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Why is my 1903 fully automatic?
August 4, 2015
2:05 pm
Jack Mayer

I inherited my great grandfather’s 1903 .22, nice rifle. It’s my understanding that the 1903 is semi automatic, meaning you have to pull the trigger for every round. However, I put three rounds in and pulled the trigger once, three shots were fired [ so fast it almost sounded like a single shot ] and three shell casings ejected. Does anyone know what is going on? Thanks.

August 4, 2015
2:37 pm
Kingston, WA
Forum Posts: 11815
Member Since:
April 15, 2005
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It is just not possible to diagnose a malfunctioning firearm sight unseen. That stated, the most likely cause is a broken (or altered/modified) sear. You need to take the rifle to a competent gunsmith and have him figure out what is wrong with it.


WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member

August 4, 2015
3:39 pm
Jack Mayer

Thanks Bert, will do.

August 4, 2015
8:31 pm
Location: 32000' +
WACA Member
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July 17, 2012
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Bert has steered you correctly.  For a 1903 that is FA you should take it to a competent gunsmith for diagnosis.  Having said that, there are 3 typical causes of FA in the 1903; The worn or modified sear that Bert mentioned, weak/broken/missing sear spring (very common) and finally, excessive gunk/debris in the action.

Two of those items are easy to check for yourself but the worn or modified sear should be diagnosed and repaired/replaced by a proffesional.

Also, keep in mind that a FA rifle in your possesion is a Federal violation so you should not delay in getting it corrected.

Hope this helps.


WACA Life Member #6284 - Specializing in Pre-64 Winchester .22 Rimfire


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