Springfield 1903 (CMP)
Receiver dated 1910 - Barrel Dated
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
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.