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Military Firearm Restoration Corner

1903 A3 Barrel Question.


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Hello all, I am rebarreling an 03A3 with a new USGI barrel from remington. It has the flaming bomb marking, RA, and a date of 5-43. My question, is this a chrome lined barrel, or how do I tell if it is?



By just fitting it by hand it looks like I will need to finish ream the chamber. If it is chrome lined how do I do that? Do I need a special reamer?


Thanks for the help. C-

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I've done quite a few of these. I have not had to ream one. You first will need to torque it until it is indexed and then check headspace. They are not chrome lined.


If it will not headspace, due to the chamber being too short, use a standard 30-06 finish reamer. If headspace is too long, you will need to set it back one turn. Most likely you will then need to ream.


I have taken some 03's apart to find that they were shimmed to properly torque to index. I have not shimmed one, but should you need to, wheel bearing spacers for the old Harley wheels as found on panheads are stainless and .002" thick. The center hole is the correct size, and the exterior can be trimmed with good scissors.


Time is too short to explain how to cut the square thread should you need to set the barrel back to achieve headspace. If you get into that quagmire, post again.

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Thanks for the reply. As it stands the chamber will have to be reamed to properly head space. With the barrel hand tight the bolt will not close on a go gauge. My main concern is that the barrel might be chrome lined and if that would require a special kind of reamer? Thanks again for the reply. I look forward to getting this build together. C-

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Again, it is not chrome lined. If the barrel is hand tight, either it is not indexed, or it will not be indexed when it is tightened. Unless something has been truly hashed up, the bolt is not lined up so that the extractor will go into the recess in the barrel. Has the bolt been stripped prior to checking headspace?


If not, strip the bolt and try again. If the bolt has been stripped, close the bolt with the barrel screwed off a half a turn with the gage in place. Screw the barrel into the receiver until it stops against the headspace gage. The amount you have to turn the barrel to index is the amount you have to remove from the chamber in order to index and headspace. Rent a reamer from 4D Reamer Rentals in Kalispel MT if you do not have one and are not willing to fork out the money for one.

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