Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 554: U.S. Springfield Model 1903 Rifle with Moore Cutaway Silencer

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

U.S. Springfield Model 1903 Bolt Action Rifle with Incredibly Rare Demonstration Model Cutaway Experimental Moore Silencer

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $8,500 - $13,000

U.S. Springfield Model 1903 Bolt Action Rifle with Incredibly Rare Demonstration Model Cutaway Experimental Moore Silencer

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: 1903
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 30-06 Springfield
Barrel: 24 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1461
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 323
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

This M1903 rifle is equipped with an inert, cutaway early experimental Moore silencer, as invented by Robert A. Moore of New York (originally from Chicago, Illinois). This cutaway Moore silencer follows the design shown in patent number 1,021,742, originally filed September 22nd, 1911 and granted March 26th, 1912; an improvement on his first silencer, patent number 956,717, originally filed November 24th, 1909 and granted May 3rd, 1910. Interestingly, Robert Moore would later continue on to patent a few different versions of mufflers. Moore silencers are described on pages 433-434 of the book "The Springfield 1903 Rifles" by Lt. Col. William S. Brophy, in which the book states, "Tests conducted during 1910-1911 resulted in 100 of the improved type Moore silencers being purchased by the Ordnance Department for issue, during 1912-1913, to selected organizations for tests in comparison with the Maxim silencer. The Moore silencer attached to the muzzle of the '03 by means of a band latched behind the rear sight and around the barrel, and a hinged latch device that locked the silencer to the bayonet lug on the bottom of the upper band." Number "274" is marked on the bottom of the bayonet lug on this example. There is an identical example of a Moore silencer in the Springfield Armory museum collection, item SPAR 5083, marked "277" on its bayonet lug. The rifle has a smooth trigger, blade front sight and ladder rear sight with 2,850 yard notch and dished windage and elevation knobs. The barrel is marked "SA/flaming bomb/4-11" behind the front sight, and the receiver is roll marked with the five-line, standard Springfield Armory markings. The rifle has an oil quenched casehardened receiver and all blued milled components that include the bolt, trigger guard, and floorplate. It is fitted with a walnut "S" style stock that has a single reinforcing bolt, and checkered buttplate with buttstock compartment. It has the correct high hump handguard, has the proper rear sight clearance cut and spring clips. The right side of the rear bolt lug is marked "C2". It has milled barrel bands with the upper barrel band marked "H" on the bayonet lug. The safety and cut-off lever are casehardened. The left side of the stock wrist is stamped with the Ordnance final inspector's initials "J.F.C." in a rectangle, and there is a small "16" above a circled script "P" firing proof stamped behind the trigger guard. "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes a 1907 pattern sling, and oiler inside the buttstock. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

The rifle is fine, retaining 40% plus original blue finish with scratches at the muzzle and front band, and light flaking on the receiver and trigger guard with gray/brown patina on the balance. Stock is also fine with attractive grains, defined edges and crisp grasping grooves, some light scratches, and crisp markings. Mechanically excellent. The non-functioning cutaway silencer is fine, retains 50% blue finish with gray patina and scattered surface oxidation on the balance. This is an extremely important and incredibly rare piece of developmental firearms history in being one of the earliest silencers extant.

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