Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 829: 'Serial Number 50' U.S. Springfield 1903 Rod Bayonet Rifle

Auction Date: October 6, 2021

Extremely Rare 'Serial Number 50' U.S. Springfield Model 1903 Rod Bayonet Bolt Action Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $6,500 - $11,000

Extremely Rare 'Serial Number 50' U.S. Springfield Model 1903 Rod Bayonet Bolt Action Rifle

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: 1903
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 30-03
Barrel: 24 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1043
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun
Bore Condition: Shiny - Very little wear
Rating:

OE - GOOD - some minor replacement parts; metal smoothly rusted or lightly pitted in places, cleaned; principal lettering, numerals and design on metal legible; lightly scratched, bruised or minor cracks repaired; in good working order.

PRF - PROFESSIONALLY REFINISHED OR RESTORED

WW - WOOD IS WORSE FOR THE PERCENT FINISH RATING GIVEN

Description:

An extremely rare, first weeks production, serial number 50, U.S. Springfield Model 1903 Rod Bayonet rifle that was manufactured in the year 1903. Between November 1903 and January 1905, Springfield Armory manufactured approximately 74,000 Model 1903 rifles in the distinctive rod bayonet configuration. Several hundred Rod Bayonet Model 1903 rifles were issued to the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and to some regular army units in Alaska, and a few rifles were provided to some state governors and small arms and ammunition manufacturers. However, before the rod bayonet Model 1903 rifles became general issue to the rest of the Army and state militia, President Theodore Roosevelt examined a rod bayonet Model 1903 and notified the Chief of Ordnance that "I think that ramrod bayonet about as poor an invention as I ever saw." On January 11, 1905, the Chief of Ordnance stopped all production of Rod Bayonet rifles and immediately proceeded to redesign the rifle to accept a 16-inch knife bayonet. The approximately 74,000 Model 1903 rod bayonet rifles produced prior to January 11, 1905, both still at Springfield Arsenal, those issued to regular army units, the West Point cadets, as well as some of those supplied to various state governors, were subsequently modified to accept the Model 1905 Bayonet. Fitted with a blued steel rod bayonet, perforated front sight base, unmarked 30-03 barrel, first type bolt body with early high polished fire blue extractor, first type cocking sleeve, first type casehardened safety switch, "JSA/1903" (John Sumnar Adams) modern reproduction boxed script inspection cartouche, early smooth buttplate. The top of the receiver is roll-stamped in four-lines with serifed letters as follows: "U.S./SPRINGFIELD/ARMORY/MODEL 1903" over serial number "50". "GDM" George D. Moller collection mark at the toe of the stock. Includes a brown leather sling, blued steel muzzle cover, and oiler in buttstock. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

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