Gibbs Rifles Springfield 1903-A4 Sniper rifle review

Ever since I bought this issue of Surplus Rifles, I have been Jones-ing for one of these rifles to fill the missing United States representative in my surplus rifle collection.

That’s Gibbs’ 1903-A4 reproduction sniper rifle on the cover. AIM Surplus has offered these but either from Gibbs or AIM they go for $999. I never had an extra grand laying around with nothing to do so it was a few years until I saw one come up second-hand in the local gun classifieds. A local guy wanted $800 for the whole kit so when you figure in the shipping and dealer transfer fees buying new, it was a pretty square deal. I could find no sign of it being fired when I inspected it and gladly made the purchase.

The rig came with a hard case, repro sling, manual and canvas sheath, just as it would from Gibbs or AIM. These were built off of surplus drill rifle receivers with new stocks, barrels and scopes. Bottom line to me is: If it shoots well at all it would be a great 30.06 for the surplus collection without breaking the bank for an original sniper.

It all seemed functional and I did need to lube it up a bit but once done the action was smooth as butter.

I swung by Walmart for the cheapest ammo they had on the shelf and headed for the range. I bore sighted to 100M best I could but wasn’t too happy with the feel of the scope adjustments. I shot 4 rounds and was not just surprised, I was extremely pleased:

That’s right, 4 shots with centers less than an inch apart. That’s what you call sub-moa with cheap ammo. I would say that with some practice and better ammo I could get a touching group at 100M.

I did find that when I tried to adjust the scope any more, one turret was off kilter and would barely turn. I didn’t want to break anything but I contacted Gibbs and apparently they had an issue with the overseas scopes from their first run. They offered an exchange that I gladly took them up on which amounted to a severely discounted better replacement. The new scope is a Hi-lux M73G2 that uses the same rings. I have just mounted the scope and cannot wait to take it to the range.

All in all, for the price even new, a nice 30.06 bolt gun pulling sub-moa is a square deal at about $900 to me but when you add the retro aspect it is still a good deal at $1000. You are essentially getting a brand new sniper rifle with this kit. With surplus rifle meets and events at Camp Perry showcasing this rifle, it will certainly be a good investment as word gets out what a good deal they are.

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