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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow gun lovers. I am trying to get a 03-A3 back into firing condition. I've been given really good info but I can't find the prior Q&As. I'm am a really newbie and have removed the weld fron the on/off lever on the left side of the bolt assembly and can't get the bolt out. Rather than start pulling and prying I'm trying to find the brother that was helping me. Are you out there???Thanks so very much. PD
 

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To remove the bolt on an 03, you first place that lever in the "middle" position between ON & OFF.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Springfield 03-A3

Youngblood I thank you for your help. I retired a few years ago and had a tough time finding something that interested me until I bought an old Mosin Nagant and the bug got me so, I'm sorry for my ignorance but am thankful for your help. PD
 

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pd, I would be careful in restoring a welded drill rifle. The welding may have compromised the integrity of the receiver. If the only weld is near the bolt release that may be ok, but if there are any welds near where the barrel joins the receiver I would not attempt a restoration due to the heating during the welding damaging the receiver.
 

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I'd be VERY leery of converting a USGI Drill Rifle to shoot live ammo.

The US military did NOT convert usable, serviceable rifles to drill rifles.
The rifles were converted because they had been condemned as unsafe-unserviceable.
In other words, it was a choice of scrap an unsafe to use rifle, or get some use out of it by making it a drill rifle.
They welded the rifles up specifically to prevent someone from trying to shoot an unsafe rifle.

Since the rifle was declared unsafe to start with, it's not a good idea to shoot it now.

I'll offer this little experiment:

Take a large caliber revolver, load one round in the cylinder, spin the cylinder, put it to your head and pull the trigger.

Now take a condemned rifle that's been put in firing condition.
Load a powerful 30-06 cartridge into the chamber, put your eyes and head RIGHT behind the receiver and pull the trigger.

Note how similar the two experiments are?
 

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Guess I shouldn't be firing my 3 ex-sniper 91/30s that all have welds right in the left locking lug pocket. Those welded in pins are about 2-3mm behind the lug surface.
 

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Liked putting a revolver to your head, that's entirely YOUR choice.

It would be nice however if you refrained from shooting them when innocent bystanders are around.
Having seen a few blowup's over the years, I can say that people who happen to get hit by flying gun bits usually aren't very happy about it, and they tend to make very sure the person responsible isn't laughing about it either, legally and sometimes physically.

Again, your choice, but NOT around me, please.
 

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So, the ex-sniper Mosins are not safe?
 

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Actually, I'm a bit curious now...

I was under the impression that the 1903 and 03-A3 drill rifles were converted from any old at-hand rifle. I have not, until now, ever heard that these were somehow selected from lots of bad parts.

Is there any documentation as to how rifles were selected for conversion?
 

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Knowing how the system works, and how little they valued the 03-A3 after WWII, IMHO they picked whatever looked pretty good, demilled them and gave them out for drill rifles. Defective rifles were probably scrapped.
 

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Actually, I'm a bit curious now...

I was under the impression that the 1903 and 03-A3 drill rifles were converted from any old at-hand rifle. ...
Correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Springield drill rifle

Wow! Thanks for the info. I'll not try to mend the barrel. What about a new barrel?? Does the old barrel just twist off and a new on screw on. Will the recveiver be usable?? PD
 

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Wow! Thanks for the info. I'll not try to mend the barrel. What about a new barrel?? Does the old barrel just twist off and a new on screw on. Will the recveiver be usable?? PD
The barrel is "mendable" but I sure wouldn't want to be the one to shoot it afterwards <chuckle> ... here is a pic of a "mended" DP barrel.



Yes, I sent that back for a refund. What you see there is a GOOD REASON to always detail-strip and inspect all new-to-you firearms before firing them ... the bore on that barrel was absolutely pristine ... it looked like and the muzzle gauged like it had never been fired ... but I digress ...

The 03 barrels are screwed on. You will probably have to remove a bubblegum weld at the junction of the barrel & receiver, usually on the bottom.

That weld is the reason why MANY people avoid DP rebuilds ... they fear that the amount of heat generated in the receiver ring to produce that weld results in a dangerously weakened receiver ring.

I do not know if that is true, or not ...
 

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not a big deal i have reworked over 10 of them 03's and 03a3's the thing i look at is the weld on the rec. to bar. pick the ones with a short weld 1/2" to 3/4" take a 1/16" to 1/8" cut off wheel and about a 1/16" in front of the rec. cut down in to the bar. about 3/16" put the assy. in your bar. vice and it will come lose with a bit of weld left on the rec. work it down and your good to go now about the cut off remove the spindel pin screw and try to remove the pin don't wast to much time here some time it comes out but most of the time you end up cutting it out along with the cut off try not to cut the plunger pin and spring as you may beable to reuse them all your looking for is the rec. as you can get the rest of the parts to bring it back. the one poster is right about the bar. most of them i have looked at were in like new cond.so if you cut it off at the plug you may beable to turn it down for a lever gun or pistol. that my .02 if you like it fine if you don't thats fine to for just like your .02 its all cool aid
 

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I saw that welded barrel in your other post Youngblood, and that is scary!

Receivers are interesting things. For example, the M44 with the fireball in my avatar turned out to have a cracked receiver. :eek: So, even parts that check out OK at the armory may fail. If you do put a drill 03 back together, I would pay close attention to the ring where the weld was.

In the pic the crack is highlighted with chalk, but otherwise was all but invisible. The only warning was some gritty deposits wicking through the crack.
 

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Drill rifle

More than half a century ago I was very intimate with a P 17 enfield.
U.S. Navy boot camp. Company 093 1956. In San Diego Cal.
After close inspection of several rifles used by my fellow recruits
I determined that the only thing " they " did to de-activate those rifles was to fill the bores with lead. They, the rifles, were not marked in any way to indicate they were for drill purposes only. Were awful heavy.
Always wondered how much effort it would have taken to make one work.
Never have seen any of those rifles for sale.
When we recruits went to the range to qualify we fired M1s.
What was done to the rifle in question to make a drill rifle out of it?

Just a little history.
 

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My guess is that any old 03 could have been made into a drill rifle. Afterall, they continued to use the low numbered Springfields while knowing that some of them "might be unsafe".
 

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I always thought it would somehow be convenient to convert a drill rifle to a 22 instead of back to 06. How to convert it to a 22 is beyond me,im still workin on that one.But I would think it would start around a shot out barrel and a sleeve,then a bolt,possibly an M22 bolt if one would fit and if you could find one.
 

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In the early fifties I went through Navy Boot camp at both Great Lakes (reserve) and Bainbridge
(active duty). At both bases we drilled with low numbered 03's. The only modification as I
recall was the firing pins were removed. There were several hundreds of them at each base.
Good luck!
 
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