'Low Number' Springfield 1903 (CMP)

Receiver dated 1910 - Barrel Dated 10-44

in .30-06




This is a very nice early Springfield 1903 that was purchased through CMP. The serial number places it as a 1910 manufacture. The barrel is by High Standard and dated 10-44 and the bolt appears to be a later replacement due to the swept-back profile of the bolt handle. I'm no expert on these guns but during my limited research I read that some Springfield receivers under the 800,000 serial numbers were not heat treated properly and were failing so they were recalled. Due to the shortage of guns at the outbreak of WW2, many of the recalled rifles were fitted with a new barrel and bolt before being reissued. The feeling was that the stronger barrel and bolt would reduce or eliminate the failure problem. These probably went into storage or to rear echelon troops (clerks, guards etc.) where the guns would see little if any use. This is probably one of those as the exterior is in excellent condition. The stock is a "scant" stock adopted in late 1941 which with the barrel date leads me to believe the rebuild was done late 1944. The odd thing is the RIA/FK cartouche designates that it was rebuilt at the Rock Island Arsenal and inspected by Frank Krack who worked there from 1920-1930 which predates the adoption of the "scant" stock and the barrel date. I know some arsenals continued using inspector's stamps after they retired or died which may be the case at Rock Island in regard to rebuilds.

The bore is the worst problem as it is pretty much rusted out. It is rough and probably never fired or oiled since the rebuild. Not a serious problem with these low number guns as everyone suggests not to shoot these even with the rebuild. These are considered collectables and not shooters.

A side note: The Marines never retired their "low number" 1903s as other branches did until they got the new M1s in 1942 so many of these "low number" guns were probably still in use at Guadalcanal. Also in 1942-1944 these "low number" 1903s were sent to the Free French Forces under Charles DeGaulle.    

Click here for more on these "low number" 1903 rifles from the CMP website.

Click here for an excellent bit of research done on "low number" receivers citing excerpts from the military testing.

Overall a very nice unique rifle. This would be an excellent addition to any WW1 or WW2 collection.

The pictures will tell you more. Contact me if you need pictures of something I missed.


FFL or C&R required.



Click on image to enlarge