SOLD FOR: $1225
Make: Springfield Armory
Model: N.R.A. Model 1903
Serial Number: 613659
Year of Manufacture: 1916 (page 374 of Joe Poyer’s book, The M1903 Springfield Rifle and its Variations, 3rd Edition) Barrel Date: February 1913
Caliber: .30-06 Springfield
Action Type: Bolt Action, Internal Magazine
Markings: The bottom of the floorplate tang is marked with a flaming bomb above “N.R.A.” (ref. Poyer pg. 29). The top of the receiver is marked “U.S. / SPRINGFIELD / ARMORY / MODEL 1903 / 613659”. The top of the barrel is marked “SA / flaming bomb / 2 – 13”. The safety is marked “SAFE READY” and the magazine cutoff is marked “ON OFF”. The barrel band is marked “U” on the right side and the nosecap is marked “H” on the bayonet lug. The bottom of the bolt handle is marked with a punch dot and “4”. The bottom of the wrist has a circled “P” cartouche below a small “57” and the left of the wrist has a boxed “D.A.L.” cartouche and a faded boxed “J.S.A.” cartouche. The bolt handle scallop is stamped “F8 / J”. The bolt lug is marked “S29”. The bottom of the barrel is marked “T” on the banded front sight base. The bottom of the stock is stamped “8” in front of the floorplate.
Barrel Length: Approximately 24 Inches
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a pinned blade atop a barrel-mounted base. It sits under a removable protective hood. The rear sight is a “U” notched blade attached to a fully adjustable sight ladder marked from “3-27”. When flipped up separate notches and an aperture on the ladder can be used for sighting.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The two-piece hardwood stock has a straight grip, nosecap with bayonet lug, stacking loop, barrel band, 2 sling loops, a single through bolt, and a metal buttplate with a hinged door for storage. There are some scattered compressions, draglines, and a few dings into the wood. The deepest mark is on the left side of the buttstock. The marks through the finish have colored with age. The LOP measures 12 3/4 inches from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The checkered plate has some areas of thinning. There is some erosion on the plate at the heel. The stock rates are about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: Parkerized
Finish Originality: Original to Rebuild
Bore Condition: The rifle has a four-groove bore. The bore is semi-bright and the rifling is worn but still clearly defined. There is scattered erosion in the bore. Our gauge gives us an M.E. of about 1.00.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 80% of its metal finish. The metal shows mottled patina, thining, and areas of finish loss. There are some spots of pitting and erosion on the safety, bolt handle, and extractor. There are some little scuffs and scratches. There are some spots of oxidation, some of the most noticeable are on the trigger guard and barrel. There are some areas of discoloration from previous oxidation. There is some erosion under the finish on the floorplate tang. There is standard operational wear. The screw heads show light use. Most of the markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Included is a leather sling and a cleaning kit stored in the buttstock.
Our Assessment: When the U.S. Army was looking for a rifle design to replace their Krag rifles, they looked at the Spanish Mauser Model 93 they captured during the Spanish-American War. Other than changing the firing pin to a two-piece design and a few other minor alterations, the 1903 was, in fact, a Mauser design, and the U.S. Government ended up paying royalties to Mauser Werke. The rifle was well worth it though. It had a strong and reliable action and served the Army for over four decades in two World Wars and would even be used in sniper variations in Korea and Vietnam. It’s fast .30-06 cartridge, adopted in 1906, continued to be the one cartridge that all others are compared against, whether it is for ballistics or felt recoil. In 1910, the Director of Civilian Marksmanship, or DCM, began distributing 1903 rifles or civilian use. The intention was to encourage civilian target shooting in the hope that future generations of shooters would be quicker and cheaper to train. The distribution of these rifles was done through the N.R.A. and the Chief of Ordnance, General Crozier, specified that rifles sold through the N.R.A. be marked on the floorplate tang like this rifle. The rifles were fitted with a star gauge barrel (the barrel was not marked with a star until 1921). The marking and sale of these rifles was discontinued when the United States entered World War I. This 1903 was made in 1916 and has the NRA marked floorplate. The barrel date does not match the receiver date and it appears that it was refurbished at some point. The mechanics are good and this 1903 will be a great addition to your C&R collection. Please see our photos and good luck!