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Posted By: Kutter '03 Sporter,,any ideas who may have built it? - 06/20/15 03:27 AM
I picked this up at a show last month. It sat on a table looking for an owner. It had a couple of 'issues' as they like to say now. It appeared to have taken a fall right onto the toe of the butt.(I think maybe during Friday Nite Set-up,,looked pretty fresh!).
The toe was splintered and the steel butt plate was bent. The Lyman 48 sight top bar was bent down I'd guess from the secondary bounce..
Other than that, I didn't see any damage.
So for $500 it was mine.

I fixed the toe and butt plate. Needs a little finish fix-up yet to blend things in but it that's no problem. The Lyman 48 is back straight. It shoot's great. A quick range visit placed a handful of Denver Arsenal/'42 AP rounds into an inch at 50m from an elbow rest.
A bit low but sight adj can come later.

The rifle has absolutely no markings on it other than the standard SA markings on the recv'r ring. The ser# is 1,277,xxx.
The bolt electro-pencil # matches the rec'vr and is visable on the top of the bolt with the action closed. Bolt handle marked J5 on the shank where it joins the bolt body.
No striker knob (NM?). Very nice single stage trigger, but still has military parts inside, no alterations to take up the first stage of the normal 2 stage pull on the military trigger. Is that another NM feature?

BBl has witness mark with the rec'vr on the left side just above the wood line. No rear sight spline cut on the bbl.
No markings on the bbl at all (caliber, maker, retailer,,,)
No SA or military marks on the bbl.
Banded front sight. Spring loaded push button release catch on the left side for a sight hood (missing). Front sight blade is secured into the base from the front via a dovetail,,not a side to side dovetail.
Sling swivel bases look like they'd take something like the Winchester style TD swivels(missing). Front base is a saddle style base soldered to the bbl 3 " ahead of the forend (ebony tip)
Rear base is a screw in base.

Bolt handle is hollowed out and is checkered in a 2 panel pattern on the backside.

It has a side mount scope base on the recv'r. I think it was added later than the rifle was built as the 3 screws and 2 pins that hold it aren't very neatly trimmed off as they could be. Just a guess though. It sits very far forward and the bolt is not altered at all. Either a true side mounted scope or one sitting slightly forward to clear the bolt perhaps. I'm not much for scopes, so the side mt may go and fill in the holes and simple wood slice.
I think it's a Noske (sp?) mount but just a guess.

Solid steel grip cap. No marks under it or on it. Single screw secures it. Trap door butt plate, w/ widows peek. Checkered w/ border and a couple simple large scrolls at the top.
Marked 'Germany' in tiny letters at the base inside. Underneath 2 extra cartridge holes and 1 larger cavity which came with a neatly rolled up brush and tip pull-thru cleaner. It's deep enough that another accessory can fit on top of the pull-thru yet.

Military floor plate release though the spring does feel lighter than my Sedgley. There are initials hand engraved on the plate.

Inside, the rifles ser# in pencil marked into the wood just behind the recoil lug area. No other markings anywhere,,wood or metal.
The inletting on the action and bottom metal in very tight but done with draft so the bottom metal releases easily with a gentle tap. Small chisel and gouge marks galore but very precise.
The bbl inlet precise as well but scrape finished very smooth.

About it,,,I really like the rifle. Perfect bore, very smooth action. Still has the military follower to hold the bolt open after the last shot.
Rust blue finish
Checkering is done w/ 60* cutter it looks like. Definetly not 90*. Haven't measured it but I'd guess 26 or 28 lpi

Sorry for the long dissertation, I tried to get all the info I could out.
Here's a couple pics that are slightly better than nothing.

I like this rifle and think you did very well indeed for the price. Off the top of my head I'd say John Dubiel is possibly the stocker. The cheekpiece and the checkering pattern look like ones I once owned from him. It sounds like an NRA sporter too. Does it have the slight radius on the front of the receiver ring?
Nice looking and at a great price. I too would say you did well. No idea on maker based on my limited experience. Sounds like it shoots as good as it looks. From your pictures and description, it sounds like a quality rifle based on one of the best platforms of the era. Looks like you were able to repair the "issues". I feel like I have seen it before, any chance the previous owner might have had it on Gun Broker?
"...Does it have the slight radius on the front of the receiver ring?.."
No purposely cut radius,,just a square edge.

"....I feel like I have seen it before, any chance the previous owner might have had it on Gun Broker?..."

I picked this one up at an OGCA (Ohio Gun Collectors) show. But it may have been on GB. The guy sets up and sells all the time.

Thanks for the comments!

Most of the 1903s in the 1277XXX serial number range are NRA Sporters, I have one in that range. That's why Bill was asking about the front of the receiver radius. If you will PM the entire serial number, I will see if it is listed in SRS.


Is the grip cap the same as this one? Photo number 8.
Originally Posted By: relics6165

Is the grip cap the same as this one? Photo number 8.

Grip cap is a solid cap,,no trap door. Single wood screw thru the center.
I'll see if I can post a pic of it, the front sight & whatever else I can think of.

Thanks for the interest in the rifle.
Show us the scope base, we may be able to verify if it is Noske or not.
Very nice Dubiel you have there. Might take a look at this thread.

I am beginning to wonder if Dubiel didn't do some stock work for Hart Arms while he was in Cleveland. Some of the early Hart guns just look to much like a Dubiel. Can we get a close-p of the rear sling swivel, and the scope base?

Thanks for sharing.

A few more pics of the rifle and parts requested.

Included are a couple of the front edge of the rec'vr. I didn't think it had a chamfered edge, but the pics say otherwise I think. Time for better glasses or maybe I should just wear my optivisor around full time!

I believe your rifle may have originally been an NRA Sporter. The stock work looks like one of the cheaper modifications done by Griffin & Howe in the 1930's. I have a 1922M1 that has similar features but no Griffin and Howe name on the barrel. I have documentation that my rifle was shipped from Springfield Armory to G & H. Michael Petrov identified my rifle from pictures I sent that it was G & H work. The small filled hole just forward of the butt swivel base suggests that it was an NRA stock but if it came on an NRA Sporter it would have crossbolts. It could have been a stock off a Model of 1922 Springfield. If it has the small mortised out place in the front of the magazine well to allow for insertion of the magazine that pretty much proves that it was a stock for a .22. cal. Regardless of the lack of some of the NRA Sporter Sporter features features I suspect that is what it was. serial no. 1277XXX falls in the midst of a bunch of NRA Sporter serial numbers. A star gauge number on the barrel under the fore end would indicate that it was an NRA Sporter barrel. I apologize for long and rambling post but my guess is that the maker was
Griffin & Howe. If you can obtain a copy of Petrov's Volume 2, look in Chapter 4, Depression Era Sporters.
Hi Hershel,
I do not think this could be an Armory stock. If you look at the first picture the top line of the stock is level all the way to the loading port cutout. The armory stocks began to taper down about half way back the receiver ring. The cheek piece also does not look added. I realize that G&H could add a cheek piece to an armory stock if the customer requested, but this does not look to be one of those additions. In the second set of pictures, the inletting looks way to good to be armory work. The armory stocks generally had plenty of clearance, particularly at the rear tang. Lastly I believe what you see in front of the rear sling swivel stud is a dent from the swivel making contact with the stock. There is a similar but lighter dark spot behind the swivel stud. It is also to close to be the other base hole. But I do agree that it started life as an NRA sporter.

The sling swivels are Hart arms swivels. After closer inspection, I believe it is a Hart Arms stocked rifle.

I agree with John. The parallel bottom of the cheek rest is always suspicious as Dubiel or Hart Arms if other things line up. There are some hard and fast rules on these but not many. Identification is more art than science. That is a nice rifle and a great find. If it were mine I would tidy up the screws, find a top for the mount and use as is. Very Nice!!!
I don't know if this is a reasonable contribution to this
tread or not, but it may help someone else. Here is a soon-to-expire link to a Hart Arms sidemount that was on ebay several months ago.

Hart sidemount
The new pictures do show the slight radius on the top half of the receiver ring. I think that clinches this as an NRA sporter.
Has the owner posted the serial number so we can look it up in SRS?
Kutter sent the serial number to me, it is an NRA Sporter.
I agree with you about the stock. My G & H rifle has a filled hole that looks very much like the ding in the subject rifle. I was making too much of that dark spot in trying to identify the stock.

Since the rifles is listed on SRS you can get a letter from them showing to whom, date of sale and city of residence of the original purchaser. It would be interesting to see if the initials on the floor plate are those of the original purchaser.
Sorry for the poor scan, but if you look at the rifle on the left, that is what I believe you have.

Obviously the rifle in question does not have the quarter rib.

Gasgunner, what is the rear sight in the picture above?
It is a Hart Arms bolt sleeve sight. Here is one of Michael s pictures. This is a later rifle than in the flier that has many of Harvey Rodgers later refinements in the stock.

That is a very fine rifle but hard as I try, I just can not warm up to the cheek piece flowing into the checkering. I love the profile though.
It is hard to really capture the small details in Rodgers work in photographs. But when you handle one of his stocks, you really appreciate his eye for line and detail. Everything is just so sharp and crisp, clean would be a good word I think. And he was not afraid to go against the grain when he felt the urge, such as with the cheek piece. I just wish he had worked for G&H as I believe his stock work was way better than Hart Arms metal work, and better than much of the G&H stock work.

Anyway, back to the original subject of this thread, I believe the rifle is an earlier Hart Arms rifle. The stock is a dead ringer for the ones in the flier. Great find, and a bargain for what the OP paid for it.

I'm with John on this. It's a Dubiel, no doubt!
Thanks to everyone for their input. I certainly learned a lot.
I knew it was more than just an average home sporterized '03 when I saw it. It just has that look to it.
So I wasn't about to walk away w/o it when the opening asking price was mentioned. I'm glad the crowd at the show was more interested in the current production Remington 700's and such and saw nothing in this rifle.

Another short trip to the range this week and a bit of sight adj this time to bring POI to center.
The same WW2 dated AP ammo puts 5 shots touching at 50m from an elbow rest. I've never shot a CF that well w/iron sights.
Good eye on picking out your new prize and I think It's great that with the help of everyone here you were able to identify your 03 as being made by Hart Arms.

John, To set the record strait, Kutter's 03 is "most likely" a Hart Arms rifle stocked by Harvey Rodgers not Dubiel, is that correct?

I would like to see this thread keep going,is there anyone here that would like to post another "unknown"?
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