Springfield 1903 mount search challenge

Discussion in 'Optics & Mounts' started by vikingo, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. vikingo

    vikingo New Member

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    From deep south Texas,

    I am having some real trouble finding a mount for a modified Springfield 1903. I bought this off a friend who knew he was giving me a good gun, but was missing a sight or a scope. I'm happy with either, but want to use this rifle to hunt, so I'd like to find a way to put something on it.
    The rifle has been tapped with two drill holes on top and in front of the chamber. It also has two drill holes on the right side but behind the chamber. I think, but what the heck do I know, that this rifle has been specially modified to fit a previous owner and as such they chose not to use a 'normal' mount. I'm just guessing.
    The area behind the chamber has a little 'bump' type curvature to it and it does not look like it allows for further modification. I think whoever had this weapon way back put some real money and personal taste into the rifle, but he/she has made it hard to replicate his work.
    I've shown this to three different gun stores in town and a few hunting buddies and everyone says, "great gun, no idea." I finally called weaver who gave me the stock answer for the 1903, which was the side mount #1. I ordered it, but the more I looked at it the less convinced I was that it was the right piece. I canceled the order.
    I am throwing myself at the mercy of all y'all's combined public knowledge and hope someone out there can guide me in the right direction. I've included pictures as appropriate. Thank you in advance.
    I don't want to spend another hunting season with my father-in-law's 243 and I think this weapon can become a family treasure if I can get it done right.

    thoughts?

    'el vikingo'
     

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  2. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    The hole roughly at 5.25" looks like your Hatcher hole... It looks like to me that it probably had a rear aperture (peep) sight...
     

  3. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Trez,

    I am with you! I will bet regarding the rear holes that someone had a set of Redfield Peep Sights or a similar sight on it. Certainly not a scope mount.

    Viking, you will just need to take it to a gunsmith and have him drill and tap holes for scope traditional bases. I would suggest if you do, be sure it is for standard bases like Leupold, Weaver or other traditional hole spaced mounts. That will solve your problem and you will have a good solid mounting system to mount your scope. The 1903s are fine rifles. Looks like you have a nice one!

    03

    03
     
  4. vikingo

    vikingo New Member

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    You are right about the Hatcher's hole and the first picture may not show it well, but there are two drill holes tapped above as well.
     
  5. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    If it has a front sight and you would want a peep sight they sell them quite often on ebay. If you want a scope you will need to go to a local gunsmith for drilling and tapping the rear holes for the mount.
     
  6. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    Looking around my guess would be a Redfield Model 70S ("S" is for Springfield) they made a (T) target model that could be adjusted with your fingers and a (H) model that would use some sorta tool to adjust..
    Or it could be a Lyman 48 sight
     
  7. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    Found this pic... So im gonna go with the Lyman 48

    [​IMG]
     
  8. vikingo

    vikingo New Member

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    I like guns, but I'm not a gun nut. At least, I didn't think I was. That said, I'm starting to like the thrill of hunting down these old rifle parts. This could be a hobby in the making, thanks guys. (sarcastically: my wife is going to love this.)

    The rifle does have a front sight on it and I'm starting to like the idea of using a classical peep sight for hunting circa 100-150 yards. Here's the full pic:
     

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  9. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    If you do decide to go with the peep sight, you should make sure the sight and your gun have the same hole spacing (before you buy). I think a Mauser one would work also. Most receiver sights go on the left side but 1903's and Mausers are the exceptions.
     
  10. vikingo

    vikingo New Member

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    ok guys. back to the drawing board. It took me a few weeks, but I was able to find a Lyman 48s, which is exactly the piece that this gun was drilled for. However, the previous owner clearly removed the peep sight when he refitted the gun with a new stock because the sight did not fit on account of the width and placement of the stock....aaargh.... He must have pulled off the peep sight, put on a new stock and put a scope up on top. So...we are back to square one.

    Does anyone know what kind of scope mount would fit on top of the Springfield 1903? please note the pictures in the first post. we are looking at the two drill holes in front of the chamber which are directly above my fingers. I am not giving up on this gun.
     
  11. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    since the stock is not original just do some inletting and cut out a chunk for the sight you want if you want the peep.

    you can pretty much do what ya want to that gun since its got zero collector value after the original owner trashed it.

    your lucky. ive been hunting for one that i wouldnt feel bad about customizing.

    just be sure to get some filler screws for any unused screw holes.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  12. Supercub

    Supercub New Member

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    VikingO,

    You have a Springfield 1903, can't read the serial number so I can't date it for you. However I can tell you this much; The two holes on the front receiver bridge are for a REAR scope mount block. the holes for the front block would have been or are on the barrel approximately 6-7.2 inches from the center point of those two holes. These rifles were set up for the Unerti scope mounting blocks and the scope is quite long, extending way back to the rear. The lack of holes on the rear receiver bridge tells you this. There are repo scopes made by Creedmore that available along with the blocks. Look carefully at your barrel where I indicated the front block would mount and see if there are two filler screws there, flush with the barrel. If they aren't, the barrel has been changed which is most likely. You could if you wanted, have holes redrilled and tapped to put a block on the barrel if you desired to go that route. Otherwise, if you want to put a scope on you will have to have the rear receiver bridge drilled and tapped.
    The type of scope base you will want is a Weaver JR S for the 1903 Springfield or Remington 1903. These are hard to come by for originals but they do make a chineese made replacement.

    The holes on the side of the rear bridge are for as you have found out, a Lyman 48s, OR a Williams rear peep sight. Both use standardized hole spacing and will interchange. The Williams will fit without having to alter the wood on the stock, the Lyman would require some work. Lyman sights were available in 60-150 slide scales, the former would fit easier, the long slide would take a lot of fitting of the stock.

    For more info on what you have, do a search for a Springfield 1903 sniper rifle or possibly a national match rifle.

    Cub
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  13. vikingo

    vikingo New Member

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    pls delete/ignore
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  14. vikingo

    vikingo New Member

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    I wish I had seen your post sooner Cub. I went ahead and hand carved out the slot for a Lyman 48 I found on ebay. The ebay guy was a real jerk, and the lyman sight's screws were tapped just inside of the slots on the 1903. I was not happy. I ended up realizing that I had to carve at an angle and scraped off millimeter by millimeter until I could line up the holes as best as I could. Then, in order to make it work, I screwed the external screw in two threads and worked the internal screw on the Lyman (the one that gets covered by the altitude slide) at an angle, because I notice it had a little more thread on one side than the other. again, not happy. in the end, both screws went in and they are tight. I played with the sight and my father-in-law's laser guide in the backyard and am looking forward to getting out to the lease to get it zero'd in.

    I think this gun has been an excellent lesson to consider taking this type of thing up as a hobby, and I might. I've had some fun with it. In the end, I guess you have to be satisfied that these projects are just that, projects and that they are not going to be perfect and it is good practice for the next one. I am quite content with the results given the setbacks.
    Insofar as putting an old Unerti scope on it, we'll see. Thanks all,

    vikingo

    vikingo
     

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    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  15. barneygoogle

    barneygoogle New Member

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  16. Supercub

    Supercub New Member

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    Vikingo, Nice job and it's how it should be. Keep in mind, your rifle was probably set up for match shooting at one time and in a different stock. It is very common to see a match rifle with both the Lyman peep sight holes and the scope holes on the same gun. I suspect that your rifle was sporterized at some point with the Buhler safety and the turned down bolt handle. It may have had a Williams or Lyman 48S on it at some point and those wouldn't require shaving the wood especially in a military stock. Thousands of these 03's were sporterized in the late 40's and 50's. I have 4 myself in different configurations. One is a Weaver T-3 side mount and a Weaver 330 scope from the 40's. Very, very accurate set up. I originally bought that rifle just for the scope, but having shot it, wouldn't change a thing.

    I'm courious, is it a Springfield, or Remington 1903? The bolt is a Remington for what it's worth. If it's a Springfield and below 850,000 seriel numbered, there is some question of receiver hardness and are suspect. Most were scrapped, some fell throught he cracks. Parts are interchangable between the two and it's quite common to see parts from both on the same rifle.

    Hope that helps.

    Cub
     
  17. barneygoogle

    barneygoogle New Member

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    My bad , It's a Remington, but I have two Springfields, they don't have scopes though.
     
  18. barneygoogle

    barneygoogle New Member

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    I believe this is one or you can take your pick LOL
     

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    Last edited: May 15, 2012