SOLD FOR: $7,140

Springfield 1903 Rod-Bayonet Rifle 1st Year Production .30-03 Blue 24″ Bolt Action C&R

Make: Springfield Armory

Model: 1903 Rod-Bayonet Rifle

Serial Number: 20745

Year of Manufacture: 1903

Caliber: .30-03 Springfield

Action Type: Bolt Action, Internal Magazine

Barrel Length: 24″

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a pinned blade set atop a raised base. The rear sight is a U notched blade, with aperture, attached to an escalator assembly. This the correct 1902 Krag style rear sight.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The two piece hardwood stock has a straight grip, nose cap with plunger for the rod-bayonet, hole for the included rod-bayonet, stacking loop, barrel band, 2 sling loops, 2 through bolts, and a metal buttplate with hinged door for storage. The buttplate shows oxidation and wear. The wood shows scratches and compression marks. 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.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore has deep rifling. The grooves are semi bright due to light fouling. There is oxidation near the muzzle. The muzzle shows an M.E. of 0.2. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates 8.5 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 95% of its metal finish. The metal shows small scrapes, areas of light discoloration from oxidation, and thinning on the leading edges. The area around the magazine cutoff shows thinning. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads show moderate use. The markings are well defined. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good Plus to Fine condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this rifle. We have cleaned this firearm and performed a mechanic’s check but expect many will want to clean the firearm again depending on their standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: The rifle comes with a stamped front sight cover and a 1903 dated Rock Island Arsenal 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 Rare first-year production Springfield 1903 was made in 1903 and is chambered for the original .30-03 Springfield cartridge. Between 1903 and January 1905 Springfield MANUFACTURED approximately 74,500 first pattern 1903 rifles chambered for the .30-03 cartridge and equipped with rod bayonets. Following a demonstration of the new rifle by the Chief of Ordnance, President Theodore Roosevelt directed the Ordnance Department to halt production of the rifle and modify it to accept a standard knife-type bayonet. Nearly all of the completed 1903 Rod Bayonet rifles were subsequently altered by Springfield Armory to accept the Model 1905 Bayonet and were re-chambered for the .30-06 cartridge. This distinctive Rod-Bayonet Rifle has a retractable 23 1/2 inch rod bayonet, nose cap with plunger for the rod bayonet, front sight with lightening holes, stamped front sight cover, correct 1902 Krag style rear sight with peep, and a 1903 dated Rock Island Arsenal sling.