SOLD FOR: $3525
Make: Springfield Armory
Model: 1903. A Model 1913 Warner & Swasey Sniper scope assembly is installed.
Serial Number: 625449
Year of Manufacture: 1916 (page 373 of Joe Poyer’s book, The M1903 Springfield Rifle and its Variations, 3rd Edition)
Barrel Date: May 1916
Caliber: .30-06 Springfield
Action Type: Bolt Action, Internal Magazine
Barrel Length: Approximately 24 Inches
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a pinned blade set in a raised base. The rear sight is a “U” notched blade attached to a fully adjustable sight ladder. When flipped up separate notches and an aperture on the ladder can be used for sighting.
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.
A 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.
The scope uses a crosshair reticle and 3 small rangefinding lines. The glass is slightly dim. Several small black flecks and numerous tiny air bubbles are in the view. The leather eyepiece has been lost. The scope assembly shows several scrapes and scratches that have removed areas of the paint finish. The scope assembly is in about Fair to Good condition.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The two piece hardwood stock has a straight grip, nosecap with bayonet lug, barrel band, stacking loop, 2 sling loops, 2 through bolts, and a checkered metal buttplate with hinged door for storage. The buttplate shows surface erosion and wear. The nosecap shows scratches and discoloration from oxidation. The wood shows several filled surface repairs. The right side shows an edge repair at the front of the receiver. The right rear of the butt is missing a small piece of surface wood at the buttplate. The wood shows scrapes, light compression marks and several small spots of discoloration. The LOP measures 12 3/4 inches from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The stock rates in about Very Good Plus overall condition as refurbished.
Type of Finish: Blue. 1903 rifles were blued until 1918.
Finish Originality: Original.
The metal has been treated with cold blue.
Bore Condition: The bore is gray. 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 4.5.
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: This rifle retains about 20% of its current metal finish. Areas of the metal have been treated with cold blue but most of the cold blue finish has been lost. The metal shows scrapes, scratches, discoloration from oxidation and areas of light surface erosion. The action shows 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. See above.
A leather sling is attached.
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 1916. It is topped with a Model 1913 Warner & Swasey scope assembly. 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 has good markings on the barrel & receiver as well as on the scope.
…Now go shoot something!