Lot 3661: Springfield Armory U.S. - 1903
|The Finest Condition U.S. Model 1903 Springfield Model 1913 Warner & Swasey Sniper Rifle Extant|
|Estimated Price: $15,000 - $25,000|
|Serial #||Manufacturer||Springfield Armory U.S.||Model||1903|
|Stock||walnut||Class||Curio & Relic Long Gun||Rating||See Condition|
|Description||This Model 1903 Springfield rifle manufactured in 1916 and fitted with a Model 1913 Warner & Swasey Musket Sight (telescopic sight) marked with the rifle serial number. The U.S. Army purchased 5,730 Model 1913 W&S Musket Sights between 1913 and 1918. Most Model 1913 Warner & Swasey sights were mounted on Springfield M1903 rifles in the 620,000-673,000 serial number range "SPRINGFIELD RESEARCH SERVICE SERIAL NUMBERS OF U.S. MARTIAL ARMS, 1st Ed. P. 56". The earliest known U.S. M1913 Sight (No. 2130 is mounted on Springfield M1903 rifle No. 586,004 "PICTORIAL HISTORY OF U.S. SNIPING by Peter R. Senich, P.39". Model 1903 Springfield rifles with original Warner & Swasey sights that are serial numbered to the rifle are exceptionally rare. This rifle is a pre-WWI Springfield M1903 with blued barrel, rear sight base, barrel bands, trigger guard, floor plate and bolt. The receiver is casehardened with a black, oil-quenched finish. The cut-off lever and safety lock have a water-quenched casehardened finish with vivid case colors. The "ON" side of the cut-off and the face of the rear sight are polished bright. The rear sight has the 2750 yard center volley notch and windage and elevation knobs with dished faces. The trigger is grooved with a cross-hatched tip. The buttplate has fine checkering. The left side of the receiver is fitted with the original Warner & Swasey mounting bracket secured by three screws. The bracket screws are flush with the inside of the receiver and are staked in place. The oil-finished, black walnut, "S" type, stock has grasping grooves and a single reinforcing bolt. The left side of the stock is professionally inletted to clear the feet of the scope bracket. The "high hump" handguard has a sight clearance cut and two spring clips. The receiver is roll-stamped: "U.S./SPRINGFIELD/MODEL 1903" in four lines above the serial number "625605". The barrel is roll-stamped: "S A" immediately behind the rear sight base above the ordnance "Shell and Flame" insignia and the date "5-16". An "H" is stamped on the underside of the bayonet lug. The steel lot code "C 6" is stamped on the underside of the bolt safety lug. The front trigger guard finial is stamped with the Ordnance "Shell and Flame/NRA" marking applied to some Model 1903 rifles sold by the Director of Civilian Marksmanship prior to WWI. The marking was applied to show that the rifles had been authorized for civilian sale by the Ordnance Department and were not Army property. The Ordnance final inspection mark that consists of the initials "J.S.A." in a rectangle is stamped on the left side of the stock behind the magazine cut-off. An encircled, script "P" proof mark is stamped on the underside of the stock behind the trigger guard. A "D" sub-inspection mark is stamped in the cut-off recess of the stock. The early production Warner & Swasey telescopic sight is in the proper serial number range for this rifle and has a black enamel finish and the windage and elevation knobs have a black, oil-quenched, casehardened finish. The sight is complete with the original rubber eyepiece. A black painted, wind-correction/range-correction scale is attached to the top of the telescopic sight by four screws. The left side of the telescopic sight body is roll-stamped: "TELESCOPIC MUSKET SIGHT/MODEL of 1913 No. 2533/THE WARNER & SWASEY CO." above the two-line address and patent dates. The inside of the telescopic sight mount dovetail is stamped: "FOR RIFLE NO. 625605". The marking has been stamped with a fixture and the letters and numbers are neatly aligned and have uniform depth. Included with the rifle is a scarce, russet leather, Model 1911 case for the Model 1908 Warner & Swasey Musket Sight. The case is stamped with a rifle serial number "409495" on the front and retains the original leather shoulder strap. Model 1903 rifles equipped with Model 1913 Warner & Swasey Musket Sights were used by the U.S. Army on the Mexican Punitive Expedition in 1916 and in France by the American Expeditionary Force in 1917-18. The Model 1903 rifle equipped with a Model 1913 Warner & Swasey Musket Sight was the first issue U.S. sniper rifle with a telescopic sight. All original Model 1903 rifles with Warner & Swasey Muskets sight are rare; examples with matching serial numbers are almost never encountered.
|Condition||Excellent plus. The rifle retains 98% or more of the original blue and casehardened finish. Wear is limited to some thinning on the floor plate and the front of the trigger guard finial and some minor finish wear on the right side of the receiver above the bolt. The bolt and extractor have some very minor cycling wear. The bore is in perfect condition. The screws are free of screwdriver marks. The stock and handguard are in as-new condition with raised grain no visible handling marks. The Ordnance final inspection mark and proof mark are crisp. The Warner & Swasey Musket Sight is in excellent condition and retains 98% of the black enamel finish, with a few age spots and some very minor edge wear. The windage and elevation knobs retain all of the casehardened finish. The screws on the top of the scope body have all of the original paint intact and have never been removed. The rubber eyepiece shows age but is complete and in very good overall condition. The optics have some dust on the inside of the butt are bright and in good condition. The rarely encountered Model 1911 carrying case is in very good condition with moderate handling and storage wear. This is one of the very few Model 1903 Rifles with matching serial number Warner & Swasey Model 1913 Musket Sight extant. It is almost certainly the best condition Model 1903 Springfield rifle with Warner & Swasey Musket sight known. This is a one-of-a-kind rifle; the best condition Model 1903 Rifle with matching serial number M1913 Warner & Swasey Musket Sight that writer is aware of.|
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