Rock Island Auction Company
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Lot 561: Springfield Model 1903 Mark I Rifle with Pedersen Device

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Rare U.S. Springfield Model 1903 Mark I Rifle with Mark-I Pedersen Device, Six Original Magazines, Metal Storage Scabbard, and Accessories

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Estimated Price: $30,000 - $45,000

A) Springfield Model 1903 Mark I Rifle

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: 1903 Mark I
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 30-06
Barrel: 24 inch
Finish: parkerized
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1352
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 329
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun
Description:

This is a rare example of a complete U.S. Springfield Armory 1903 Mark I rifle rig including an original Mark I Pedersen Device and a mix of original accessories as follows: 1) original Springfield 1918 dated M1903 Mark I rifle, 2) original early Model 1918-Mark I Pedersen Device serial number "39354", 3) Six original 40-round Pedersen Device stick magazines, 4) one extremely rare original metal carrying scabbard that stores/carries the Pedersen Device, 5) an ULTRA RARE three pocket, O.D. cotton bandoleer that contains three original unopened cartons of 200 rounds each of "CAL. 30 AUTO. PISTOL BALL CARTRIDGES MODEL OF 1918" made specifically for the Pedersen Device (that's a total of 600 rounds), 6) one canvas magazine pouch marked "R.I.A./8-19", 6) a canvas bolt carrier pouch marked "R.I.A./1919" (designed to carry the 1903 bolt when the Pedersen device is installed), 7) a M1905 bayonet and M1910 scabbard that is marked "SA/Ordnance Shell and Flame/1918" and "US/907277". The M1918 device was originally designed by John D. Pedersen c. 1917 as a lightweight, field expedient method to convert a standard 1903 bolt action rifle into a semi-automatic rifle by simply replacing the standard 1903 bolt with the Pedersen Device and using one of the special 40 round magazines. This device utilized a low velocity, .30 caliber cartridge designed by Pedersen. His concept was to provide rifle-equipped infantryman with a weapon that produced a high volume of semi-automatic fire in the assault mode but retained the capability of providing long range firepower of a standard infantry rifle by just converting it back into the bolt action configuration firing the .30-06 cartridge. The M1903 Mark I rifle used a special receiver with an oval ejection port in the left side which was fitted with a special modified stock to accommodate this ejection port. The rifle was also equipped with a special sear/trigger and modified magazine cut-off designed for this device (all correctly installed in this rifle). The actual Pedersen Device itself is marked on the right side "REMINGTON-BRIDGEPORT/PEDERSEN'S PAT'S PENDING" with the opposite side marked: "U.S.A. 1918-MARK I/39354". In March 1918 the Ordnance Department adopted the Pedersen Device and for security purposes designated it "AUTOMATIC PISTOL CALIBER 30, MODEL 1918". A total of 500,000 Pedersen Devices were originally ordered from Remington Arms Co.; however, only about 65,000 were delivered before the war ended in November 1918. No Pedersen Devices were ever issued to troops in the field, and the post-war evaluation of the Pedersen Device determined that it served no practical purpose. However, John Pedersen's concept ushered in a completely new battlefield concept of high volumes of semi-automatic rifle fire that carries on today! In April 1931, 64,873, Pedersen Devices and 60 million rounds of ammunition were destroyed with only a very small number of Pedersen Devices and magazines escaping destruction or retention by government for museums. These devices, especially with all the accessories, are extremely rare today and are highly prized by collectors. The rifle is a correct Mark I version with an original barrel dated "SA/12-18". It is fitted with a late unmarked Springfield production bolt with the slightly curved handle. It has the correct milled components and rear sight; however, it is missing the follower and magazine spring, (easily found on the secondary market today). The receiver is fitted with the correct Pedersen Device magazine cut-off, screw and trigger assembly. It is fitted with the correct straight grip two bolt "S" pattern stock with an original high hump, WWI era handguard. The stock has a boxed "WJS" cartouche and a single "P" proof in the grip area.

Rating Definition:

Excellent, the 1903 rifle retains 95% plus of its late 1918 armory finish with some slight thinning/wear on the floorplate. The stock and handguard are both in very fine condition with a nice matching medium brown color on the wood overall, and distinct cartouches and proofs.



B) 1918 Mark-I Pedersen Device

Manufacturer: Remington Arms Inc
Model: 1918 Mark I Pedersen Device
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 30 Auto
Barrel:
Finish: parkerized
Grip:
Stock:
Item Views: 1352
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 329
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun
Description:

As described in "A". Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

The 1918 Mark-I Pedersen Device is in very fine condition with much of its original finish showing slight wear and thinning overall from hand cycling or light firing. The rare metal scabbard for the device and the magazine are all in excellent condition with 95% of their original metal finish have slightly thinned and browned out overall. The cotton bandoleer is in good condition showing spotting and fading but still complete with clear ink markings on the face. The three 200 round sleeves inside are in good condition with the outer boxes showing light fraying and deterioration from age and clear distinct manufacturers markings on the outside. A really super nice, high condition, complete M1903 Springfield Mark I rifle rig with Mark-I Pedersen device and extensive accessories.



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