SOLD FOR: $2,935.00
Make: Springfield Armory
Model: NRA Sporter. Officially: “Rifle, U.S., Caliber .30, Model 1903, sporting type, star-gauged, fitted with Lyman No. 48 receiver sights”. See page 210 of Lt. Col. William S. Brophy’s book, The Springfield 1903 Rifles.
Serial Number: 1270392
Year of Manufacture: 1926 (page 373 of Joe Poyer’s book, The M1903 Springfield Rifle and its Variations, 3rd Edition) Barrel Date 9 – 25
Caliber: .30-06 Springfield
Action Type: Bolt Action, Internal Magazine
Markings: The top of the receiver is marked “U.S. / SPRINGFIELD / ARMORY / MODEL 1903 / 1270392”. The top of the barrel is marked “S A / flaming bomb / 9 – 25”. The muzzle crown is marked with a “star” as it is a star-gauged barrel. The safety is marked “SAFE READY” and the magazine cutoff is marked “ON OFF”. The barrel band is marked “U”. The top of the bolt handle is marked “W L” and “3”. The bottom of the bolt handle is marked with a partial stamping and with a “punch mark”. This is a Model 1903 replacement bolt. The face of the grip is marked with a “circled P” proof mark. The right side of the rear sight is marked with the old Lyman logo a “sights leading a stag” and “REG U.S. PAT. OFF”. The top of the rear aperture sight is marked “Lyman / REG U.S. PAT.OFF” and “Pat. JULY / 11-1911”.
Barrel Length: Approximately 24 Inches
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a pinned blade. The rear sight is a fully adjustable Lyman No. 48 aperture sight.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The following is from page 212 of Lt. Col. William S. Brophy’s book, The Springfield 1903 Rifles: “The sporter stock is the Model 1922 caliber .22 rifle stock without the finger grooves and with two stock reinforcing screws added. The barrel band is specifically manufactured to fit the shape of the barrel and stock and is the same as used on the caliber .22 rifle…The barrel and receiver were carefully bedded by hand in the walnut stock to give the best accuracy. The wood was finished by hand and treated with linseed oil. The shotgun type butt plate was of steel.”
The checkered buttplate shows some scrapes & thinning. The nose of the stock shows a small deep compression mark. The barrel band shows a small area of oxidation. The front sling loop is scraped. The wood shows a few scrapes & light scratches. The LOP measures 13 3/4 inches from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The stock rates in about Fine Plus to Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue. None of the NRA Sporter barrels were parkerized (page 212 of Lt. Col. William S. Brophy’s book, The Springfield 1903 Rifles).
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright; semi bright at the muzzle. The rifling is deep. There is no erosion. The bore shows an M.E. of 0.0.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 94% of its metal finish. The bottom metal shows light scrapes as well as areas of light surface erosion & thinning. The front of the barrel & front sight shows scrapes & thinning. The front sight is also scratched. The barrel shows 2 small patches of pin prick surface erosion just ahead of the stock. The barrel & receiver shows a few other light handling marks. The screw heads are intact. The markings are deep. Overall, this rifle rates in about Fine 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 letter from “SPRINGFILED REASARCH SERVICE” and with a copy of the original sales record. These pages shows light creasing and are in about Fine condition. According to page 210 of Lt. Col. William S. Brophy’s book, The Springfield 1903 Rifles, NRA Sporter Rifles were only available for purchase and were not issued rifles. The purchases were made through the Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM), the predecessor to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The paperwork documents the sale of the rifle to its original purchaser Lt. H.C. Demuth who was part of the Field Artillery Unit at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. The original purchase is “March 20, 1926”. The rifle also comes with copies of documents confirming Lt. H.C. Demuth’s career and noting some of his accomplishments. Included is a copy of an article he wrote for the Field Artillery Journal in March of 1942 entitled “FIRE DIRECTION WITH OUT MAPS”.
Our Assessment: This Rare Springfield Armory 1903 NRA Sporter is in Fine shape. It was made in 1926 and has spent time tucked away in someone’s safe for the majority of that time. It has a deep blue finish (none of the NRA Sporters were Parkerized) that looks great set in the hand finished walnut stock. The markings are deep and crisp. The star-gauged barrel has a bore that is strong & bright, the action & barrel were hand fitted to the stock and the Lyman No 48 Sights are in nice shape. This Rare NRA Sporter should be a great shooter that you can add to your collection. The rifle comes with paperwork from the Springfield Research Service documenting the original sale of the rifle to Lt. H.C. Demuth who was part of the Field Artillery Unit at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. The original purchase is “March 20, 1926”. The rifle also comes with copies of documents confirming Lt. H.C. Demuth’s career and noting some of his accomplishments.
The following is taken from page 212 of Lt. Col. William S. Brophy’s book, The Springfield 1903 Rifles:
“A total of approximately 5,538 of the NRA sporting type ‘03’s were manufactured. It was only discontinued only because the Ordnance Department was being criticized for competing with commercial enterprises in the sporting rifle industry. Yet, until that industry introduced similar rifles, the Springfield Armory Sporter was the finest American-made bolt action rifle available to the sportsman.”
CA Legal or CA Private Party Transferable: This rifle is curio and relic eligible and can be transferred/sold in California.