03-A3 Drill Rifle Facts and Recovery Process
Visits since 28 January 2012

Clearing a Heavy Welded Cut-off

As the supply of 03-A3 drill rifles that only have a light tack weld on the cut-off dries up, more and more of us will be restoring receivers with heavy welds.
Here is how to clear the cut-off on one of the worst weld ups I have come across.

Cut off Wheel

You will need an abrasive cut-off wheel. This is what I use in a Craftsman 1/4" hand grinder.

Cut off Screw

Cut off Spindle

First remove the cut-off screw and spindle, in that order.
If you can't get these parts out, you will have to replace them.

Mark cut-off

Clamp it down!

Grind Carefully

Twist it off

You don't want to damage or lose the cut-off plunger or spring, so mark your first cut on the diagonal.
Clamp it down or hold it in a vise.
Grind almost all the way, but not through or the small bits may go flying.
When it is only hanging by a hair, twist the tab off and save the plunger and spring.
Notice that the plunger and spring are inside the cutoff which is why you want to make the first cut at an angle so you don't damage these parts.

First Cuts

Remove the material in between

Remove the material in between

Use a the abrasive wheel and make two initial cuts just inside the faces on the receiver.
Then remove the material inbetween.
Don't be tempted to put a screw driver in the gap below and try to pry out what is left there!

Cut-off Opening

Bob the bolt just behind the safety lug.

This receiver has massive weld through!

Not Pretty, but Servicable

All Clear!

If your cut-off opening does not look like the first picture, or your bolt won't come out, then there is probably weld inside the bolt channel.
Look in from the back with a flashlight and see what is keeping the bolt from coming out.
If it is just a tiny bit, you may be able to go in with a jeweler's file and clear it enough to get the bolt out.
If not you will have to bob the bolt.
With the back end of the bolt gone, put the bolt forward and you will be able to access the weld with a hand grinder.
Grind until the bolt comes free, then dress the channels and hole corners for free bolt movement.
It may not be pretty, but with some careful polishing and re-parkerizeing it will be just fine for a target rifle.