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  #1  
Old 07-15-2018, 10:51 AM
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Default CMP vintage sniper match rifle

A few years back I grabbed this sporterized high-number Rock Island 1903at an auction with the plan of converting it into a 1903A1 USMC sniper rifle suitable for the CMP vintage sniper matches. My sons and I are planning to shoot in those matches.



It had the C stock and the scope mounting blocks already mounted. . The barrel was pristine and interestingly, is a less common Sedgeley.





I was satisfied this was a decent shooter after my son shot 100 yard groups like this with the Redfield sight that was mounted on the gun.



I mounted an 8x Lyman Targetspot Junior for some long range work and the rifle shot very credibly at 550 yards.



I have run into some issues, however. Turns out that the C stock, a required element of the rifle, had been cut too short to use. The 8x Lyman scope, while legal, is so dim that it is far from optimal for use in the match. The scope blocks were good and properly drilled and tapped, but also were not optimal for the match. Bottom line, it needed some work. After a new stock, new scope blocks, the addition of a few missing parts, I got this...





I also bought an 8X Hilux reproduction Unertl scope, but discovered issues with it and it is currently back at Hilux getting repaired.
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Old 07-15-2018, 3:16 PM
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Nice. Something I've always wanted to do....
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Old 07-15-2018, 5:33 PM
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Regarding the Lyman scope and most external adjusted scopes, they're not sealed or nitrogen purged, so some disassembly doesn't compromise integrity. I've picked op a few and cleaned the lenses, makes quite a difference. Great care must be taken to not disrupt the cross hairs and it's aggravating as heck spotting a smudge or fiber AFTER reassembly. I've just put an 8X Litschert Spot Shot on an early 1950's Winchester 70 in 220 Swift and it does very well. The Hi Lux optics are clearer no doubt, but I've never hear good things about their QC or mounts, screws, etc.
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Old 07-15-2018, 6:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ccandgc View Post
Nice. Something I've always wanted to do....
Thanks, cc

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Originally Posted by dfletcher View Post
Regarding the Lyman scope and most external adjusted scopes, they're not sealed or nitrogen purged, so some disassembly doesn't compromise integrity. I've picked op a few and cleaned the lenses, makes quite a difference. Great care must be taken to not disrupt the cross hairs and it's aggravating as heck spotting a smudge or fiber AFTER reassembly. I've just put an 8X Litschert Spot Shot on an early 1950's Winchester 70 in 220 Swift and it does very well. The Hi Lux optics are clearer no doubt, but I've never hear good things about their QC or mounts, screws, etc.
Thanks dfletcher. I've heard the same thing about the hardware. I used the Steve Earle blocks and sent it to ChuckinDenver for final assembly.

One thing that has occurred to me...I've got several external adjustment scopes, including a couple that are the proper size to use with the HiLux. What do think of using those rings with the HiLux, rather than the rings HiLux includes?
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Old 07-16-2018, 6:41 AM
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Was the first front scope block too low?
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Old 07-16-2018, 7:13 AM
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Nice Steve - looks like a good find and a perfect threat for the matches once you get it sorted out.

I miss the Sac Valley matches... One of the larger drawbacks to moving back down south.
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Old 07-16-2018, 7:51 PM
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Beautiful rifle sir. I love the 1903. It is an American classic.
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Old 07-16-2018, 8:28 PM
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Was the first front scope block too low?
I had the blocks silver soldiered and the gunsmith wanted to use the Earle blocks. The Steve Earle blocks are higher.
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Old 07-16-2018, 8:29 PM
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Nice Steve - looks like a good find and a perfect threat for the matches once you get it sorted out.

I miss the Sac Valley matches... One of the larger drawbacks to moving back down south.
Thanks, man.

I'll post a range report when the Hilux scope gets repaired.

Miss you at the matches. How are things going down south?
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Old 07-16-2018, 8:33 PM
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Beautiful rifle sir. I love the 1903. It is an American classic.
Thanks, M99.

The CMP vintage sniper matches appear to be dominated by the USMC 1903 rifles.

But these matches are a team match, with two shooters firing at 300 and 600 yards. I've got a Swedish M96 mixmaster being converted to a faux Swedish M41B to use as the second rifle.
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Old 07-17-2018, 5:41 PM
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Thanks, cc



Thanks dfletcher. I've heard the same thing about the hardware. I used the Steve Earle blocks and sent it to ChuckinDenver for final assembly.

One thing that has occurred to me...I've got several external adjustment scopes, including a couple that are the proper size to use with the HiLux. What do think of using those rings with the HiLux, rather than the rings HiLux includes?
That should avoid any issues. And may be the best of both worlds - new glass and old time externals.
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Old 07-17-2018, 5:53 PM
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Thanks, M99.

The CMP vintage sniper matches appear to be dominated by the USMC 1903 rifles.

But these matches are a team match, with two shooters firing at 300 and 600 yards. I've got a Swedish M96 mixmaster being converted to a faux Swedish M41B to use as the second rifle.
I’ve got a Swedish sniper with a scope mount no scopelooking for a good home. PM me
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Old 07-17-2018, 6:03 PM
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I'm jealous.

I saw a beautiful 1903 some time back, for a great price. I wanted a buddy who knows more about them to look at it and tell me if it was worth it. He said is was a gem and to buy it. Took all of 5 minutes to make the decision. Too late! Sombeody else (not my buddy) beat me too it by 30 seconds.

I've been on the lookout for another one for 3 years now that was as nice for a similar price...haven't come anywhere close.
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:24 AM
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That should avoid any issues. And may be the best of both worlds - new glass and old time externals.
Thanks, df. When I receive it, I'll try it with some Lyman and Fecker rings that I have.
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:24 AM
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I’ve got a Swedish sniper with a scope mount no scopelooking for a good home. PM me

PM sent
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:26 AM
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I'm jealous.

I saw a beautiful 1903 some time back, for a great price. I wanted a buddy who knows more about them to look at it and tell me if it was worth it. He said is was a gem and to buy it. Took all of 5 minutes to make the decision. Too late! Sombeody else (not my buddy) beat me too it by 30 seconds.

I've been on the lookout for another one for 3 years now that was as nice for a similar price...haven't come anywhere close.
Keep trying! They are out there.

The rifle I got was sported, so I got it dirt cheap. Luckily, it was sported in such a way that it worked to my advantage.
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Old 07-19-2018, 7:19 PM
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Keep trying! They are out there.

The rifle I got was sported, so I got it dirt cheap. Luckily, it was sported in such a way that it worked to my advantage.
Steve, where are you planning to shoot the CMP matches... are you going to the Western Games? I shot with my usual shooting pal last October. We ended up 5th place out of 26 teams so I was pretty happy with the results. You're definitely on the right track with an 8X as those guys were above our scores
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Old 07-21-2018, 6:26 PM
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That's a beautiful project!

I got to admit with the old optics it's weird how they work. On my M1D with an original M84 it's a bit of a shame because I can shoot tighter groups with the NM diopters on there. With the Mosin Sniper the PU scope works pretty well. With the Swede M41b the Ajax scope is superb.

One thing to check on the old scopes is good collimation internally. There used to be a few old time optical techs that could work miracles but they seem to be all gone. I had to do it myself on the M84 and after that it works pretty damn well, but I would still use the diopters over it.
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Old 07-23-2018, 7:35 AM
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Steve, where are you planning to shoot the CMP matches... are you going to the Western Games? I shot with my usual shooting pal last October. We ended up 5th place out of 26 teams so I was pretty happy with the results. You're definitely on the right track with an 8X as those guys were above our scores
Brian, the Phoenix Western Games with my younger son is definitely the plan. I'm having an accumount scope mount put on a mixmaster Swedish M96 for the second rifle.

Sounds like you did pretty well last year. Congrats. What were you and your partner shooting?
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Old 07-23-2018, 7:37 AM
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That's a beautiful project!

I got to admit with the old optics it's weird how they work. On my M1D with an original M84 it's a bit of a shame because I can shoot tighter groups with the NM diopters on there. With the Mosin Sniper the PU scope works pretty well. With the Swede M41b the Ajax scope is superb.

One thing to check on the old scopes is good collimation internally. There used to be a few old time optical techs that could work miracles but they seem to be all gone. I had to do it myself on the M84 and after that it works pretty damn well, but I would still use the diopters over it.
Thanks, Godfather.

Planning on using the 1903 @600 yards and an M96 with a 4x Weaver @ 300 yards.
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Old 07-23-2018, 8:54 AM
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We shot one of my M41b Swedes, and we shared the same rifle, so just one rifle for both shooters at both distances.

We shot it 2 years ago with our PUs and that was a mess. We tried to use one rifle for 300 and one for 600 but our cheek weld was so different between us that the windage and elevation were drastically different for both and at that point you have no time to make adjustments.
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Brian, the Phoenix Western Games with my younger son is definitely the plan. I'm having an accumount scope mount put on a mixmaster Swedish M96 for the second rifle.

Sounds like you did pretty well last year. Congrats. What were you and your partner shooting?
Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
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Old 07-23-2018, 5:21 PM
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We shot one of my M41b Swedes, and we shared the same rifle, so just one rifle for both shooters at both distances.

We shot it 2 years ago with our PUs and that was a mess. We tried to use one rifle for 300 and one for 600 but our cheek weld was so different between us that the windage and elevation were drastically different for both and at that point you have no time to make adjustments.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
Did the second shooter have to make adjustments on the M41B scope before firing the same distance that the first shooter had just fired?

Did you use the Ajax scope on your M41B?
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Old 07-23-2018, 6:03 PM
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Did the second shooter have to make adjustments on the M41B scope before firing the same distance that the first shooter had just fired?

Did you use the Ajax scope on your M41B?
With the nice leather cheek riser on the Swede, we had none of the problems that we had with the PU. It's made by Moore Leather in the UK, and that's the only style that is legal to use in the match.

The rifle we use is an original M41b with original A-jack scope. My partner had never fired it before, so I'm hoping we get some practice time in before going this year.

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Old 07-23-2018, 6:07 PM
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There is another guy making those cheek risers on Gunboards. Looks identical to the Moore Leather model. I glommed one of those for my faux M41.

I'm going to be using a weaver K4 but am having problems sorting out if my model is legal. It is the K4-1 microtrac. It has the duplex crosshairs.
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Old 07-23-2018, 6:07 PM
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I have the same issue with the M41b and use a leather slip for it. Luckily I have a big face and jaw.

The PU is a beast to set up. I have been meaning to do a comprehensive video on how it can be set up to be good for around 300 yards at center glass and 500 if we are willing to shoot at 100 way off center glass. It's a technique I am sure the Soviets did at one point. The parallax error can be done right if you follow this setup, but you loose quite a bit at short ranges to be able to hit at long ranges.
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Old 07-23-2018, 6:17 PM
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Hoping that not running the elevation up and down the scopes might be an advantage. Especially the Hilux external adjstment scope.
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Old 08-16-2019, 1:14 PM
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I got behind on this project, but finally received the scope back from Hilux, supposedly repaired. Last week I took the rifle to range, where I mounted the HiLux scope and found that the cross hairs were canted about 45 degrees off plumb. Damn!


Has anyone else experienced this problem?


I called HiLux and they explained that I could loosen a couple of screws on one of the rings and plumb the reticle. Has anyone done this before and if so, any suggestions on the best way to make sure the reticle is level?


I went ahead and fired the gun at 25 yds as is and found the rounds hit far to the right. I adjusted the scope until the hits were centered, then moved the target back to 75 yards. I couldn't get the rifle to group very well and finally removed the scope and fired 5 rounds of the Federal Gold Medal Match using the iron sights and was rewarded with an approximate 1" group. So Chuck did a fantastic job with the rifle. Still working with HiLux on the scope.


@75 yards. Pasters covering 25 yard shots, unpasted holes @ 75 yards with scope, small group in upper left shot with iron sights @ 75 yards.


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Old 08-16-2019, 2:46 PM
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I got behind on this project, but finally received the scope back from Hilux, supposedly repaired. Last week I took the rifle to range, where I mounted the HiLux scope and found that the cross hairs were canted about 45 degrees off plumb. Damn!


Has anyone else experienced this problem?


I called HiLux and they explained that I could loosen a couple of screws on one of the rings and plumb the reticle. Has anyone done this before and if so, any suggestions on the best way to make sure the reticle is level?


I went ahead and fired the gun at 25 yds as is and found the rounds hit far to the right. I adjusted the scope until the hits were centered, then moved the target back to 75 yards. I couldn't get the rifle to group very well and finally removed the scope and fired 5 rounds of the Federal Gold Medal Match using the iron sights and was rewarded with an approximate 1" group. So Chuck did a fantastic job with the rifle. Still working with HiLux on the scope.


@75 yards. Pasters covering 25 yard shots, unpasted holes @ 75 yards with scope, small group in upper left shot with iron sights @ 75 yards.


My suggestion is to ditch the Hi Lux. Getting the thing right is a version of Lucy and the football teasing Charlie Brown. Having said that, and I'm going by my own experience assuming the repro is like the originals, loosening the screw will allow you to cant the reticle so it sits square. Don't remove the set screw, just back it out enough to allow the collar to be turned.

If you still have the original scope referenced in 2018, I'd suggest trying to refurbish or at least clean the lenses. These scopes aren't sealed, so opening them up isn't an issue. I've picked up a few Litscherts and Unertls that looked dim as heck or had fuzz on the reticle. You have to be very careful but they often times can be salvaged. I don't have their names but there are folks out there who specialize in repair/refurbish. And you can generally find scopes at gun shows, where they can be inspected before buying.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:25 AM
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Thanks, fletch

The thing that kills me is that I have a Lyman Super Targetspot and a Fecker which both look better than the HiLux, but are unmarked as to power. I would gladly use them if I could determine that they are of legal power.

I also have a Litschert Spotshot, but it is marked "10 power" and needs a new reticle.

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Old 08-18-2019, 12:32 PM
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Guess I could slip the Lyman or Fecker onto the Springfield and shoot it for kicks.

Edit:

Went ahead and mounted the Fecker and the Lyman, just to see how they looked.

Fecker




Lyman

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Old 08-19-2019, 12:39 PM
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Thanks, fletch

The thing that kills me is that I have a Lyman Super Targetspot and a Fecker which both look better than the HiLux, but are unmarked as to power. I would gladly use them if I could determine that they are of legal power.

I also have a Litschert Spotshot, but it is marked "10 power" and needs a new reticle.

I have the Litschert Spotshot also. Sits on a Winchester 75. Got it fairly cheap at the Reno show a few years back. There were a few pieces of lint on the reticle, fellow selling figured it was tough to correct, which of course it wasn't.

There must be some SOP way of figuring out magnification - they look good on the 1903 pictured.
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Old 08-27-2019, 4:49 PM
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Mustang Mustang is offline
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I got to the range today and plumbed the reticle in the HiLux scope and shot the rifle. I also mounted the Fecker and shot the rifle and the 1903 liked the Fecker much better (maybe)

Here is the HiLux group...almost 3 MOA (but with a possible explanation)




Here is the Fecker...about 1.25 MOA



After I dismounted the HiLux scope and mounted the Fecker, a range buddy, who has a HiLux equipped M1903 and is quite happy with it, stopped by. He was looking over my dismounted HiLux and advised that he thought I might not have had all the screws on the mount tight.

If so, that might explain the large group size, which seems to be large in the windage dimension.
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Last edited by Mustang; 08-28-2019 at 5:49 AM..
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