Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1962: Springfield Armory U.S. 1903 Rifle 30-03

Auction Date: December 3, 2010

Rare and Desirable U.S. Springfield Rod Bayonet Model 1903 Rifle with Sling

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $9,000 - $20,000

Rare and Desirable U.S. Springfield Rod Bayonet Model 1903 Rifle with Sling

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: 1903
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 30-03
Barrel: 24 inch
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1433
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 105
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

Part of the earliest production run on the U.S. 1903 rifle, circa November 1903-January 1905, the 30-03 rod bayonet configuration was only briefly used, being abandoned in favor of the more conventional detached knife bayonet style and 30-06 chambering seen during the World Wars. Though several thousand were originally produced, the arsenals were highly efficient in refitting the rifles, leaving less than 100 in original configuration. This rifle was manufactured in January 1904 and received the 1905 alterations, with the unique sliding rod bayonet, distinctive "two hole" front sight, special upper barrel band, full length walnut handguard with two spring clip rivets, Krag style tangent rear sight graduated to 2,000 yards, smooth trigger and early pattern Mauser type safety with "READY" and "SAFE" markings. The stock properly lacks reinforcing bolts and the buttplate has the early, small diameter trap numbered "107" on the inside of the door. Markings on the receiver are standard, with the blued bolt showing a "C 8" steel lot code on the under side of the safety lug and is stamped with "K" and a punch mark on the underside of the handle. The bottom of the stock wrist is marked with the circled script "P" firing proof and a "0" sub-inspection mark. The rifle has an original nickel oiler and cleaning brush kit in the butt trap and is fitted with the correct russet leather Model 1903 sling marked "ROCK ISLAND / ARSENAL /1903".

Rating Definition:

Fine as Arsenal refurbished, with 95% of the blue and casehardened finish, with a gray patina and light spotting near the rear sight and scattered handling marks. Wood is very fine as repaired, with mended chips at the heel and hairline cracks at the wrist and forearm. Mechanically excellent. This rifle would be the centerpiece of the most advanced martial arms collection.

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