SOLD FOR: $1000
Make: Springfield Armory
Serial Number: 978310
Year of Manufacture: 1918 (page 373 of Joe Poyer’s book, The M1903 Springfield Rifle and its Variations, 3rd Edition)
Barrel Date: November, 1941
Caliber: .30-06 Springfield
Action Type: Bolt Action, Internal Magazine
Markings: The top of the receiver is marked “U.S. / SPRINGFIELD / ARMORY / MODEL 1903 / 978310”. There are three punch marks below the serial number. The top of the barrel is marked “S A / flaming bomb / 11 – 41” . The safety is marked “SAFE READY” and the magazine cutoff is marked “ON OFF”. The top of the bolt handle is marked “HO 16”. The bottom of the bolt handle is marked “SA” and with partial stamps. The right rear of the bolt body, right side of the rear sight and rear of the safety are marked “R” for Remington. The barrel band is marked “U”. The bayonet lug is marked “H”. The bottom of the grip is marked with a “circled P” proof.
Barrel Length: Approximately 24 Inches
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a pinned blade atop a raised 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 hinged door for storage. The buttplate and stock hardware show scratches, discoloration from oxidation and areas of surface erosion. The rear of the handguard shows repairs. The wood shows scrapes, scratches and compression marks. Some have damaged small portions of the surface wood. These marks have been oiled. The LOP measures 13 1/8 inches from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The stock rates in about Very Good overall condition as refurbished.
Type of Finish: Parkerized
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The grooves are dark. The rifling is well defined. There is erosion throughout the bore. It is heavier in the grooves. The bore shows an M.E. of 2.3.
Overall Condition: This rifle has lost its metal finish. The metal shows scrapes, small scratches, surface erosion and a brown patina. The bolt and right side of the receiver show operational wear. Some of the screw heads show heavy use. The markings are well defined. Overall, this rifle rates in about Fair to 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: The rifle comes with an unmarked leather sling.
Our Assessment: When the US Army was looking for a rifle design to replace the 1898 Krag rifle, they looked directly at the Spanish Model 1893 Mauser. This was due to the fact that the performance of the Model 1893 Mauser was far superior than that of the 1898 Krag during the Spanish-American War. The Model 1903 is basically a redesigned Mauser clone. A U.S. Patent Court eventually found that the U.S. Army had violated Mauser’s patents and required the U.S. Army to pay the German Mauser manufacturers patent royalties. Payments were stopped once WWI started. The 1903 has a strong reliable action that served the Army for over thirty years in two world wars.
This Springfield Armory 1903 was made back in 1918 so it was around for the end of WWI and for all of WWII. We don’t know its service history but it was most likely put to good use on or near a battlefield. The rifle has been rebuilt and now uses a WWII dated Springfield barrel. Most of the finish has been lost to oxidation but the metal has nice markings and looks pretty good for a 105 year old military rifle. It will add to your Military collection. Good luck.