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Rare & Fine Springfield Armory Model 1903 Rifle c. 1906

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Rare & Fine Springfield Armory Model 1903, c. 1906

Please check out my website at newmarketarms.com for this and other antique military firearms.

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This is a rare and very fine condition Springfield Armory Model 1903 Rifle in .30-06 that was manufactured in 1906. This rifle is very rare because it was one of the very first Model 1903 Rifles manufactured with all of the 1906 alterations, to include the 1905 bayonet and 1906 .30-06 barrel and rear sight.

The serial number of this 1903 Rifle is 193230, which was manufactured at Springfield Armory in the fall of 1906. Although the .30-06 would be officially adopted in 1906 for the Model 1903, Springfield spent a considerable time altering earlier rifles from the .30-03 caliber and much of their production capacity was spent on altering these rifles with the 1905 alterations. Based upon the serial numbers of 1903 rifles manufactured in 1906 with .30-06 barrels also dated in 1906, Springfield did not manufacture very many rifles with all of the 1906 alterations making this a very rare rifle.

The serial number on the receiver is stamped in the correct and early script style. The Receiver retains the majority of its original case-hardened finish on both the lower, protected areas and in the protected areas on the upper, exposed areas. There is no Hatcher Hole on the left side of the receiver so it was never altered for WWII service. The bottom of the receiver has numerous sub-inspection stamps.

The Trigger is the early first type with thin taper and smooth face. The Trigger retains the majority of its finish and this particular type of Trigger was used by Springfield up until 1910. The Sear is the early type with weep hole in the bottom. The Sear Pin retains considerable original blue finish on its face and on the body of the pin. The Sear Spring remains in the white.

The Magazine Cutoff is the correct and early first type with serif "OFF" and "ON" stamps and the rounded area where the cutoff switch is milled into the portion with the spindle hole. The barrel retains considerable original case-hardened finish. The cutoff functions correctly and moves smoothly.

The Rear Sight is held by the early and original, open bottom Fixed Rear Sight Base designed for the Model 1905 Rear Sight. The Rear Sight Base is pinned at the bottom with the pin ground flush to the outer surface of the base. The base retains 95% of the original finish with thinning along the lightening cuts that now exhibits a plum patina.

The Rear Sight is a Springfield manufactured Model 1905 Adjustable Rear Sight with the correct .30-06 leaf graduations to 2,850 yards, which replaced the earlier .30-03 leaf graduations to 2450 yards in late 1906. The face of the leaf remains correctly in the white. The top of the Leaf has the volley fire notch. The back of the Leaf, at the top, has the correct half-round slide stop. The Drift Slide is the Second Type with the horizontal line that bisects the peep hole and without the vertical platinum line. The back of the drift slide has the sans serif “6” stamp, indicating the peep hole is 0.06” in diameter. The Slide is the third type and the Elevation Slide Binding Knob is the early type that is dished and knurled with a central groove running around the knurled portion. The binding knob retains the majority of its original blued finish. The Windage Knob is the correct and early small type that is also dished with knurled and grooved. The windage knob retains 95% of the original blued finish. The slide correctly adjusts for windage and elevation. The Leaf Spring retains the majority of its original finish.

The Barrel is the original Springfield marked barrel with sans serif “SA” over the Ordnance Bomb stamp over the date “10-06.” This was a newly manufactured barrel in 1906 chambered in the new .30-06 caliber. The bottom of the barrel, visible through the open fixed rear sight base, has numerous stamps including a “C10” steel lot stamp and a serif firing proof “P” stamp as well as serif “K” and “W” stamps. About mid-length on the bottom of the barrel are several other small inspection stamp including serif “P,” “W” and “L” stamps. The Barrel retains the vast majority of the original blued finish along the length and is in very fine condition. The bore is in very fine condition with a mirror finish and strong rifling and minor frosting in the grooves. There is very minor pinprick pitting at the muzzle and it measures approximately 0.5 at the muzzle so this rifle was not fired very much in service.

The original Front Sight Base is present and is still secured tightly to the barrel. The base retains the majority of its original blued finish with scratches from the Front Sight Cover. The Front Sight Moveable Base also retains the majority of its original blued finish and is correctly staked to the Front Sight Base. The Front Sight Screw exhibits very minor marring to the slot. The original Front Sight Blade retains the majority of its original blued finish.

The Trigger Guard is the early and correct Third Type, which was milled. This guard has the sans serif “S” stamp on the bottom of the guard in the area covered by the floor plate. The Trigger Guard is in very fine condition and retains the vast majority of the original blue finish. Both original Trigger Guard Screws are present and both retain the majority of their original blued finish that is starting to thin. The forward, shorter screw has a slightly marred single slot.

The Floor Plate is correctly milled and has the distinctive straight milling cut on the bottom and the more gradual slope at the front edge that was the standard at Springfield. See “United States Rifles and Machine Guns: Manufacturing the Springfield, 1903 Model Service Rifle,” by Ethan Viall Colvin, reprint of McGraw-Hill edition from 1917, page 173. The Floor Plate retains the vast majority of its original blued finish. The interior, protected surface retains the majority of its original blued finish.

The Follower Spring is the correct type with rounded crimp/bend points and it retains considerable fire tempered finish. The Follower is the correct milled type that retains considerable blued finish on the top surface with wear on the top divider and on the right side ledge as well as on the front and rear ends. The bottom of the Follower retains the majority of its original blued finish with wear noted towards the back where the follower spring bend rests.

The Bolt is the correct and early Springfield Armory type with straight handle and small gas hole. The Bolt has the “S” steel lot number on the bottom of the safety lug. This “S” heat lot number is correct for Springfield Model 1903 Rifles manufactured in 1906. There is a “5” inspection stamp on the bottom of the bolt handle root. The Bolt retains 90% of its original blue finish that is showing wear along the friction points and sharp edges/high points with the balance a mixture of wear to the white and a pewter patina. The Extractor Collar is correctly milled and retains considerable original blued finish in the protected areas. The Bolt Handle and knob retain the majority of their original blued finish. The Left Locking Lug has the correct bolt stop detents on the bottom of the lug. The Extractor is the correct early type with the gas escape hole. The exterior surface retains the majority of its original blued finish with a small area of wear down to the white. The interior surface retains considerable original blue finish that is starting to fade.

The Bolt Sleeve is the correct and early 3-position type that retains the majority of its original bluing throughout. The Safety is the correct early Second Type with serif “READY” and “SAFE,” that retains considerable original case-hardened finish. There is correctly no hole in the top of the safety. The Safety Plunger and spring work correctly.

The Cocking Piece is the correct early type with three distinct rows of fine checkering and one partial row of checkering. The Cocking Piece retains 90% of its case-hardened finish on the barrel and considerable original oil quenched finish on the head, all of which is now exhibiting a plum patina. There are two milled rings on the neck of the Cocking Piece that contour smoothly towards the front. The Firing Pin Collar exhibits the majority of its original blue finish with wear on the top and bottom edges. The Firing Pin (or Striker) shows considerable original blue finish in the protected areas with wear at the tip and towards the front. The Firing Pin Spring remains in the white with 36 coils.

The Stock is an excellent condition, rare and beautiful, original Springfield Finger Groove Stock with no reinforcing bolts (which began in 1908) and it retains its high wood profile. The left side of the stock has original, rounded corner, sans serif “J.F.C.” cartouche, which is the final inspection cartouche of Springfield Inspector James Francis Coyle, who inspected 1903 rifles starting from 1905. In the magazine cutoff recess is what appears to be a serif “D” stamp. The bottom of the stock wrist has the correct circle, sans serif “P” firing proof stamp below a “59” stamp. This was the original and then newly manufactured stock for the rifle because it does not have the 1905 alteration of a dowel plug forward of the upper band screw hole. The nose of the stock has the correct serif “S” stamp.

This stock retains its original oiler cutout in the butt and never received the later modification of an additional milled out spare parts recess cut, which was incorporated into all stocks starting in 1911. The interior of the stock is still milled for the early open-bottomed fixed rear sight base. The original smooth butt plate, which was used until 1910, is present. The exterior surface of the butt plate exhibits largely a pewter patina. The tang also exhibits a plum patina. The interior surface of the butt plate retains the vast majority of its original blued finish. Both the convex, single slot tang screw and flat, single-slot plate screw, are present. The tang screw retains the majority of its original blue finish. The plate screw exhibits largely a pewter patina with areas of original bluing around the edge. The trap door is present and the original spring keeps the door closed securely.

The Stock has the milled Rear Sling Swivel Assembly, which retains considerable original blued finish. Both lower sling swivel screws are present and both have unmarred slots. The Lower Band Spring retains the majority of its original blued finish. There are numerous minor dings and scratches noted but no cracks or chips are noted. This is a very beautiful and very rare stock.

The Handguard is a beautiful concave ramp type with the flat top and fixture slot on the bottom. This flat top handguard ended in 1910 when the short sighting groove was added. It correctly does not have the two handguard clips. The top, rear of the handguard has the correct sans serif “S” stamp. The bottom of the handguard, just forward of the fixture slot, has a crisp “72” stamp. It also has the correct, large, rounded Windage Knob clearance cut. There are minor dings and small scratches on the handguard but no cracks or chips noted. The finish on the both the stock and handguard match perfectly and neither has ever been sanded.

The Lower Barrel Band is the correct milled type with the "U" stamp on the right side and it has the early split shank on the Upper Sling Swivel. The Band and Sling Swivel retain the vast majority of their original finish that remains a beautiful and vibrant blue. The Upper Band is the correct milled type introduced when the knife bayonet was approved in 1905 and it correctly does not have the sans serif "H" hardness stamp on the bottom of the bayonet lug, which did not appear until after 1906. The Band retains the majority of its original blued finish on the bottom portion with the top exhibiting a pewter patina. The Stacking Swivel has rounded ends or tips and is milled.

This rifle also comes with an original leather Model 1907 Rifle Sling. The sling still retains both of the original sewn leather keepers. Both original brass claws are present and both remain solidly riveted to the sling. There are no marks visible on the sling.

This rifle also comes with an original 2nd Pattern nickel-plated brass oiler with original thong and bore brush.

This is a very rare Springfield Armory Model 1903 Service Rifle that was one of the very first Model 1903 rifles manufactured as a 1906 alteration rifle and it remains in much the same beautiful condition as the day it was completed. This is a museum quality example of a very scarce example of an early 1903 rifle as manufactured at Springfield Armory.

This rifle is C&R eligible and will come shipped in a new Plano rifle hard case. This rifle will also come with an historic writeup and a CD containing all of the photos in the listing. I accept Visa and MasterCard and charge NO FEES. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like additional photos posted.

 

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