WWI Springfield 1903 US 1913 Sniper Scope .30-06 U.S. Bolt Action Rifle C&R
SOLD FOR: $2725
Make: Springfield Armory
Serial Number: 560522
Year of Manufacture: 1914 (page 373 of Joe Poyer’s book, The M1903 Springfield Rifle and its Variations, 3rd Edition)
Barrel Date: September, 1913
Caliber: .30-06 Springfield
Action Type: Bolt Action, Internal Magazine
Markings: The top of the receiver is marked “U.S. / SPRINGFIELD / ARMORY / MODEL 1903 / 560522”. The top of the barrel is marked “S A / flaming bomb / 9 – 13”. The safety is marked “SAFE READY” and the magazine cutoff is marked “ON OFF”. The bottom of the bolt handle is marked with a punch. The rear bolt lug is marked “1 5”. The barrel band is marked “U”. The bottom of the bayonet lug is marked “H”. The bottom of the grip is marked “15” and “circled P”. The left side of the stock, above the trigger, is marked with a boxed inspector’s stamp containing “J.F.C.”. The top of the butt is marked “N.U.17”.
The side of the scope is marked “TELESCOPIC MUSKET SIGHT / MODEL OF 1913 No3849 / THE WARNER & SWASEY CO. / CLEVELAND OHIO U.S.A.” and with patent information. The scope has sighting and distance plates attached along the top & front.
Barrel Length: Approximately 24 Inches
Sights / Optics: The front sight blade has been removed to facilitate the use of the scope. The base is still in place. 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.
A reproduction side mounted scope base is secured to the receiver by 3 screws. The 5.2 power Model 1913 Warner Swasey scope slides onto the mount from the front. The button on the top front of the scope assembly must be pressed down to lock and unlock the scope on to the side mount.
The large knob is the elevation knob and the smaller knob is the windage knob. A replacement locking screw has been installed on the large elevation knob.
The scope uses a crosshair reticle and 3 small rangefinding lines. The glass is slightly dim. Several small black flecks are in the view. The leather eyepiece has hardened and most has broken off. The scope assembly shows several scrapes and scratches that have removed areas of the paint finish. The scope assembly is in about Good condition.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The two piece hardwood stock has a straight grip, nosecap with bayonet lug, barrel band, 2 sling loops, 2 reinforcing pins and a checkered metal buttplate with hinged door for storage. The buttplate shows discoloration. The nosecap screw will not tighten down. The nosecap shows discoloration and some surface erosion. The wood shows scrapes & scratches. The most prominent marks are on the belly of the stock. The wood has been oiled. The LOP measures 13 inches from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The stock rates in about Very Good Plus overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue. 1903 rifles were blued until 1918.
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The grooves are dark. The rifling is well defined; less pronounced at the muzzle. There is erosion in the bore. The erosion is heavier in the grooves. The bore shows an M.E. of 1.
In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates a 5 out of 10.
Many military and C&R eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide. For example, the U.S. used corrosive ammunition throughout WWII. The U.S. military did not begin to phase out corrosive-primed ammunition until the 1950’s.
Overall Condition: The barrel and rear sight base have been treated with cold blue. This rifle retains about 40% of its current metal finish. The metal shows scrapes, small scratches and discoloration from oxidation. The receiver and bottom metal also shows light surface erosion. The bolt and receiver show operational wear. The screw heads show heavy use. 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 a Model 1913 Warner & Swasey scope assembly. The scope base is a reproduction. See above.
There is a metal oiler tube stored in the butt. A pull through thong & loop are inside one end of the tube.
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 WWI Springfield Armory 1903 was made back in 1914. It is topped with a Model 1913 Warner & Swasey scope assembly. The scope base is a reproduction. The Model 1913 scope was used as a sniper scope on Model 1903 Rifles during WWI. We don’t know the service history of the rifle or of the scope but they were most likely put to good use on or near a battlefield. The rifle has seen some use but still looks impressive.
…Now go shoot something!