SOLD FOR: $13,090

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

Make: Springfield Armory

Model: 1903 Rod-Bayonet Rifle

Serial Number: 1899

Year of Manufacture: 1903 Barrel Date: 1905

Caliber: .30-03

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, nosecap 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 surface erosion and the bottom is proud of the wood. The wood shows scratches and compression marks. The most prominent marks are under the forearm, ahead of the barrel band. There is a section of edge wood missing at the top of the buttplate. 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 overall condition.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Original to Rebuild

Bore Condition:  The muzzle and grooves are gray. There is erosion at the muzzle and in the grooves. The bore shows an M.E. of 0.0. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates 6.5 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 80% of its metal finish. The metal shows scrapes, small scratches, and discoloration from oxidation. The rear sight and base show surface erosion. The receiver shows prominent discoloration from oxidation and light surface erosion. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads show heavy use. The markings on the metal 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. 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:  None

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 originally chambered in .30-03. It has been rebuilt and a 1905 dated Springfield barrel chambered in .30-03 has been installed. 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 Rare Springfield Model 1903 is chambered in its original chambering of .30-03 and is still in “Rod-Bayonet” configuration. 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, and the correct 1902 Krag style rear sight with peep.