1903 vs. Mauser '98

  • 549 Views
  • Last Post 2 weeks ago
beagle6 posted this 4 weeks ago

I've always heard how accurate the 1903 Springfield was, but since it is basically a 98 Mauser clone, is it really any more accurate than the Mauser? I know that the National Match '03 were special and had special ammunition,but I'm talking about service rifles with issue ammo. What could you reasonably expect in terms of MOA? How did the M-1 stack up?

beagle6

Attached Files

Order By: Standard | Newest | Votes
RicinYakima posted this 4 weeks ago

I look at it this way, there were 20 plus makers of 98 Mausers with many different levels of quality. There were 2 1/2 makers of Model 1903's and two makers of 03A3's. They had one set of specifications until the last two years of production of 03A3's. It isn't the design, but the quality of production that makes the difference. There a Mausers that are very accurate, but most are not as good as the average 1903. Now you are talking about 75 year old rifles that all need a lot of TLC to shoot as well as they did new.

Service rifles with service ammo? Last service ammo was made in 1972 for the 1903, and 8 MM maybe 1980's for Eastern Europe manufacture? Shooter skills with iron military sights varies several MOA. How well will they shoot now? Look at the CBA Military Records and count the Springfields and count the Mausers that are record holders. Look at this year's CBA Military Nationals for MOA capabilities.

Attached Files

Ken T posted this 4 weeks ago

Roy Dunlap had some comments on the accuracy or lack there of in Ordnance Went Upfront.They weren't all accurate as built.Mostly depends on the quality of the barrel.I used to own a 1909 Peruvian Mauser that would routinely shoot into MOA but that was exceptional.It had an SIG barrel.

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • RicinYakima
45 2.1 posted this 4 weeks ago

I've always heard how accurate the 1903 Springfield was, but since it is basically a 98 Mauser clone, is it really any more accurate than the Mauser? I know that the National Match '03 were special and had special ammunition,but I'm talking about service rifles with issue ammo. What could you reasonably expect in terms of MOA? How did the M-1 stack up?

beagle6

It varies with the rifle, lot of ammo and the shooter. I've seen some rifles in the 1903 and 98 shoot under MOA while others were 2 to 4 MOA. Same with the M1. Not everybody is going to get the same results with like rifles and ammo either.

Attached Files

BudHyett posted this 4 weeks ago

The Springfield rifle was developed in a controlled study to produce a durable rifle with accuracy. The ability to exercise quality control plus an unspoken rivalry between the two arsenals, Springfield and Rock Island, worked to produce rifles of exceptional quality. The ordnance department and the arsenals recognized the quality of the barrels was a large factor.and both arsenals strove to produce good barrels. With the advent of the 03A3, barrel quality was stressed. Even the production of two-groove barrel was closely held for testing before going into production.

I now own five different Springfields and each is consistent within two MOA with ball ammo when I have done my part. With cast, the rifles are one MOA, but not consistent. I I think the nut behind the butt-plate needs more adjustment. 

As a new buyer decades ago, both of my uncles told me to buy a Smith-Corona 03A3 since Smith-Corona built the rifle to drawing specifications and Remington know where they could cut corners. Back then, you could go to the Aledo Gun Show and say you were not too interested in a rifle built by a typewriter company to save a few dollars. Eventually, this approach did not work.

Country boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • M3 Mitch
Ed Harris posted this 4 weeks ago

A big factor in the accuracy of the '03 vs. the Mauser was the quality of ammunition.  There were different acuracy specifications for "clipped" or "rifle" pack vs. "linked" or "belted" pack for machinegun use.  This was adhered to even in wartime.  Rifle ammunition had to produce no worse than a 5-inch Mean Radius at 500 yards, whereas machinegun ammunition could go up to 7.5 inches, unless it was designated as "overhead fire" ammunition for shooting over the heads of friendly troops, which has to meet the rifle specs.

It was also found during WW2 that AP ammunition produced more accurate lots than Ball ammunition, so this was often selected for sniper use.  I was told by William C. Davis, Jr. that this wasn't necessarily due to any magic in the design of the AP bullet, but was simply by virtue of the draw and forming dies being new and producing better parts, whereas the Ball M1 and Ball M2 dies were old and by 1943 were mostly worn out.

I still have a quantity of FA34 Ball M1 as well as LC43 APM2, and TW 54 Ball M2 of selected lots which all met the accuracy requirements for Match ammo, being retested at Quantico during the early Vietnam era and producing 3.5 inches or less Mean Radius at 600 yards, being designated as sniper quality and used by the Marines until adoption of the 7.62mm M40.  After Vietnam the great majority of that ammo was allocated to the FBI for field office and academy training use until one LTC Oliver North scooped it all up, as well as most of the remaining M72 Match ammo on hand, having it all, well over 3 million rounds, linked up for Browning machineguns, being sent south where it was used with good effect by the Contras.

Larry Gibson, authenticated the story when I told it, saying that he knew people who had the good sense to de-link some of that M72 and repurpose it for sniper use.

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

Attached Files

Dale53 posted this 3 weeks ago

I had both a brand new 98 Mauser liberated by one of my father's friends. I was in the local High School Vocational Machine Shop. I took it into the shop, pulled the barrel and turned off the "steps" in a nice sporter taper. I was actually graded on my project (imagine taking a high powered rifle into a school vocational shop these dayscranky)... I put it into a sporter stock and used it for several years. It was a good performer, but not "match quality".

I had several 03A3's and was able to buy several brand new, still in the original wrapping, two groove barrels. My pet 03A3 was a match quality rifle. I shot some nice scores with it using a two groove barrel and cast bullets. We only shot at 100 yards as that was the limit at my local gun club range. My brother recently sold his 03A3, with a spare barrel, to a dealer. He then took the proceeds to another dealer and picked up a VERY nice S&W Model 14. It seems the nostalgia just keeps on givingtongue-out...

FWIW

Dale53

Attached Files

Larry Gibson posted this 3 weeks ago

"I've always heard how accurate the 1903 Springfield was, but since it is basically a 98 Mauser clone, is it really any more accurate than the Mauser? "

That being the question I have observed over the years shooting many M98s of various military configuration and many M1903/M1903A1/M1903A3/M1903A4s that; given equal condition and equal quality ammunition neither is more inherently accurate (if precision is the question) than the other.  With either design of rifle in very good to excellent condition and quality ammunition either jacketed or cast both were capable moa accuracy +/-.  I've shot a lot of "ball" ammunition in both designs and the accuracy then depends on the quality of the ammunition, most notably the quality of the bullet.  In both designs of rifles accuracy with ball ammunition can range for 2 moa +/- to very, very poor.

If "accuracy" as in hitting the target, especially smaller targets or at longer ranges, is the question the M1903 series is the more "accurate" than the M98 simply because the sights are better and readily adjustable, as previously mentioned.

"How did the M-1 stack up?"

Service grade M1s in excellent condition (not referring to "new condition" here but referring to the mechanical condition) can still shoot very well with quality ammunition but as a general rule not as accurate as either both gun, especially with ball ammunition on average.  The accuracy is entirely adequate (if not extremely adequate) for combat requirements.

LMG

 

Concealment is not cover.........

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • M3 Mitch
  • John F.
Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 3 weeks ago

interesting ... regarding the actions themselves, even with match barrels on field varmint rifles, the mausers seem to run out of goodie at about 1/2 moa ... and i have never played with a springfield varminter ...

wonder if Donaldson and the other early benchresters settled the mauser/springfield actions contest.   ? anybody recall if this was mentioned in the literature from that era ?  not counting the rare solid single shot mauser benchrest action available i think in the '60's.

**********

speaking of the '60s i think those Browning Mausers back then were the nicest of any of the commercial rifles.  since i couldn't afford one, i built one based on the commercial Mauser FN action; just a straight Herter's stock, tho ...

ken

Attached Files

BudHyett posted this 3 weeks ago

 I bought an Unertl Programmer 24X at Cabela's several years ago for $1,000.00 with the rifle included. The salesman was trying to talk me into a Ruger #1 in .375 H&H when I spotted this.scope with rifle. This scope was for ASSRA and ISSA Traditional competition with the callout for external adjustment scopes. 

I was so eager to get the scope home I never even looked at the rifle other than the tag that said the caliber was .220 Swift and a thumb-hole stock. Imagine my surprise when I got home and the rifle was the FN 400 single-shot benchrest action. The barrel is unmarked for maker, 26 inches with no taper. The rifle weighs 19 pounds, 14 ounces. I had a treasure from the days of my youth. 

This rifle and my Ruger #1V both shoot well the same 37.0 grains IMR 4064 with Sierra 55 softpoint boattail load. Ten shots reliably in .8** at 100 yards and that is fine. Both are keepers for prairie dog and coyote shooting. 

I've spent many hours with bullets and powders trying to get sub half-minute groups with 98 Mauser actions in the 1960's and only achieved this goal in the 1970's by going to the Remington 700 and 788 actions. The romance of the Mauser and Springfield are part of the military competition, but the Remington 700 and the commercial variants are far superior for precision and accuracy.

Jack O'Connor stated many small groups are more easily shot with a typewriter than with a rifle. 

Country boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

Attached Files

JeffinNZ posted this 3 weeks ago

" Jack O'Connor stated many small groups are more easily shot with a typewriter than with a rifle. "

Now that's funny right there.

Cheers from New Zealand

Attached Files

45 2.1 posted this 3 weeks ago

I've spent many hours with bullets and powders trying to get sub half-minute groups with 98 Mauser actions in the 1960's and only achieved this goal in the 1970's by going to the Remington 700 and 788 actions.
We didn't have extremely good jacketed bullets (those that were capable of half MOA and lower) in the 60's to about 75 or so. Jacketed bullet quality advanced a lot when they learned to make concentric even wall thickness jackets. Shooting the same rifle with bullets and powder from then and now will convince you of that.

Attached Files

beagle6 posted this 3 weeks ago

Once again I am amazed by the depth of knowledge available here. Thanks everyone for being willing to share it.

beagle6

Attached Files

BudHyett posted this 3 weeks ago

In the late 1980's, there was an evolution of scope power and tracking ability, more uniform jackets, more powders available that were tailored to medium capacity cases. barrel quality, and composite or fiberglass stocks that  caused a quantum leap in precision and accuracy.

In the cast bullet field, the introduction of several mold makes with more precise dimensions, high-temperature lubes, and shared knowledge brought greater precision and accuracy. 

Country boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • RicinYakima
  • M3 Mitch
BigMan54 posted this 3 weeks ago

My Dad had a 1903 target rifle, re-barreled with a heavy 26" tube and set into a Coast Carving Left-hand thumbhole stock. It had a "Unertl" type scopewith external adjustments.  Can't tell any more about it as it was one of the " DON'T TOUCH IT GUNS !!! ".  But I do remember the G. I. Match brass and the tiny groups at 100 & 200yds shot with Sierra MatchKings. I would have given just about anything to have been able to shoot it.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

Attached Files

beagle6 posted this 3 weeks ago

BigMan

What became of your dad's rifle?

Also, Ed, I love the beautiful neck anneal on those Lake City armor piercing rounds.

beagle6

Attached Files

Dukem posted this 2 weeks ago

The only thing I can add is that for awhile I had 5 Springfields, two 03s and 3 03A3s. I could neck size the brass with a Lee collet neck sizer and the rounds would fit in any of the 5 rifles. I also size my Lee 312-155-2R cast bullets to .311" and all the ammo will interchange in those rifles. Darn, that was convenient. I attribute such interchangeability to the quality control standards of Springfield, and Remington. Maybe it was just luck, but I don't often believe in luck or coincidences.

Now I have the RCBS Gold Medal X-dies that full length size the body and use bushings to control neck diameter. About every other firing I run the brass through the X die just to keep things running smoothly, but you can feel there is not a lot of sizing resistance.

Duke

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • RicinYakima
Close