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Rare Springfield Armory Model 1903 with 1905 and 1906 Modifications

Product Description

Rare Early 1906 Modification to Springfield Model 1903 Rifle c. early 1907

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

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This is a rare and fine condition Springfield Armory Model 1903 Rifle in .30-06 that was manufactured in 1906. This rifle is scarce because it represents both early alterations of the original Model 1903 Rod Bayonet Rifle, to include the Model 1905 Bayonet alteration and the Model 1906 alteration from the original .30-03 round to the new .30-06 round, and remains in the subsequent Model 1906 alteration condition.

The serial number of this 1903 Rifle is 265234, 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 this, this rifle was likely assembled in 1907 after the 1905 dated barrel was re-chambered.

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 with the top, exposed areas exhibiting a salt and pepper patina. 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 vast 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 cutoff is in very fine condition with the barrel and “OFF” sides retaining the majority of the original and beautiful color case-hardened finish. The “ON” side is correctly polished to the white. The cutoff functions correctly and moves smoothly.

This particular rifle has a very rare type of 1906 alteration in that it has a barrel that was originally a rod bayonet rifle barrel that went straight to a Model 1906 alteration using the original rod bayonet rifle fixed rear sight base for the earlier Model 1903 Rear Sight. The Rear Sight Base remains pinned at the top, just like the earlier rod bayonet rifle, although the barrel was moved rearward .2 inches when the barrel was re-chambered for .30—06. The vast majority of modifications were done with barrels previously modified for the 1905 bayonet with 1905 front sight and then pinned at the bottom using a new fixed rear sight base. The base exhibits a plum and pewter patina.

The Rear Sight is a fine condition 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 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 Rear Sight Base exhibits a salt and pepper patina.

The Barrel is the original Springfield marked barrel with sans serif “SA” over the Ordnance Bomb stamp over the year “05”. This barrel was originally manufactured as a rod bayonet rifle barrel chambered in .30-03. The barrel was then modified for the Model 1905 Bayonet by modifying the front sight and it was further modified by shortening the length by .2 inches and re-chambering it for the new .30-06 cartridge. The bottom of the barrel, visible through the open fixed rear sight base, has numerous stamps including a “C3” steel lot stamp and a serif firing proof “P” stamp as well as serif “S” and “D” stamps. As noted previously, there is no pin recess visible on the bottom of the barrel, indicating this barrel was not originally altered for the Model 1905 Bayonet and when it was modified for the 1906 cartridge, it retained its original rod bayonet rifle fixed rear sight base and was re-pinned at the top. About mid-length on the bottom of the barrel are several other small inspection stamp including serif “P” and “L” stamps.. The Barrel retains the vast majority of the original blued finish along the length in the protected areas with considerable wear to a pewter patina on the exposed portion. The bore is in very fine condition with a mirror finish and strong rifling.

The original Front Sight Base is present and is still secured tightly to the barrel. The base retains traces of its original blued finish with scratches from what was probably a previously installed front sight cover. The Front Sight Moveable Base retains traces of its original blued finish and is correctly staked to the Front Sight Base. The Front Sight Screw is slightly marred. The original Front Sight Blade retains the majority of its original blued finish. There is a gap under the rear of the front sight base, which is indicative of an original rod bayonet rifle barrel that was modified for the new front sight and the base is correctly pinned at the front.

The Trigger Guard is the early and correct Second 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 Second Type incorporates a small pin at the top, front of the trigger slot, which was designed to prevent the trigger from moving so far forward that it could trip the sear and fire. The Trigger Guard retains considerable original blue finish in the protected areas with normal operational wear and evidence of old pitting on the sides and exposed portions. Both original Trigger Guard Screws are present and both retain the majority of their original blued finish that is starting to thin on the heads.

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 on the interior, protected surface with a very small serif “Y” inspection stamp. The external side retains the majority of the original blued finish that exhibits evidence of old corrosion and now is generally a plum patina.

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 early Springfield Model 1903 Rifles manufactured from 1903 to 1910. There is a sans serif “U” inspection stamp on the bottom of the bolt handle root. The Bolt retains 80% 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. 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 considerable original blued finish with a small area of wear down to the white along the center. The interior surface retains considerable original blue finish that is starting to fade.

The Bolt Sleeve is the correct and early 3-position type and it retains most of its now faded blue finish with wear on the sharp edges. The Safety is the correct early Second Type with serif “READY” and “SAFE,” that exhibits a muted oil finish. There is correctly no hole in the top of the safety. The Safety Plunger and spring work correctly. The detent button on the left side of the bolt sleeve remains correctly in the white.

The Cocking Piece is the correct early type with three distinct rows of fine checkering and one partial row of checkering. The Cocking Piece is in fine condition and retains considerable original oil quenched finish on the barrel with the head exhibiting a dark 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 throughout. 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 reinforcing bolts (which was added in 1908) and it retains its high wood profile. This particular stock was originally built for a Model 1903 rifle with the Model 1905 alteration when the rod bayonet rifle was eliminated and the knife bayonet was incorporated. When this stock was subsequently installed on this rifle, it had the 1905 alteration upper band holes filled with a dowel and the new holes drilled approximately .2” to the rear. The left side of the stock has rarely seen and original, 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 approximately 1905 to 1908. In the magazine cutoff recess is a “0” stamp. The bottom of the stock wrist has the correct circle, script “P” firing proof stamp below a “52” stamp. The top of the stock has the stamp “32 / 3,” which is probably the initial rack number for this rifle. 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 towards the rear with considerable original blued finish forward. 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 with evidence of old corrosion. 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. It has the correct, large, rounded Windage Knob clearance cut. There are minor dings and small scratches on the handguard and there is a lengthwise crack in the top of the handguard that is approximately 4 inches long and it was repaired on the underside with glue at some point. The crack remains solid. 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 now exhibits a mixed blue and plum patina. The Upper Band is the correct milled type introduced when the knife bayonet was approved in 1905 and it 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 is a very rare Springfield Armory Model 1903 Service Rifle that is unique in that has an original 1905 rod bayonet barrel that was not modified for 1905 but went directly to the Model 1906 alteration for the new .30-06 cartridge and it also has a beautiful stock that was originally manufactured for the Model 1905 alteration and then subsequently altered for the .30-06 barrel. This rifle functions perfectly.

This rifle is C&R eligible and will come shipped in a new Plano rifle hard case. This rifle will also come with a 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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