POTD: U.S. Model 1903A3 in Unusual “Oarlock Sniper” Configuration


POTD: U.S. Model 1903A3 in Unusual “Oarlock Sniper” Configuration

Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have a bastardized M1903A3 that you would think is a “bubba job” in the backwoods, but this apparently is not the case. This is an Oarlock Sniper M1903. As the story goes, these were modified M1903A3 rifles that were made to attach to literal oarlocks (the swivel that literally locks an oar to a boat). The oarlocks are made to be swung out of place until needed. With a short rifle and on a stable platform this was intended for quick accurate shots fired from a boat and from long distances with that bull barrel no less.

“Originally manufactured as a conventional bolt action military rifle circa World War II, this Remington has been subjected to a radical modification. The “RA FJA” inspected stock has been trimmed down to just over a foot in length, terminating shortly before the front reinforcement bolt and leaving a short straight wrist handle. The rear sight has been deleted, and the original barrel has been replaced with a massive (1 1/4 inch diameter), bright steel bull barrel. A custom steel bracket fixture is mounted to the barrel marked “2 232644-F-2” and “1013 D-9” which serves as the base for a canvas barrel sling and sleeve on the right, a swiveling pintle on the left, and a mounting rail (possibly a repurposed M-16 carry handle rail) on the top…

According to a statement made by the consignor, the modifications to the rifle were to make it compatible with a swiveling oarlock on a small boat. Designed to keep the oar inside the boat for storage purposes, the oarlock would permit the rifle to be swiveled down out of sight when not in use and then help brace the rifle when flipped up for use with the chopped stock permitting use in the confines of a small boat. Additionally, Walker/Waller was stated as the user of this weapon with the vaccination dates putting him in-country during the final days and aftermath of the Laotian Civil War which saw the Western-allied Laotian government driven out and replaced by the North Vietnamese-backed People’s Democratic Republic of Laos.”

Lot 3515: Remington Arms Inc 1903 A3 Rifle 30-06. (n.d.). rockislandauction.com. photograph. Retrieved November 10, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/62/3515/remington-arms-inc-1903-a3-rifle-3006.

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Writer | TheFirearmBlog Writer | AllOutdoor.com Instagram | sfsgunsmith Old soul, certified gunsmith, published author, avid firearm history learner, and appreciator of old and unique guns.

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