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1903 Springfield

This is a discussion on 1903 Springfield within the Collectors forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I traded for this rifle back in the early 1960s: There was not much finish left on the metal but no rust or pitting. The ...


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Old February 26th, 2013, 04:37 PM   #1
 
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1903 Springfield

I traded for this rifle back in the early 1960s:


There was not much finish left on the metal but no rust or pitting. The wood was worn, well used and a little abused. I had planned to buy a new stock, sporterize and mount a scope. But I couldn't bring myself to do it.


The leather sling came from an army surplus store; its unmarked and undated.


Over the years I've posted images of this old piece on several forums and learned a lot about its history from some folks' responses:

The serial number on the receiver indicates it was made in 1933 . . .


. . . and the barrel date (SA 8-33) indicates that the barrel is original to the receiver:


And so the rifle's history in its current configuration begins:


The rifle's barreled receiver was originally manufactured as a spare part for use in replacing a low serial numbered barreled receiver on a rifle turned in for overhaul. Stock markings indicate that the barreled receiver was shipped to Augusta Arsenal for use in overhaul at that location. The rifle was originally assembled during the mid-to-late-1930's period using assorted parts taken from rifles that had been turned in for overhaul.




The stock originated from Rock Island Arsenal and the "J" is the probable inspection stamp of John L. Hanssen, a college student who inspected rifles at Rock Island during WWI. The "AA" is the overhaul inspection stamp of the Augusta Arsenal and is consistent with the rifle's serial number. There is a faint mark after the "AA", that denoted the last name of the inspector at Augusta.

The handguard, lower band, and rear sight drift slide assembly date from the WWII period and are probable field replacements. The rear sight leaf was made at Springfield Armory during or prior to WWI.




The bolt was made at Springfield Armory during the 1919-20 period and was probably taken from a Mark I rifle. The upper band and magazine cutoff were made at Springfield Armory. The floorplate was made at Rock Island Arsenal.

The information I've accumulated so far about this firearm provides a considerable amount of detail about the origins of the piece, but one tantalizing mystery about its history remains:




WHO THE HECK WAS BETTY?!!!

[/FONT]




Last edited by blackhawkfan; February 26th, 2013 at 04:46 PM.
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Old February 26th, 2013, 04:42 PM   #2
 
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Looks to me like she's one tough ol' gal.
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Old February 26th, 2013, 05:00 PM   #3
 
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Thanks for shareing this bit of history I found it very interesting.
If that ole spring field could talk I bet it could really share some stories of its own
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Old February 26th, 2013, 05:03 PM   #4
 
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That's really cool, definitely need to get a 1903. Beautiful weapons.
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Old February 26th, 2013, 05:21 PM   #5
 
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Nice piece. Maybe it was Betty Grable. She was every doughboy's sweeyheart during that period.
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Old February 26th, 2013, 06:08 PM   #6
 
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That is saweet! Beautiful, beautiful rifle.
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Old February 26th, 2013, 06:16 PM   #7
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Thanks for posting. I enjoyed seeing it and reading about it.
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Old February 26th, 2013, 08:12 PM   #8
 
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Beautiful rifle. History at it's finest!
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Old March 31st, 2013, 08:09 AM   #9
 
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Glad you saved it ! Collected 03s for 50 years both military and R.F. Sedgley sporting rifles. Had WAY too many and have pared down to one original 03 that is I.D.ed to a member of the "Gray Jackets" (NYC guard unit of the rich elite) and five Sedgleys (Short action Hornet, 22-06, 6.5x55, 9.3x62 and 400 Whelen, all probably "one of one"). 400 was bought in an Idaho auction, reputed to have been Hemingway's. When I bought it, it was a "gray gun" but a perfect bore. My friend Doug Turnbull restored it to "as new".

My Gray Jacket 03 (never went to war as they served under British command and used British weapons!)



Found in NYC town house in the 60s, during a remodel and also had unit histories for both NYNG unit and WW I division they served in !

Last edited by Ruger No 1 450 Nitro; March 31st, 2013 at 08:16 AM.
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Old March 31st, 2013, 08:15 AM   #10
 
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Thank you for not sporterizing that rifle. LOVE the Betty carved in the stock. Thank you for posting this. Helped me get through working 12 hours on Easter.
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Old March 31st, 2013, 08:21 AM   #11
 
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Wow that is a true piece of history. I would love to own one myself one day. Thanks for sharing!
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Old March 31st, 2013, 08:22 AM   #12
 
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+10 anyone who wants an 03 sporter can find many "sporterized" in the 50s and 60s that have excellent barreled actions, often ready for just a new high quality stock.

What "can" be done:

R.F. SedgleyDeluxe models from the 30s in 6.5x55 (Natl. Match action) and 22-06:


Last edited by Ruger No 1 450 Nitro; March 31st, 2013 at 08:24 AM.
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Old March 31st, 2013, 08:38 AM   #13
 
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A typical opportunity to fix a "sporterized" 03'

Springfield 1903 Sporterized 30-06 : Bolt Action Rifles at GunBroker.com
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Old March 31st, 2013, 08:42 AM   #14
 
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Those "pinpricks" in the stock to the right and below "Betty" are from using the stock as a platform to disassemble the firing pin assembly.
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Old March 31st, 2013, 08:44 AM   #15
 
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Great looking rifle....
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