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Auction Date: April 21, 2013

Lot 1852: Springfield Armory U.S. - 1903 Mark I

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Outstanding All Complete Model 1903 Mark I U.S. Springfield Bolt Rifle with Ultra Rare Original Pedersen Device with Metal Case Magazine Canvas Pouch and 1906 Dated Bayonet
Estimated Price: $45,000 - $60,000
Item Views 625 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Springfield Armory U.S. - 1903 Mark I ManufacturerSpringfield Armory U.S. Model1903 Mark I
TypeRifle Gauge30-06 Catalog Page304
Barrel24 Inch Round FinishParkerized Grip
Stockwalnut ClassCurio & Relic Long Gun RatingSee Condition
DescriptionWow what a fantastic find! A complete 1919 dated U.S. Springfield Model 1903 Mark I rifle rig that is complete with an original "Remington-Bridgeport" 1918 Mark I Pedersen Device that is complete with the original Pedersen device metal carrying case, disassembly tool, two original stick magazines, canvas pouch for the magazines, and an original canvas pouch for the 1903 bolt when removed from the rifle. What a complete turn-key type set up. As we all know these rare Pedersen Devices were developed at the end of WWI in early 1919. They were Officially designated the "Automatic Pistol, Caliber .30, Model of 1918- Mark I", and the Pedersen Device itself consisted of a semi-automatic bolt assembly and detachable stick magazine that was designed to replace the standard bolt in a modified Model 1903 Rifle, that would convert the rifle into a semi-automatic weapon. The device fired a low velocity 30 caliber type pistol sized cartridge designated the "Caliber .30 Automatic Ball Pistol". The device used a 40-round stick magazine that would have been inserted from the right side of the receiver, with the spent cartridges ejected through the port on the left side of the receiver. The Pedersen Device was classified as a secret weapon and was intended to provide the infantry man with a close range, semi-automatic rifle for assaults on enemy trenches, but still retain the capability of converting the rifle back into 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, however 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 as fewer than 100 Pedersen Devices are estimated to be in collections and museums today. The metal case is even rarer than the Pedersen Device itself; most existing Pedersen Devices lack the issue metal case. This Model 1903 Mark I rifle was manufactured by Springfield Armory in April 1910 and has the special "Mark I" receiver markings and the oval ejection port in the left side of the receiver. In addition to the special receiver these rifles had a special stock, magazine cut-off, cut-off spindle, trigger and sear, all required for use with the Pedersen Device. After all the Pedersen Devices were destroyed, the Mark I rifles had the special components removed and were converted back into a standard Model 1903 configuration rifle. This beautiful Pedersen Device has the original dark black-green parkerized finish with the top of the cocking piece roll-stamped: "U.S.A. 1918-MARK I/42384" in two lines on the left side, with the right side marked: "REMINGTON-BRIDGEPORT/PEDERSEN'S PAT'S. PENDING" in two lines. The U.S. Ordnance final inspection proofs of "E.E.C./Eagle Head/S28" are stamped on the back of the cocking piece. Each device was issued with a small stamped metal carrying case. The metal case has the same black green finish as the device. This super rare device is accompanied by an original, Model 1903 Mark I rifle. The receiver is marked in five lines: "U.S./SPRINGFIELD/ARMORY/MODEL 1903/MARK I/1091435" and the barrel is stamped "SA/4-19". The rifle is fitted with a correct WWI Mark I finger groove stock, that has the correct lower left side, that provides clearance under the receiver ejection port; a WWI handguard and fine checkered buttplate. The stock has a small boxed "D.A.L" cartouche on the left side with a small circled "P" proof in the pistol grip area. The rifle is fitted with a correct "W L 3" marked WWI bolt. This excellent rifle still retains the original magazine cut-off, cut-off spindle, trigger and sear, as noted above. This beautiful rig is complete with two original 40-round stick magazines, the disassembly tool, a web pouch to carry the stick magazines, which are marked "R.I.A./6-19; a web case to carry the 1903 Springfield bolt when removed from the rifle, which is marked, "RIA/1919 with an original WWI era leather sling. Also included with this beautiful and very rare rifle is an original M1905 bayonet and second type leather scabbard. The bayonet is marked: "R.I.A./Shell and Flame mark/1906" with the obverse marked "U.S.". The leather scabbard has the long throat with the leather covered hanger intended for the Garrison belt. The back of the scabbard is stamped: "R.I.A./1907/E.E.B.". With two boxes of UMC Model 1918 30 auto cartridges (40/40).

ConditionVery fine with 99% of an early post WWI arsenal refinish showing no wear anywhere. The stock and handguard are also both excellent showing no handling marks with a restamped "DAL" cartouche and circled "P" proof. The Pedersen device and metal storage case both retain 98% of their original parkerized finish overall. Even the end of the cartridge shows no firing wear at all, probably indicating this device was never used. The storage/carrying case is excellent. The canvas/web storage cases are both in excellent condition as unissued. The bayonet and scabbard are both in excellent condition, with the bayonet blade still retaining it's in the white polish, covered with grease. The scabbard has the nice all original leather cover with some minor nicks and surface scratches in the leather, with 98% of the blued finish on the throat and hanger. What a beautiful all complete 1903 Mark I rifle, rare Pedersen device and metal carrying case, certainly this would be the center piece of any 1903 Rifle collection or U.S. Martial arms collection.
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