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Rare & Fine Springfield Armory Model 1903 Rifle c. 1909

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Rare & Fine Springfield Armory Model 1903 Rifle, c. 1909

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

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This is a very early and very fine, museum quality Springfield Armory Model 1903 Rifle in .30-06 that was manufactured in 1909. This rifle is very rare because it remains in its 1909 configuration and was never modified.

The serial number of this 1903 Rifle is 359321, which was manufactured at Springfield Armory in early 1909. In 1909, Springfield Armory only manufactured 40,191 Model 1903 Rifles, or approximately 3,350 rifles per month. The receiver serial number indicates the receiver was actually completed in 1908, but Springfield Armory only began full 1903 production again that year so this rifle was not actually created until very early in 1909.

The serial number on the receiver is stamped in the correct sans serif style. The Receiver retains the majority of its original case-hardened finish on both the lower, protected areas and 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 second type with thick taper, longitudinal ridges and a serrated tip. The Trigger retains the majority of its finish and this particular type of Trigger was introduced in 1909, replacing the earlier, thin taper, smooth face type. The Sear is the early type without the weep hole in the bottom. The left side of the sear has the correct sans serif Springfield “S” stamp. 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 the vast majority of the original case-hardened finish. The cutoff is in very fine, near mint condition.

The Rear Sight is held by the original, closed-bottom or solid 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. This is one of the first rifles that incorporated the There is a sans serif “X” stamp on the bottom of the base. The base retains 95% of the original finish with thinning along the lightening cuts high points.

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 “5” stamp, indicating the peep hole is 0.05” in diameter. The Slide is the third type and the Elevation Slide Binding Knob is the second type that is dished and knurled without the central groove running around the knurled portion. The binding knob retains the majority of its original finish. The Windage Knob is the early, small .450” diameter type that is also dished, 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 as does the rear sight base.

The Barrel is a Springfield marked barrel with sans serif “SA” over the Ordnance Bomb stamp over the date “1-09.” The Barrel retains 95% plus of the original blued finish throughout. The bottom of the barrel, about mid-way down the length, has numerous stampings including several serif “P” proof stamps and a star-shaped stamp.

The original Front Sight Base is present and is still secured tightly to the barrel. The base retains the vast majority of its original blued finish with minor scratches from the Front Sight Cover. The Front Sight Moveable Base also retains the vast 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 front sight is covered by the original Front Sight Protector that retains the majority of its original blued finish. The Barrel retains its original crown at the muzzle and the bore has strong rifling with a mirror finish on the lands and evidence of frosting in the grooves.

The Trigger Guard is the early and correct Third Type, which was milled. There is a serif “W” inspection stamp on the top of the guard adjacent to the floor plate release. The Trigger Guard retains 98% of its original blue finish that is simply beautiful throughout, to include the inside of the magazine well. Both original Trigger Guard Screws are present and both retain the majority of their original blued finish. Both screws have unmarred slots.

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 98% of the original and beautiful blued finish on both the exterior and the interior. The interior has a serif “R” inspection stamp.

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 “D” heat lot number on the bottom of the safety lug. This “D” heat lot number is correct for Springfield Model 1903 Rifles manufactured from 1909 until late 1910. 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 throughout. The Bolt Handle and knob retain the majority of their original blued finish and there is a “4” and Rockwell Hardness Test stamp on the bottom of the bolt handle root. 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 blue finish. 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 functions perfectly.

The Cocking Piece is the correct early type with four distinct rows of fine checkering (the fourth row is the thin row that begins to round over the edge towards the end). The Cocking Piece retains 70% of its case-hardened finish on the barrel and considerable original oil quenched finish on the head. 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 very minor 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 single bolt (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 Springfield final inspection cartouche of James Francis Coyle, who inspected 1903 rifles starting from 1905. In the magazine cutoff recess are crisp sans serif “E” and serif “D” stamps. The bottom of the stock wrist has the correct circle, script “P” firing proof stamp below a “21” 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 original checkered butt plate is present. The exterior surface of the butt plate retains the majority of its original blued finish, to include the tang. 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. Both screws retain the majority of their original blue finish. The trap door is present and the original spring keeps the door closed securely. The nose of the stock has the correct, small sans serif “S” stamp. The Stock has the milled Rear Sling Swivel Assembly, which retains 95% of its original blued finish. Both lower sling swivel screws are present and both retain the majority of their original blued finish. The Lower Band Spring retains the majority of its original blued finish. There are numerous very dings and scratches noted but no cracks or chips are noted. This is a very beautiful and very scarce 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 an arrow stamp and a “&” 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.

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 95% of their original blued finish. The Upper Band is the correct milled type introduced when the knife bayonet was approved in 1905 and it correctly has the sans serif "H" hardness stamp on the bottom of the bayonet lug, which first appeared in 1908. The Band retains 95% of its original blued finis. The Stacking Swivel has rounded ends or tips and is milled.

This rifle comes with an original leather Model 1907 Sling. Both brass hooks are still solidly riveted to the sling and both original, stitched keepers are present. The sling is marked “I.S. CO.” and it is still supple.

This is a rare Springfield Armory Model 1903 Service Rifle that remains in its original 1909 configuration.

This rifle is an antique and can be shipped to anyone. 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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