Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3511: Springfield Model 1903 Sniper Rifle with Warner & Swasey Scope

Auction Date: September 12, 2021

Exceptionally Rare and Outstanding U.S. Springfield Model 1903 Bolt Action Sniper Rifle with Matching Warner & Swasey Sniper Scope Mount

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $30,000 - $50,000

Exceptionally Rare and Outstanding U.S. Springfield Model 1903 Bolt Action Sniper Rifle with Matching Warner & Swasey Sniper Scope Mount

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: 1903
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 30-06
Barrel: 24 inch
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1708
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 268
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

This original unaltered Model 1903 Springfield rifle was 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. Any Model 1903 Springfield rifles with their original Warner & Swasey sights matching serial numbered to the rifle are exceptionally rare, as almost all were disassembled after World War I and were converted back into standard Model 1903 rifles. This rifle is a pre-World War I 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 2,750 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 arsenal inleted to clear the feet on the scope bracket, (base). The "high hump" handguard has a sight clearance cut and two spring clips. The receiver is roll-stamped: "U.S./SPRINGFIELD/ARMORY/MODEL 1903" in four lines above the serial number "632259". The barrel is roll-stamped behind the front sight with "SA/ordnance shell and flame/4-16". An "H" is stamped on the underside of the bayonet lug. The steel lot code "I 8" is stamped on the underside of the bolt safety lug. The left side of the stock is stamped with a boxed "DAL" cartouche which was the final Ordnance inspection mark and the underside grip area of the stock behind the trigger guard is stamped with an encircled, script "P" proof mark . 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. 632259". The marking has been stamped with a fixture and the letters and numbers are neatly aligned and have uniform depth. 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. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Excellent, with 95% plus of the original Springfield Arsenal blue and oil quenched finishes overall showing very minor wear on the forward barrel. The smaller parts also retain 98% of their casehardened finish. The stock and handguard are also excellent with nearly all of the original oil finish with clear, deep cartouches and proofs. The Warner & Swasey sniper scope is also excellent with 98% of the original black finish overall showing just minor edge and high spot wear with the original eyepiece all still intact but hardened from age. The optics are excellent with an intact reticle with just a few minor specks inside with a little fuzziness. This extraordinary rifle has the original and correct matching Warner & Swasey sniper scope mount. Absolutely untouched and impossible to find today!

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