During the early stages of the Second World War, many units of the US forces were still equipped with the venerable M1903 Springfield. The M1 Garand was resource intensive to manufacture and the older Springfields were heavily relied upon to supplement the M1 in service. Moreover, the number of serviceable M1903 rifles was seen as insufficient to fully meet demand for rifles and a number of other patterns of rifle saw limited service throughout the war – the most prolific of those being the M1917. To address the need for arms, much of the tooling and gauges from Rock Island Arsenal Springfield Arsenal were provided to Remington Arms to manufacture the M1903 rifle. Throughout the course of production, a number of manufacturing shortcuts were implemented resulting in the simplified Model 1903M where the M stood for modified. This model was even further simplified to take advantage of emerging mass production technologies with a heavy reliance on stamped and welded parts and was standardized as the M1903A3 service rifle. In 1943 the US government suspended all non-essential typewriter production in the United States, directing that industry to focus its manufacturing expertise on the war effort. The M1903A3 was eventually also placed into production with the Smith Corona Typewriter Company in partnership with High Standard who supplied the rifled barrels to Smith Corona in both 4 and 6 groove varieties. While Remington produced and used many 2 groove barrels, Smith Corona did not.
The M1903A3 was characterized by a rear receiver-mounted aperture sight and its extensive use of mass-produced parts, especially stamped parts. The buttplate and buttplate trap were stamped instead of forged and machined. Field experience having showed the feature was rarely used, the trigger guard assembly was a stamped and welded unit without a removable floorplate. The follower, barrel bands, nosecap and front sight blade were also fabricated from stampings. Rather than being finely polished, the barrelled receiver was only finish machined and parkerized. The bolt body made use of undercuts behind the various protrusions to cut down on finishing file work as cosmetics were deemed a secondary concern. All the functional surfaces were give the same care as the earlier rifles and by all accounts, the M1903A3 functioned and fired as well as the prior M1903 rifles, but were less resource intensive to manufacture and faster to produce.