Page 315 - Auction84-Book2
P. 315

   Collector’s Fact
1 of approximately only 40 Martini rifles used by the U.S. International Rifle Team.
  LOT 1618
Very Rare Historic U.S.
Hammerli Martini Model 1928
International Match Rifle, with Documentation to Noted American Marksman Bill Bruce - Serial no. 425, 30 cal., 30 inch round bbl., blue finish, walnut stock. A number of related documents are included with this rifle, among them
a letter from the Springfield Research Service identifying it as a U.S. International Rifle Team
competition rifle. While chiefly armed with variants of the 1903 Springfield during that period, the superior lock time
of the Martini design was seen as giving rival teams a slight edge in competition. Reaching out to the Hammerli firm in
           Switzerland, the Ordnance Department procured about 40 Martini rifles which were extensively reworked at Springfield including the installation of match barrels and new internals. The tenure for these rifles was about 1928-1933, when the
Americans were running neck and neck with the Swiss and the Swedes for top dog in full power free rifle shooting. One of the big names on the American side was William “Bill” Bruce, a civilian shooter and noted record setter, and some of the included documentation (in particular a copy
of a 1933 letter from the Ordnance Department to Bruce, on the subject of procuring his match-used rifle as surplus) indicates this rifle by serial number (found on
the front of the receiver, beneath the forearm) as the one used by Bruce while upholding America’s reputation as a nation of rifleman on fields in America and abroad.
Globe front and peep rear sights, with a pair of mounting blocks on the barrel, and the receiver marked with the Hammerli address and “hammer” logo. The receiver
is equipped with a double set trigger, an elaborate handrest triggerguard, and a smooth hardwood palm rest with multiple points of adjustment. The stock is of the
“American Schuetzen” pattern, with an adjustable front sling swivel, right handed cheekpiece and thumbrest, brown leather sling, and an adjustable, interchangeable buttplate. A small
(1/4”) “GDM” (George D. Moller) collection stamp has been added to the belly of the stock between the rear swivel and the buttplate. Two steel buttplates are included, both with the
“Swiss hook” profile, though slightly different proportions, one unmarked, and the other marked “1065”. Also included with the documentation are several vintage photographs of American shooters and shooting teams (including some explicitly identifying Bruce in the photo) and a grouping of shooting medals attributed to Bruce.
CONDITION: Very fine, with 85% plus arsenal refinished blue finish, showing covered-up dings and pits, scattered edge wear and handling marks. Two extra drilled and tapped holes are present on the left side of the receiver. The stock is also very fine, showing mild dings and dents, and the sling shows cracking and verdigris buildup appropriate to age and use. Mechanically excellent.
Provenance: The George Moller Collection.
Estimate: 6,500 - 11,000
LOT 1619
U.S. Springfield Model 1903 T Rifle with
Winchester A5 Scope - Serial no. 1266181, 30-06 cal., 28 inch bbl., blue finish, walnut stock. The serial number (1266181) place the date of manufacture in 1924 and not on the list as being a 1924 International Match rifle and it does have some of the later “T” pattern stock developed and used in the 1927 matches. It features the 28 inch heavy target weight barrel fitted with the modified BAR front sight base with globe sight with a Lyman M48C rear sight. It has been fitted with the USMC developed and manufactured palm rest that uses a brass insert secured inside the triggerguard with the large cork palm rest ball. It has also been fitted with one of the USMC developed “Rimkunas” double set match trigger assemblies. These are different from the Woody DST assemblies in that it has the small adjustment set screw on the upper edge of the triggerguard bow. It has also been properly fitted with a Winchester A5 pattern 8X scope with the blocks correctly mounted, one on top of the receiver ring and the other on the barrel, correctly spaced approximately 7.2 inches center to center. The heavy barrel is unmarked and possibly manufactured and installed by Springfield Armory. Many of the earlier rifles were subsequently upgraded as improvements developed. The stock has the correct two reinforcing bolts as used on all target and match rifles. It is equipped with a 1920s era “W L/3” marked bolt with the slightly swept back handle and small gas hole and bright polish finish however it is not serial numbered. Since most of these rifles were a one of a kind, parts never got switched around. It is also fitted with a Headless cocking pocking piece typically used in the 1923-1926 time frame. The target style stock has a single large barrel band, sling swivels and a checkered NRA style steel buttplate. A circled “P” proof stamped in the grip area is the only marking on the stock. CONDITION: Fine as upgraded with 75% of the blue finish overall showing minor wear on the edges and high spots with some thinning on the exposed barrel and the triggerguard from handling over the years, mixed with some extensive patches of light brown spotting. The replacement walnut stock is in fine condition with a nice original medium brown color overall showing only minor handling marks with a clear P proof. The brass insert and cork ball palm rest is actually in excellent condition showing no deterioration to the cork itself and the DST work correctly. The Winchester A5 scope retains 85% of its blue finish overall, also showing some minor areas of brown spotting mixed with some very fine corrosion starting (which should be addressed). The optics are clear and the cross-hair is intact. Provenance: The George Moller Collection. Estimate: 4,000 - 6,000

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