Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1522: WWI 1903 Mark I with Ultra Rare Pedersen Device

Auction Date: September 7, 2019

Exceptionally Rare Original World War I U.S. Springfield Model 1903 Mark I Bolt Action Rifle with an Ultra Rare 1918 Dated MK I Pedersen Device

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $9,500 - $16,000

Exceptionally Rare Original World War I U.S. Springfield Model 1903 Mark I Bolt Action Rifle with an Ultra Rare 1918 Dated MK I Pedersen Device

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: 1903 Mark I
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 30-06
Barrel: 24 inch round
Finish: parkerized
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1463
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 276
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

This is an excellent example of a scarce late WWI U.S. Springfield Armory 1903/Mark I bolt action service rifle that is fitted with a rare Mark I Pedersen Device. U.S. Springfield 1903 Mark I rifles were specifically manufactured for use with the semi-automatic Pedersen Device which was intended to convert a standard 1903 service rifle into a semi-automatic rifle by just removing the rifle bolt and replacing it with the device. It was a great concept; however, it came too late for WWI, and it used an anemic small .30 caliber pistol cartridge. Consequently, after the war all the Mark I rifles were converted to standard rifles, and the Pedersen Devices were placed in storage. Eventually this concept was superseded by the development of regular semi-automatic rifles. It is estimated that 99% of all the devices were destroyed with only 60-100 escaping destruction. This original 1903 Mark I rifle is fitted with the correct Mark I magazine cut-off, cut-off spindle, special trigger and sear that was required for use with the Pedersen device. This rifle is accompanied by the rare super secret (at that time) WWI Mark I Pedersen Device intended specifically for use in this model of rifle. It is all complete and is marked on top with: "U.S.A. 1918 MARK I (serial number) 1354/REMINGTON-BRIDGEPORT/PEDERSEN'S PAT. PENDING". The rifle has the standard receiver markings of: "U.S./SPRINGFIELD/ARMORY/MODEL 1903/MARK I/1102558", and the left side of the receiver has the correct small ejection port required for use of the Pedersen Device. The barrel is correctly marked "S.A./flaming bomb/5-19". It has the original fixed blade front sight and the correct tangent rear sight graduated from 200-2750 yards with the correct dished windage and elevation knobs and the correct platinum line marking on the aperture. It has the correct milled barrel bands, trigger guard and floorplate. It has the correct WWI "S" pattern finger groove walnut stock with its early post WWI walnut high hump, wide groove handguard. This stock was specifically manufactured for use with the Pedersen Device, as it has the correct small recessed area on the left side below the ejection port. There is a partial circled "P" in the pistol grip area. This beautiful Pedersen Device also comes with an equally rare original Pedersen Device 40 round stick magazine. The rifle has the correct 1918/1920 Springfield black oil quenched receiver finish, blued barrel, and the correct dark green parkerized components which is correct for this time frame as Springfield was transitioning from the blued to parkerized finish.

Rating Definition:

Very fine with 85% plus of the original Springfield Armory dark parkerized metal finish overall, 70% blue and dark casehardening, with some light wear and thinning on the top of the receiver, edges and high spots overall. The Pedersen Device itself is professionally restored with 98% of its current dark parkerized finish overall showing minor edge wear from hand cycling the device. The walnut stock and handguard are both in fine condition overall with a nice matching medium brown color overall mixed with some minor light handling marks and pressure dents in some areas, and nice distinct fingergrooves on the sides. As noted, the "P" proof is faint, and the cartouche has been lightly removed. A representative example of a 1903 Springfield Mark I rifle with its corresponding 1918 dated Mark I Pedersen Device with magazine.

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