Rock Island Auction Company

Premiere Auction

Springfield Armory U.S. - 1903 Mark I

Lot 3653
Sold for
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Estimated Price: $40,000 - $60,000
Rare Pedersen Device with Metal Case and U.S. Model 1903 Springfield Mark I Rifle
Serial # ManufacturerSpringfield Armory U.S. Model1903 Mark I
TypeRifle Gauge30-06 Catalog Page288
Barrel Length26 Inch Round FinishParkerized Grip
Stockwalnut ClassCurio & Relic Long Gun RatingSee Condition
DescriptionExtremely rare Pedersen Device with equally rare metal case. Officially designated the "Automatic Pistol, Caliber .30, Model of 1918- Mark I", the Pedersen Device consisted of a semi-automatic bolt detachable magazine designed to replace the standard bolt in a modified Model 1903 Rifle and convert it into a semi-automatic weapon. The device fired a low velocity pistol sized cartridge designated the "Caliber .30 Automatic Ball Pistol" and had a 40-round magazine. The Pedersen Device was a secret weapon intended to provide U.S. Infantry with a close range semi-automatic rifle for assaults on enemy trenches and still retain the advantages of a high powered bolt action rifle for long range combat. The Army planned to introduce the Pedersen Device in the offensive against the German Army in the spring of 1919. Remington Arms manufactured 101,775 Pedersen Devices. When WWI ended in November 1918, the Pedersen Devices were placed in storage. In 1931 the security classification was removed from the Pedersen Device and all of the devices were ordered to be destroyed. The destruction was nearly complete; fewer than 100 Pedersen Devices are believed to exist in collections and museums today. The metal case is even more rare than the Pedersen Device itself; most existing Pedersen Devices lack the issue metal case. The Model 1903 Mark I rifle was manufactured by Springfield Armory in 1918 and identified by special receiver markings and the oval ejection port in the left side of the receiver. Original Model 1903 Mark I Rifles had a special receiver, stock, magazine cut-off, cut-off spindle, trigger and sear. After the Pedersen Devices were destroyed, the Mark I rifles had the special components removed and were converted to standard Model 1903 configuration. The Pedersen Device has a black-green parkerized finish. The top of the cocking piece has serrated grip panels and is roll-stamped: "U.S.A. 1918-MARK I/29828 in two lines on the left side. The right side is roll-stamped: "REMINGTON-BRIDGEPORT/PEDERSEN'S PAT'S. PENDING" in two lines. The Ordnance final inspection mark "E.E.C." is stamped on the back of the cocking piece. The metal case has the same black green finish as the device. Included with the device is a web magazine pouch marked "R.I.A./7-19. Each device was issued with a metal case, a web case for the Model 1903 bolt, ten 40-round magazines and two 5-magazine pouches. No magazines are included with the device. The Model 1903 Mark I rifle retains the original stock with indentation on the left side to provide clearance for the receiver ejection port. The receiver is marked: "U.S./SPRINGFIELD/ARMORY/MODEL 1903/MARK I/1145914" and the barrel is stamped "SA/2-20". The rifle has the correct magazine cut-off, cut-off spindle, trigger and sear. The rifle appears to have the original parkerized finish on the receiver, rear sight base and barrel. The stock is stamped with an arsenal overhaul mark "AAC" on the left wrist. The bolt is a WWII replacement.

ConditionThe Pedersen Device is in excellent condition and retains 95% of the original parkerized finish. The device is complete, original and functional. The markings and inspection marks are crisp. The metal case is also in excellent condition and retains 85% of the original parkerized finish. The exterior of the case has some minor light surface rust. The web magazine pouch is in excellent condition. The Mark I rifle is in very good condition with moderate wear. The rifle retains about 85% of the original finish. The stock remains in very good condition with clear inspection and proofmarks. The Pedersen Device is the most difficult of all Model 1903 rifles or components to obtain. A Model 1903 Mark I rifle with Pedersen Device and metal case is probably the rarest U.S. martial long arm. This is an excellent original example of a Pedersen Device with original metal case with a very good Springfield Model 1903 Mark I rifle. This group would be a stand-out piece in the most advanced Model 1903 or U.S. martial arm collection.
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