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Rare Springfield Armory Model 1903 Rifle. c. 1907

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Rare & Fine Springfield Armory Model 1903, c. 1907

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 excellent condition, Springfield Armory Model 1903 Rifle in .30-06 that was manufactured in early 1907. This rifle is very rare because it was one of the earliest Model 1903 Rifles manufactured as “new” rifles after the 1906 alterations were approved and it remains in its 1906 alteration configuration as chambered in .30-06.

The serial number of this 1903 Rifle is 374903, which was manufactured at Springfield Armory in early 1907. Although the .30-06 would be officially adopted in 1906 for the Model 1903, this transition did not occur until late in 1906 and it was several years before all of the original .30-03 rifles could be converted to the new caliber. As a result, newly manufactured 1903 rifles incorporating the 1905 and 1906 alterations are very scarce.

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 portion 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 without the weep hole in the bottom and it has the correct sans serif “S” Springfield stamp on the left side. 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. This is one of the last rifles to be fitted with this open sight base as the solid base was introduced later in 1907. The Rear Sight Base is pinned at the bottom with the pin ground flush to the outer surface of the base. The base retains 75% of the original finish with thinning along the lightening cuts and it is now exhibiting 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 that now exhibits a slightly darkened patina. 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 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 finish. The Windage Knob is the correct smaller 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 “1-07.” This is one of the earliest barrels initially manufactured at Springfield in the then-new .30-06 caliber and it is in very fine condition. The bottom of the barrel, visible through the open fixed rear sight base, has numerous stamps including a “J15” steel lot stamp and a serif firing proof “P” stamp. The Barrel retains the vast majority of the original blued finish along the length.

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 that now largely exhibits a plum patina. 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 marring to the slot. The original Front Sight Blade 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. This rifle gauges 0 at the muzzle.

The Trigger Guard is the early and correct Third Type, which was milled. 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. 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 “S31” steel lot number on the bottom of the safety lug. This “S31” heat lot number is correct for Springfield Model 1903 Rifles manufactured from in 1907. There is a Rockwell Hardness Test punch mark 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 vast majority of its original bluing. The Safety is the correct early Second Type with serif “READY” and “SAFE,” that retains considerable original case-hardened finish that is now a dark dull 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 a fourth partial row. 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 soft 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 near mint condition, rare and beautiful, original Springfield Finger Groove Stock with no reinforcing bolt (which began in 1908) and it retains its high wood profile. The left side of the stock has rare, original and crisp, rounded corner, sans serif “C.C.V” cartouche, which is the final inspection cartouche of Springfield Inspector Charles C. Valentine, who inspected 1903 rifles from 1905 to 1908. In the magazine cutoff recess is a serif “L” stamp as well as two serif “U” stamps. The bottom of the stock wrist has the correct circle, sans serif “P” firing proof stamp below a “90” stamp. This is the original stock for the rifle and was a newly manufactured 1906 alteration stock because it does not have any alterations from the rod bayonet or 1905 knife bayonet alterations at the nose. This stock is inlet for the open bottom fixed rear sight base and is in mint condition, retaining its original oil finish and it has never been sanded. This is the finest early no-bolt stock I have ever seen. 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 original smooth butt plate, which was used until 1910, is present. The exterior surface of the butt plate exhibits largely a pewter patina with generous traces of the original bright blue finish. The tang retains considerable original blued finish. 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 the majority of its 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 a very few minor 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, although it is now somewhat hard to read. The bottom of the handguard, just forward of the fixture slot, has what appears to be an star-shaped stamp, which matches a similar stamp in the stock inlet. It also has the correct, large, rounded Windage Knob clearance cut. There are a few very 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 the majority of their original finish. 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 was not incorporated until after 1908. 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 one 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 is a rare Springfield Armory Model 1903 Service Rifle from 1907 that remains in its 1906 alteration configuration and has never been subsequently altered or modified. This is a museum quality rifle.

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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