The Springfield...

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
17,531
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Dad left me two Springfield 30-06 rifles, one is an all original WWII 03-A3 that I think I may have shared here already. It is terrific!

This one though has far more meaning to me. It's been in my life, all my life. Dad was a WWII veteran, and served in the Navy for several years after WWII. When he returned home, his father gave him this rifle, which he had "sporterized" into a rather nice hunting rifle.

Bolt is jeweled, military trigger is pretty decent, full length stock. It wore nice sights until the late 1970's when Dad was having a tough time out-shooting me while I used my scoped rifle... So Mom and I bought him this 2-7x Redfield Widefield. Suddenly, Dad was out-shooting me again! :)

Dad and his brother took their 30-06's bear hunting once. Dad was mostly a bird hunter. Never saw a bear.

This is the first centerfire rifle I ever shot! I think I was about 10 years old. Yes, it knocked me back. :) Dad usually kept a box of 220 grain Winchester Silvertip ammo handy, in case something needed shooting. We handloaded it with 130 grain Speer hollow points for ground squirrels, jackrabbits, rockchucks etc... That worked really well! He let me take it deer hunting once when I was in high school, and he carried it along with me on another deer hunt when I was in college. We didn't get deer on either of those trips.

I don't think that this good old rifle has ever taken game, but I'm looking forward to hunting with it this coming season. I may go old style and load up some 220 grain round-nose soft point bullets for it. Why not? :)

When my sons shoot it, four generations of our family will have fired this rifle over a period of 70+ years.


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Regards, Guy
 
That’s a beaut. We, my younger brothers and I, all started with an 03 a3, ours had the extra wood removed but was otherwise stock. Damn thing was heavy for a 12 year old.
Amazing history with your rifle, four generations and counting.
 
Guy,
That was a great story. Having 4 generations behind that rifle is pretty cool. Best of luck to you this fall with it and those big 220 gr slugs.

JD338
 
Really nice Guy, load up some 220's and maybe take out a bear. It will be perfect for that. Maybe Gavin has some lightweight varmint bullets for taking out some varmints out at the ranch!
 
Nice rifle and story of its heritage. A member of the range I belong to has one with a similar looking stock. I sure hope you get to tag something with it this year. Be looking forward to the pictures and story. Dan.
 
Very nice looking rifle Guy. When I graduated High School way back in 1962 I received enough gift money to purchase a sporterized 03 Springfield that had been sitting on the Shelf in our local Sears Store. I don't know who did the work but the rifle had turned out quite nice and went with me on many deer hunts to New York State. It had the original cocking piece at the back of the bolt which enabled you to fire a second time on a stubborn primer. Two groove barrel if I remember correctly. Should have never parted with that rifle.
 
That rifle is terrific! Don't know how a sporterized springfield could be much better. Done all those years ago, done right, and was your Dad's. That would be my most prized rifle I'd think if I was in your shoes. Hard to beat. Hope you take some game with it, but whether you do or not takes nothing away from it. Enjoy it for what it is.
 
That rifle is terrific! Don't know how a sporterized springfield could be much better. Done all those years ago, done right, and was your Dad's. That would be my most prized rifle I'd think if I was in your shoes. Hard to beat. Hope you take some game with it, but whether you do or not takes nothing away from it. Enjoy it for what it is.

Absolutely. He left me some great old guns. I treasure the memories of him with those guns, our times afield together with them. The ones he really liked are pretty special to me. Dad gave me, and my sons, quite a number of firearms over the decades. Sometimes he'd urge me to take more home with me, but... I knew how much he enjoyed just opening his gun safe and handling them in his later years. He was actively hunting birds and shooting his various firearms into his early 90's. :)

Re this Springfield, I was trying to remember the last time I shot it... I'd guess early 1980's? 40 years ago or so. Looking forward to getting it out to the range and getting to know it again. He sure kept it in great shape. It's clean as can be and lightly lubed, ready to shoot. :)

Guy
 
Guy, you should definitely make this the only rifle you hunt with this year. Pretty neat to have a rifle in your family for that many years. I have some of my Grandad’s guns but he never held on to anything from that time in his life other than a few knives. He would often talk about the guns he owned and traded or sold, wishing he could have them again.
 
Nice rifle Guy. I have a 1903A3 by Remington in fairly decent shape that probably never saw war. The barrel is clean and is a Remington 4 groove dated late 1943. Even still had the front sight protector gizmo. I bought it for a cast bullet shooter. Shoots them fairly well so far. Need more work on the load.
Paul B.
 
I had a 1903a3 thirty or so years back but it was in military form, it wasn't nearly as sharp as yours. I shot many rounds downrange with it until somebody who wanted it more than me bought it.
 
I had a 1903a3 thirty or so years back but it was in military form, it wasn't nearly as sharp as yours. I shot many rounds downrange with it until somebody who wanted it more than me bought it.

I am so glad that I've got Dad's custom Springfield hunting rifle, and also this all-original 03A3. I enjoy shooting it tremendously. :)
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Not sure that I'm going to be able to hunt with Dad's rifle this year. The screw/bolt attaching the fore end cap is missing, and the cap goes flying when I shoot it... :( I've been trying to find a replacement to no avail. It was similar to the one on the factory rifle, but not the same. I'll see if Gavin can make a replacement that will fit and work. I was looking at Dad's rifle thinking "I'm sure there used to be a screw in that hole." Well, somewhere along the line it got misplaced. :(

I hadn't shot the rifle since the 1970's and thought that maybe I was remembering incorrectly. BTW, it's nice to shoot. :) I tried it with my usual stout 30-06 loads and it had no complaints at all. :) Well, except for the fore-end cap flying off! At least I found that piece.

Guy
 
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