Thursday, January 21, 2016

Club Rules Vintage Sniper Rifle

I shoot our club’s vintage sniper matches. I used an original M1D, but I found this was too difficult to single load in the prone position. As a collectable rifle, it just did not seem smart to put match wear on this rifle. Plus there was always risk of an out of battery ignition. At our club’s longest distance 300 yard, the 2.2 power, 70 year old, M84 scope was a challenge. Frankly, the optics are not that good.  While wonderfully accurate, the M1D just did not fit the bill. 

So I started with a Frankenstein Remington Model 1903 made in late 1942. The gun has a matched barrel and receiver, as well as Remington trigger parts. The rear sight and bolt are USGI replacements. The barrel has excellent rifling but does contain one patch of minor pitting, this will never be a collector grade barrel.

The stock is a repaired WW II vintage Keystone “C” stock. It has a full pistol grip and provides a comfortable platform for this rifle. The stock was cracked, sanded, and repaired. Its reasonable price and close color match made it a natural fit. The cheek pad helps with the high rings needed to ensure the opening and closing of the bolt clears the scope.     

The Remington M1903 does shoot very well and the minor pitting does not affect accuracy.  The S&K Instamount is an excellent product, its every bit as solid as a drilled and tapped scope mount. I was initially skeptical that any “no drill and tap”scope mount would actually work. I’m very pleased that this one does work so well. The instructions don’t have any pictures (important for a visual learner like me) but they are well written and easy to follow. Of course, the most difficult part of mounting a scope is aligning the cross hairs. It’s easy to cant the scope when tightening the ring screws. This job takes some care and mistakes can be avoided by using a scope mounting kit.

The scope is a 50s vintage Weaver K6, a popular commercial scope and can be found on auction sites, usually reasonably priced. While the optics are not perfect it is adequate for our club matches at 300 yards.    

One the spring weather arrives this rifle will be on the firing line with a purpose. We’ll have a further report then.  

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing how much guns have developed over the years. It is really fun to see how they used to be made compared to how they are made now. It definitely seems like it would be a really cool experience to be able to use a gun like this.