Springfield 1903 NRA N.R.A. US U.S. .30-06 Bolt Action Rifle 1918 C&R
SOLD FOR: $1600
Make: Springfield Armory
Model: 1903. This is an N.R.A. Sales Rifle.
Serial Number: 623969
Year of Manufacture: 1916 (page 373 of Joe Poyer’s book, The M1903 Springfield Rifle and its Variations, 3rd Edition)
Barrel Date: January, 1916
Caliber: .30-06 Springfield
Action Type: Bolt Action, Internal Magazine
Markings: The top of the receiver is marked “U.S. / SPRINGFIELD / ARMORY / MODEL 1903 / 623969”. The top of the barrel is marked “S A / flaming bomb / 1 – 16” . The safety is marked “SAFE READY” and the magazine cutoff is marked “ON OFF”. The bottom of the bolt handle is marked with a partial stamp and a punch. The barrel band is marked “U”. The bayonet lug is marked “H”. The bottom metal is marked “flaming bomb / N.R.A.”. The bottom of the grip is marked “13” and with a “circled P” proof. The left side of the stock is marked with an inspector’s cartouche “JSA in a box”.
Barrel Length: Approximately 24 Inches
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a pinned blade atop a raised base. It is set 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, through bolt and a metal buttplate with hinged door for storage. The nosecap shows scrapes, thinning and discoloration. The wood shows several scrapes, scratches and compression marks. The LOP measures 13 inches from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The stock rates in about Very Good overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original. The receiver and front of the barrel have been treated with cold blue.
Bore Condition: The muzzle and grooves are gray. The rifling is deep. There is erosion in the bore. It is more prominent in the grooves and at the muzzle. The bore shows an M.E. of 2.5.
Overall Condition: The receiver and front of the barrel have been treated with cold blue. This rifle retains about 66% its current metal finish. The metal shows scrapes, scratches and discoloration from oxidation. Surface erosion shows through the cold blue finish on the barrel. The bolt and right side of the receiver show operational wear. Some of the screw heads show heavy use. The main markings are deep. Some of the small markings are well defined. Overall, this rifle rates in about Good to 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: The rifle comes with paperwork documenting the purchase of the rifle. The rifle also comes with a front sight protector and a metal oiler tube containing a pull through thong.
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 is an NRA Sales Rifle. It was made back in 1916 and still uses its original 1916 dated Springfield barrel. It is distinctly marked “N.R.A.” on the bottom metal which makes the rifle quite collectible.
NRA Sales Rifles were sold by the Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM) which was the forerunner to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). They were only sold to N.R.A. members in the 1913-1916 time frame. They were issued by both Springfield Armory and Rock Island Arsenal. Although not marked with the traditional “star” gauge, the barrels were air-gauged for bore quality to ensure they were the best available barrels for the target shooters. They are identified by the “flaming bomb / N.R.A.” stamp on the forward section of the bottom metal to denote that they were sold through the D.C.M. to an N.R.A. member. This scarce 1903 will add to your Military collection. Good luck.