Author Topic: ‘03 Springfield rebuild but not quite  (Read 1910 times)

Offline Baltimore Ed

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 997
‘03 Springfield rebuild but not quite
« on: September 09, 2018, 08:41:38 am »
I posted this on the Krag ‘other’ forum but not here so here goes. I bought this sporterized ‘03 Springfield with an unmolested recvr but a 21 inch bbl and crappy stock some years ago for another idea that I had. However, it was unsuccessful so the rifle languished in the back of my safe until we shot our Punitive Expedition match last month. I’d planned on selling it along with all the ‘03 odds and ends but there were no takers. I used my trusty school krag but an ‘03 would have been much more correct so I decided to remilitarize it and have a correct rifle for the next PE shoot. I had a sanded scant stock with a mix of stamped and milled parts accumulated and as I didn’t think the rifle was worth a criterion bbl job I decided to make the iffy wood fit the steel. I’ve shortened the forend, repaired the cracked handguard removed the scant and shaped the comb a little. My plan is to move the lower band, put a second steel clip back on the small part of the handguard for looks, mill finger grooves and sand, stain and finish the wood. Also have to fill in the exposed lightening cut under the upper band. Maybe a metal refinish depending on how it turns out. And a recrown as the muzzle is pretty rough but it surprisingly shoots ok. I can hit my 10 inch gong offhand with my Krag load loaded into .30-06 brass just fine. I’ve got a repro Kerr sling coming. More photos as work progresses.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 07:20:53 pm by Baltimore Ed »
"Give'em hell, Pike"
 There is no horse so dead that you cannot continue to beat it.

Online pony express

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 3328
Re: ‘03 Springfield rebuild but not quite
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2018, 01:36:08 pm »
Sound's like what you now have is a 1903 Carbine. Or maybe a "Tanker 0'3?

Offline cpt dan blodgett

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1402
  • SASS Conv 2013
Re: ‘03 Springfield rebuild but not quite
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2018, 03:15:11 pm »
Congrats on putting the saddle back on an old warhorse.
Queen of Battle - "Follow Me"
NRA Life
DAV Life
ROI, ROII

Offline Baltimore Ed

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 997
Re: ‘03 Springfield rebuild but not quite
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2018, 10:34:10 am »
Been tinkering around with my 03 but I’ve had no shop power since Thursday so I’m filing and sanding in my reloading room. Today I’ve been trying to get the bolt lift improved. I’ve cut coils off the mainspring which helped [still pops cci primers] and now I’m polishing things. Swapped parts between my two complete bolts [a SA and a BS] to get the smoothest combination too. Big improvement. Next thing will be sanding the old finish off the stock, stain and oil. It’s got a combination of blued and parked parts so I will get it all black parked eventually.


My 03 parts have finally come so I replaced the slide and knurled screw on the rear sight, mine was bent up. I also found a Kings buckhorn sight on fleabay. The way it’s made is very clever, the notched blade has 4 different sized notches, one on each side with a spacer that the small screw jams against. There is a white diamond in the center. Whenever I get it done I will do some shooting on paper to see how it does against the gi ladder sight.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 02:35:51 pm by Baltimore Ed »
"Give'em hell, Pike"
 There is no horse so dead that you cannot continue to beat it.

Offline Baltimore Ed

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 997
Re: ‘03 Springfield rebuild but not quite
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2018, 08:02:15 am »
Finally I’m back on the grid. Only took 6 days this time. When the house was wrecked in Irene we were off for 6 months while the house was elevated and rebuilt.

Got to playing with the trigger on my ‘03 tonight, actually I suddenly realized how rough and gritty it felt. So I took it apart and cleaned it good along with the receiver. Then I looked in my junk spring box for something similar to the sear spring not wanting to booger up the original, found one that went right in. No more grit or grabbing, smooth and positive, a definite improvement. Tomorrow we shoot our monthly cas/wasa match so I’ll I borrow my buds facing tools and .30 cal pilot and face my ‘03 muzzle this week. Nothing special for the match this month so I’m going to dig my vaqueros out of the safe along with my ‘66 musket and see if I can still shoot single action revolvers worth a hoot.

Update—-We only had 9 hardy cowpokes today, 5 used 2 hands, 4 correctly used one hand. I had 2 misses with my vaqueros out of 60 rds. The duelist gentleman who beat me only missed one pistol target. We were clean with our rifles and sg’s. We were a whole 4 seconds apart!  Loved it. It got hot before we were done but the range was dry and we had a breeze. Nice match on a nice day. Nobody took any photos as we were all either working or shooting or cooling off under the shelter.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 03:14:17 pm by Baltimore Ed »
"Give'em hell, Pike"
 There is no horse so dead that you cannot continue to beat it.

Offline Baltimore Ed

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 997
Re: ‘03 Springfield rebuild but not quite
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2018, 03:07:09 pm »
Used my pards bbl facing tools on my ‘03 today. When I first started cutting I was only cutting 1/3 of the face, it was WAY off. It’s still not square to the outside edge but that’s cosmetic. Looks a whole lot better, should shoot better too. Btw it’s a 4 groove bbl.

Hit it with some birchwood caseys bluing paste too. Looks good.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 05:10:19 pm by Baltimore Ed »
"Give'em hell, Pike"
 There is no horse so dead that you cannot continue to beat it.

Offline Baltimore Ed

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 997
Re: ‘03 Springfield rebuild but not quite
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2018, 01:58:50 pm »
Thinking that the muzzle is done. Cleaned up the edge. Paste blued it again.

Improved the trigger today by replacing my old trigger with one of the early skinny pointy ones, no 1 in the photo. It’s a little bit longer than what was on the rifle and feels a whole lot more comfortable. As far as the trigger pull goes it feels the same.
Update—- Not one to leave well enough alone I felt that the trigger would feel even better if the bow had a bigger radius so using a couple of sockets and a rubber faced hammer I opened it up some more. With the socket in my big vice I used the rubber faced hammer to strike the back of the trigger against the curve of the socket to open up the bow. A lot easier than thought it would be. Worked great.
 Sanding on the stock and handguard and waiting for my stain to ship.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 05:44:29 pm by Baltimore Ed »
"Give'em hell, Pike"
 There is no horse so dead that you cannot continue to beat it.

Offline Baltimore Ed

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 997
Re: ‘03 Springfield rebuild but not quite
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2018, 03:51:56 pm »
Productive couple of days. Got my stock and handguard sanded down to 220 grit, need to whisker and steel wool it. Sanded the milled trigger guard and blued it. Looked like it had some paint on it along with the rust. Cleaned up nice though. Lower bbl band is pitted but I sanded it and blued it, might replace it before it’s done. I don’t like the chrome extractor but my blue one doesn’t seem as smooth. Went ahead and removed some more from the blue extractor and refinnished it, see how it works now. Also sanded and blued my pointier trigger. Turned out nice.
10-2 Update- stained the upper handguard with the red walnut undiluted, 4 coats so far. Inlet the other steel insert on the handguard. Trying to build a jig to hold the stock on my HF mini mill table so I can use it to cut the grasping grooves. I’ve got a few ideas bouncing around.

Also worked on a used Colt Mustang .380 I recently picked up. While initially it seemed to be ok I started having failure to feeds. I removed the extractor and no more ftf [by hand]. Extractor was the problem. Did some polishing and shaping on the extractor to help the case get into position behind the hook. Like you would tune a 1911 extractor as they’re very similar. Also added a second recoil spring inside of the original. Need to get some cheap blaster ammo for some break in I’m thinking.

10-5 Update- built my milling machine jig and cut my grasping grooves. Turned out nice, I do like my mill. Made a walnut filler for the lightening cut and epoxied it in. Working on the front band now, getting it fitted with an extra end piece to hide my exposed filler. Got everything epoxied in but a gap has opened up between the band and mortise cut on the stock so I need to remove the high wood to get a good metal/wood fit. Wound up putting some jb weld on it to replace wood where I initially removed too much but it will all be hid under the band. Also added a couple of pins to help hold the end piece. When I’m satisfied with the band fit I’ll drill the hole for the band screw.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2018, 08:27:03 am by Baltimore Ed »
"Give'em hell, Pike"
 There is no horse so dead that you cannot continue to beat it.

Offline smoke

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 278
Re: ‘03 Springfield rebuild but not quite
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2018, 06:43:08 am »
Really cool project!!
GAF#379

Offline Baltimore Ed

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 997
Re: ‘03 Springfield rebuild but not quite
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2018, 08:05:01 pm »
Got some more work done, drilled the band screw hole and spring keeper hole, made a walnut filler for the spring keeper slot for where I moved the lower band and also started staining the stock. Two coats so far, I’ll let things dry and see what it looks like tomorrow. The Birchwood-Casey stain is water base so it seems weak but the second coat makes a difference. I’m up to 5 on the handguard.

Update- the handguard cracked at the old glue repair but not to fret I have another one that’s not damaged. But I’m going to use the high hump part from the original and the thin front part from the new one and let the lower band conceal the seam. This will allow me to use the part of the handguard with both steel clips in their relatively correct locations [3 in shorter bbl and handguard, 1 in move on lower band]. That’s how I broke the old handguard, messing with those clips plus it was on the thin side anyway. The new one was so thick so I had to remove more wood from the stock and guard to get the lower band to even go on. Should look better. Did some bluing too. I read somewhere that I’ll have to leave the stock alone for a day or two before I can start putting on tru-oil because of the water base stain.

Here’s what the stock looked like when I got it. Kinda yellow. Also found sapwood and a small knot when I removed the scant which would have made it unacceptable.

Update-started tru oli, handguard parts 2 coats—stock 1. Long way to go. Getting redder.
First coats dried. You can see how I made the two handguard parts go together. The curved brass is epoxied to the high hump end while the other half goes over it and the lower band holds everything together and hides the joint. The front half was so much thicker that I had to remove wood to get it to go over the brass flange.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2018, 12:04:56 pm by Baltimore Ed »
"Give'em hell, Pike"
 There is no horse so dead that you cannot continue to beat it.

Offline Baltimore Ed

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 997
Re: ‘03 Springfield rebuild but not quite
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2018, 01:34:14 pm »
Think I’m done.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 01:36:06 pm by Baltimore Ed »
"Give'em hell, Pike"
 There is no horse so dead that you cannot continue to beat it.

Offline Baltimore Ed

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 997
Re: ‘03 Springfield rebuild but not quite
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2018, 01:39:21 pm »
Having a hard time getting my photos to upload.
"Give'em hell, Pike"
 There is no horse so dead that you cannot continue to beat it.