SOLD FOR: $1276.01
Make: Rock Island Arsenal
Serial Number: 381312
Year of Manufacture: 1920 (Page 374 of Joe Poyer’s book, The M1903 Springfield Rifle and its Variations, 3rd Edition) Barrel Date: October 1918
Caliber: .30-06 Springfield
Action Type: Bolt Action, Internal Magazine
Markings: The top of the receiver is marked “U.S. / ROCK ISLAND / ARSENAL. / MODEL 1903. / 381312”. The top of the barrel is marked “RIA / flaming bomb / 10 – 18”. 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 bayonet lug is marked “H”. The bottom of the bolt handle is marked with a punch dot. The bottom of the wrist has two faded circle “P” cartouches. The floorplate has a partially stamped “8”. The bolt lug is marked “NS”. The right side of the front sight base is marked “2”. The nose of the stock is stamped “R”. The bottom of the barrel has some twice struck “P” marks.
Barrel Length: Approximately 24 Inches
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a pinned blade atop a barrel-mounted base. 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, 2 through bolts, and a metal buttplate with a hinged door for storage. The left side of the stock has a repair behind the barrel band. The stock has been refinished. There are some scattered nicks, dings, scuffs, scratches, and scrapes. The majority of the defects have colored with age. The LOP measures 12 3/4 inches from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The plate has some scattered little nicks and scuffs. The stock rates are about Very Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: Parkerized, Blued Barrel
Finish Originality: Refinished
Bore Condition: The four groove bore is semi-bright. The rifling is sharp. There are a few spots of minor erosion, mostly in the grooves. Our gauge gives us an ME of about 1.50.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 70% of its metal finish. The receiver has some scattered scuffs, areas of mottled discoloration, and areas of mottled thinning. The receiver has some scattered spots of light oxidation. The bolt handle has some scattered nicks and dings plus some thinning and a few spots of discoloration from previous oxidation. The barrel at the rear sight has some mottled discoloration and patina and there are a few little scabs. The floorplate and trigger guard have some little scuffs, marks through the finish, and a few spots of mottled discoloration. The barrel has mottled thinning and patina. The front sight band base has some scratches and scrapes. The nosecap has some scattered nicks and scratches. 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: None.
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. This Rock Island Arsenal Model 1903 was made back in 1920 and has since been installed with a replacement barrel. It has nice historical markings and a nice bore that can still do plenty of work. Please see our photos and good luck!