The ‘03A3 is great, and I recently saw a Gibbs Rifle Co. repro of the ‘03A4 WWII Sniper that was very nice (complete with a knockoff of the Weaver scope) for $825.
You’re right on shotguns too. I’m a big fan of the 12 in 16 gauge, the ‘97 is a true workhorse, and the A-5 is a brilliant piece of design. I have one from 1914 that works great.
The thing that people don’t seem to realize is that:
a) most military guns will be 2 MOA and under,
b) most people, when not shooting off the bench, can’t shoot 1 MOA,
c) most modern rifles under $1K are, quite frankly, of poor quality.
When I look at what a 03A3 can do with a two-groove barrel and ball ammo... it’s quite respectable. The rifle is durable as a rock and there are parts galore for the thing... available all over the place.
When he was close to dying...he asked me if I wanted one of his guns...I chose the WingMaster over the more $$$ A-5....but one of his son's had already claimed the WingMaster. Ha!! I ended up with a nice double barreled .410....
As things happen....my wife's step dad gave her a very nice A-5 12ga..with a slug barrel too a couple three years ago. Funny how things work.