook for an endcap was actually a set screw. Second, the base's turrets needed oil. Now it'll adjust for elevation like it should.
 

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Hi Sir,

It looks like the primer is steel =PPU or East block ammo? Their quality control is lax on occasion!
My pal bought a bag of 100 PPU 308 bullets at a gun show. They were just horribly inaccurate ! He had about 50 rounds of Serria bullets from his last loading session & they were right on the money. Same load & cases. Just crappy bullets!

Good Luck,
point6
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi Sir,

It looks like the primer is steel =PPU or East block ammo? Their quality control is lax on occasion!
My pal bought a bag of 100 PPU 308 bullets at a gun show. They were just horribly inaccurate ! He had about 50 rounds of Serria bullets from his last loading session & they were right on the money. Same load & cases. Just crappy bullets!

Good Luck,
point6
Odd. PPU is normally great ammo, far better than anything else in its price range. Bagged ammo at gun shows, 9 times out of 10, is just someone else's reloads. I'm pretty sure your friend got scammed. You should avoid gun show ammo like the plague if you value your firearm. That said, it's a well-known fact in the gun world that some guns just don't like certain ammo. Bullet weight and barrel twist rate certainly come into play, and it's also possible that he was using some of their heavier bullets in a barrel with a 1:12" twist rate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
WardenWolf,

That old stock is a pretty piece of wood. Would you be interested in selling it? If so I would be interested in trying to repair it. PM me if you want to let it go.

Vlad
I'm sorry, but I can't, in good conscience, let anyone reuse that stock. It wouldn't be safe. Even my gunsmith agreed it was beyond help after he examined it closely. Looks are deceiving; the wood is structurally compromised throughout. You can't see it in the picture, but it spalled off a large piece of wood behind the bolt handle. Instead of denting, a large piece just broke off. If you want a new stock, Boyd's makes them in walnut. It may not be quite as pretty as the old one, but it'll be close. I simply chose laminate due to weather resistance, since I live in a humid climate.

I recommend you choose one of these: http://boydsgunstocks.com/FindAStock?Make=4A&Model=284&Action=1V

I will warn you, though, that their length of pull tends to be a bit short unless you customize them. I sent the first one I got back because it was too short for me, then reordered custom. I found a 14 1/2" length of pull fit me well, and I'm 5'8".
 
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