Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1458: U.S. Springfield 1903 Rifle with Pedersen Device and Accessories

Auction Date: August 27, 2022

U.S. Springfield Model 1903 Mark I Bolt Action Rifle with Rare 1918 Mark I Pedersen Device, Metal Scabbard, .30-18 Pedersen Ammunition and Accessories

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $27,500 - $42,500

U.S. Springfield Model 1903 Mark I Bolt Action Rifle with Rare 1918 Mark I Pedersen Device, Metal Scabbard, .30-18 Pedersen Ammunition and Accessories

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: 1903 Mark I
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 30-06 Springfield
Barrel: 24 inch round
Finish: blue/parkerized/black
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1035
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 330
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

This U.S. Springfield M1903 Mark I rifle is accompanied by a rare example of a Pedersen Device complete with a 40-round Pedersen Device magazine, metal scabbard, two adjustment wrenches, "R.I.A./1919" marked tan canvas rifle bolt carrier, "R.I.A./9-19" marked tan canvas magazine pouch, fifteen 40-round full boxes of rare .30-18 Pedersen ammunition in boxes marked "CAL.30 AUTO PISTOL/BALL CARTRIDGES/MODEL OF 1918", approximately 80 more rounds of .30-18 (approximately 680 rounds of ammunition total) and a tan canvas Pedersen ammunition bandoleer with three pouches made to hold 200 rounds each. The Pedersen Device consists of an 'automatic bolt' with 40-round magazine which when fitted in place of the standard rifle bolt of the Springfield M1903 Mark I rifle, allows the rifle to fire semi-automatically. The Pedersen Device was developed secretly and named the "Automatic Pistol, .Cal.30 Model 1918" with the intent of introducing it on the Western Front for the allied spring 1919 offensive. The Ordnance Department initially issued procurement orders to Remington for 133,450 Mark I Pedersen Devices, but the contract was canceled due to the end of the War, after production of approximately 65,000 Pedersen Devices, 1,600,000 magazines and 65,000,000 cartridges. Springfield Armory manufactured nearly 145,000 M1903 Mark I rifles. The Mark I rifles and Pedersen Devices were placed in storage until 1931 when a decision was made to destroy the devices and ammunition. Army records show that 64,873 Pedersen Devices and 60 million rounds of ammunition were destroyed in April 1931. The Mark I rifles had the special sears and magazine cut-offs removed and were over-hauled. Very few complete Pedersen Devices and magazines escaped destruction. Complete Pedersen Devices with magazines are among the rarest and most desirable M1903 accessories. The left of the Pedersen Device cocking piece is marked "U.S.A. 1918-MARK I/51377 " in two lines and "REMINGTON-BRIDGEPORT/PEDERSEN'S PAT'S. PENDING" on the right. The M1903 Mark I rifle has the special receiver with oval ejection port, special first variation two-lug magazine cut-off (reference page 155 of Brophy's book "The Springfield 1903 Rifles") and special trigger sear. The correct Mark I stock has the indentation below the oval receiver ejection, boxed "G.R.G." inspection cartouche stamped on the left stock wrist and circled script "P" proof (overstamped on top of another) behind the trigger guard. The receiver is roll-stamped with the "MARK I" designation, and the barrel is marked "SA/(flaming bomb)/8-19". Also includes a custom made wooden crate for the rifle and its accessories.

Rating Definition:

The M1903 Mark I rifle is very fine, retains 85% original parkerized and black finishes with crisp markings in the metal. Stock is fine as lightly sanded and re-oiled with some light scratches and handling marks. The rifle with its standard bolt functions mechanically excellent. The Pedersen Device is good, retains 70% refinished blue finish over scattered moderate pitting. The magazine is excellent and retains 95% original parkerized finish. The Pedersen Device mechanically needs work, it does not properly cock. Included accessories are all very good to fine. This is a solid representative example of an extremely rare and very desirable Mark I Pedersen Device with an equally rare 40-round magazine fitted in a Mark I rifle, .30-18 ammunition, metal scabbard and accessories. The Pedersen Device is one of the most desirable and elusive of all U.S. Military arms accessories, not to mention all of the nearly impossible to obtain accessories included with this example, and no advanced collection of M1903 rifles or U.S. Military arms is truly complete without one.

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