Lot #461
Lot #463

Lot 462: Pre-WWI U.S. Rock Island Model 1903 NRA Sales Rifle with Bayonet

Fine 1913 Dated U.S. Rock Island Arsenal Model 1903 Bolt Action N.R.A. Sales Rifle with Rock Island Arsenal Bayonet

Auction Date: December 9, 2022

Lot 462: Pre-WWI U.S. Rock Island Model 1903 NRA Sales Rifle with Bayonet

Fine 1913 Dated U.S. Rock Island Arsenal Model 1903 Bolt Action N.R.A. Sales Rifle with Rock Island Arsenal Bayonet

Auction Date: December 9, 2022

Estimated Price: $2,500 - $3,750
Price Realized:

Fine 1913 Dated U.S. Rock Island Arsenal Model 1903 Bolt Action N.R.A. Sales Rifle with Rock Island Arsenal Bayonet

Manufacturer: Rock Island Arsenal
Model: 1903
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 30-06 Springfield
Barrel: 24 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 548
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 292
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun
Description:

This is a fine example of a desirable U.S. Rock Island Arsenal Model 1903 N.R.A. sales rifle, as manufactured in 1913. This rifle is marked with the distinctive Ordnance shell and flame insignia over "N.R.A." underneath the front of the trigger guard assembly to differentiate it from the standard issued service rifles. Very few N.R.A. marked 1903 Rock Island Arsenal rifles are seen today, as Rock Island Arsenal stopped all rifle production in 1913, making their availability very limited. All N.R.A. sales rifles were brand new (never rebuilt or altered) and subjected to stringent inspection criteria to include hand selection of the rifle based on the beauty of the wood components for color and uniformity, overall high grade blue finish and Star Gauging of the barrel to ensure land and groove uniformity for the best possible accuracy. These rifles were intended for National Match shooting prior to World War I. The top of the barrel is stamped "R.I.A." above the Ordnance shell and flame insignia and the date "7-13", and the receiver has the standard four-line markings above the serial number. The underside of the barrel has the steel lot code of "C88/P". "C13" marked on the front of the rear bolt lug. Lyman blade front sight with the correct early musket rear sight with dished windage and elevation knobs and a polished face with a 2,850 yard volley notch. Straight handled bolt with a small gas hole. The safety and cutoff levers are correctly color casehardened. It is fitted with a beautiful straight grip, finger groove "S" pattern walnut stock with a large "S" stamped on the tip, one reinforcing bolt and a crisp boxed script "C.N./1913" (Conrad Nelson) inspection cartouche on the left of the wrist. There is a small "L" sub-inspector proof behind the trigger guard followed by a crisp script "P" firing proof. The buttstock is fitted with a finely checkered blued steel buttplate. It has the Rock Island Arsenal high polish rust blued finish on the various components as well as the unique Rock Island Arsenal deep oil-quenched blackish finish on the receiver, (very different from Springfield models and very fragile). The stock and handguard have the hand rubbed linseed oil finish. Includes a "1912" dated Rock Island Arsenal M1905 bayonet, Rock Island Arsenal tan canvas scabbard stamped with "1907" manufacture date and a faint later "1921" date, Chicago Belting Company M1907 leather sling, and oiler inside the butt compartment.

Rating Definition:

Fine, retains 60% original blue and oil-quenched finish with scattered light flaking on the receiver, moderate freckling on the barrel, and the balance turned to a smooth brown and gray patina, with sharp markings in the metal overall. Stock is also fine with crisp grasping grooves, defined edges, some light scratches and handling marks, a small chip out of the right rear corner of the handguard, and a crisp cartouche and proof. Mechanically excellent. This Rock Island Arsenal Model 1903 N.R.A. sales rifle would make a fine addition to any U.S. Military or Model 1903 rifle collection!



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