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BAMM - Help me pick one of these 03A3s

C.N. Double

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A friend wants to sell me one of his two 03A3s. Can you help me pick one? I'm no gun guru, but here's what I've discerned so far:


1. Both manufactured in 1943 and barrels appear to be match serial.

2. One is Remington (rifle A) made and the other is Smith-Corona (Rifle B)

3. Both bores look OK, but Rifle A appears to have a more distinct rifling and Rifle B's bore looks to have some very minor pitting towards the muzzle end.


Rifle A (Remington -- Top in pictures):

- Stock does not appear to be original -- It has something of a pistol grip (this actually feels better and fits me better)

- Action feels a bit tighter like it has been shot less than Rifle B.

- Bolt has an 'R' on the ring

- No markings on the stock that I can see

- Bore looks excellent

- Rear sight wobbles, but I think this can be fixed by simply drifting it left to right and into place?


Rifle B (Smith-Corona -- bottom in pictures):

- Stock could be orignal -- marked with a 'P' in a circle behind the trigger guard and very faint stamping on the left side. I can't make it out, and I'm pretty sure the pictures don't show it.

- Bore appears to have very minor pitting and rifling is less distinct than rifle A

- action feels nice and smooth but not overly worn.


I really want the Smith-Corona, but the stock on the Remington feels so much better to me, and the pitting in the barrel has me concerned. The only thing holding me up on the Remington is the wobbly rear sight.


Also, is the stock/grip on the Remington legal for BAMM, or does it constitute an illegal external modification?


Thanks for any advice!



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If it were me making the decision I would select the Remington.  Rear sight can be fixed. The pistol grip is BAMM legal. Personally the pistol grip over the long haul is the way to go. From your description it sounds like a good solid rifle.  Every one has different ideas.  My BAMM Rifles are Remingtons with 2 and 4 grove barrels both with pistol grips which are C stocks.  Good luck making your decision.  Just remember which ever one you buy go out and have a BAMM good time.
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Thanks, Goatneck!


This is exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. I like them both, but I agree the Remington seems like a more solid rifle. I've already managed to fix the rear sight (with permission from the owner), so that's no longer a concern. I'm taking them out to test fire tomorrow, so we'll see if one outshines the other.

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Thanks for the replies. Both rifles shot very well (I was shooting milspec FMJ ammo), so I think I'll just keep picking up both of them and seeing which fits better. In either case, I think I'll get away with a nice rifle, and I'm excited to find a BAMM.


Now I'm off to find bullets. It seems like there are lots of options, and I keep reading the name Norm Purcella, but I can't seem to find a website. Are gas checked bullets OK at all BAMM matches?


If I'm not a caster, what are my best options for buying bullets online?


Edit: Is Hoodoo Brown still making BAMM ammo?

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Hoodoo here. Yes, I still load BAMM ammo for several shooters. Norm makes a coated, gas checked bullet. I cast & load a lubed, gas checked bullet. I size my .30-06 bullets at .310 & have not found an 03 or 03A3 that won't shoot a cast bullet well. Let me know if I can help you...Hoodoo.


Thanks for reaching out! I sent you a PM and an e-mail (I think) -- please let me know if you don't get it. I'm still getting used to the WB forums.


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  • 3 weeks later...

I just had a great day at the range with the Remington, and I wanted post a quick update.


I ended up going for the Remington for many of the reasons already discussed, but it was a tough decision. I was able to put 5 shots in a 4.5" group at 100 yards from a seated supported position. And another 3 shots in a 6" group after making a final sight adjustment. This was after walking the target out from 25yds, to 50yds, then finally 100yds, as suggested by Hoodoo Brown.


With my last four rounds, I made an 11" group from a standing unsupported position, which I assume will be the most common position in a BAMM. I have no idea how good or bad this is, but it sure was fun to shoot.


Thanks again for the advice, and big thanks to Hoodoo Brown for outfitting me with ammo. I can't wait to compete in my first BAMM at the Texas WBAS Championship!


Edit: After doing some research, it looks like my groups weren't great, but I may not have cleaned the copper fouling out well enough. I've also not done very much precise shooting, so I think I have some learning to do. I'm confident it's more me than anything else  ;D


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With my last four rounds, I made an 11" group from a standing unsupported position, which I assume will be the most common position in a BAMM.


BAM Match shot as "sniper" is commonly from a benchrest or even sticks.  BAMM shot as combat or action could be shot from the 4 military positions (Standing, Kneeling, Sitting, Prone), or standing only, or using rough and ready rests.  Shooting position requirements will vary!


For example, at the NM State Wild Bunch Match that just wrapped up, I set up a Sniper stage with 10 shots from bench or sticks on 2 targets, maximum distance 250 yards.  And a Combat stage that put 5 rounds standing and 5 rounds "any non-fixed-support position (no benchrest or sticks) but including braced against a vertical post" at maximum distance of 210 yards.  Targets - about 1/3 scale steel buffaloes.  Both were fun.   


Other BAM shooters will affirm that I am always looking for a way to shoot prone from sling whenever I can. 


All this means - practice all the possible positions.  Sooner or later, you will use them!


Good luck, GJ

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Another thing that was really cool at that NM State BAM Match - we were shooting easterly in the afternoon on a clear day, with the steel painted black.  Through the spotting scope it was very easy to see the last 25-50 yards of the bullet flight!  Looked like a gray streak falling down against the black background until the bullet slammed into target (or dirt backstop) and splashed the target with lead streaks. 


For someone who thinks BAM rifle bullets fly fairly horizontally to the target, seeing that really reinforces the reality that we are rainbowing slugs into targets!


Good luck, GJ



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LTS,  ;D your groups look plenty good. That off hand group is great when you throw out the flyer.  At the Texas state championship we will be inside of 120 yards for sniper and 100 yards max for the combat. Both will feature different target presentation and promise to be a large time! We have plenty of side matches to thrill and entertain! We’re even having an 8 shot Garand stage (GAMM) Garand Action Military Match.  So if you have one get some lead ammo together for it and bring it with you.  Dusty Boddams
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