View Full Version : 1903 Springfield

May 26, 2011, 12:47 PM

I'm new to the forum and have some questions about collecting the 03 springfield.

Years ago, I found my self interested in 03 springfields. I think my interest was started with the LH sniper in Saving Private Ryan. The extent of my interest has mainly been with random web searches when the interest was respured. And about 2 years ago, I picked up an 03 springfield with a C stock in nice condition, from someone I trust. the barel is marked SA 5-38 and the seriel number is above 1.5m. I have a bayonet with it, a nice sling and a belt. I also have a sportorized 03 springfield that I'm currently making a stock for, chamber in 30/06 AI, that is my hunting rifle.

Now, I find my self interested in them again, and basicly don't want to continue spending my money on junk, so I thought I would finally spend some time looking at collecting the various 03 springfield models. I started by looking for books, and found that there are several on the subject, but I don't know which are good and which are just ok.

I'm looking for a couple things. Which book/s are the best for some one that is interested in becoming a serious collector, what is your experience with collecting this beautiful piece of history, and of course, comments on what I currently have are welcome.



May 26, 2011, 01:11 PM
Lt. Col. Brophy's "The Springfield 1903 Rifles" is, to me, the bible. It's still in print, too. Amazon has them in stock.

They're great rifles. I have my dad's first hunting rifle, a sporterized 03 Mk I with a 1920 barrel that still shoots straight as an arrow.

May 26, 2011, 02:47 PM
The barrel date and the serial number pretty says that the rifle has not been rebuilt. I don't see in any of the pics where another proof mark has been added to the original ones. But it appears that the stock may have been refinished as I see no acceptance stamps at all. Regardless, it's a nice rifle that was made at the end of the Springfield manufacture of the nickel receiver 03.
Brophys and Campbells books are usually pretty accurate in their data. But you need to remember that the records are not 100% even from the arsenals. There are variations that will not appear in any records as such. And a word to the wise, the word cartouche mark, is used by those that for the most part have no clue. There are acceptance stamps or proof marks but never a cartouche mark on any US military rifle.

James K
May 26, 2011, 07:35 PM
I am not sure what is meant by saying there is "never a cartouche mark on any US military rifle." While never an official term, most collectors call the square or rectangular stamp with an inspector's initials and (usually) the date, a "cartouche", and that is as good a term as any, though technically it is the acceptance stamp.

The term "cartouche" is French, and one meaning of the word is "cartridge". The immediate origin, though, was the convention in Egyptian hieroglyphs of signifying a royal or pharaoinc name by enclosing in a rectangle the symbols which spelled it. A Frenchman, Jean-Francois Champollion, was the first to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs (c. 1822), and he gave the rectangle the name "cartouche", perhaps because it resembled the paper of the then-common musket cartridge. The use of the term for the rectangular acceptance stamp with its often elaborate and sometimes obscure initials was an obvious extension.


May 26, 2011, 08:04 PM
the word cartouche mark, is used by those that for the most part have no clue.


May 26, 2011, 10:10 PM
Nice rifle there. SN looks to match the receiver though it looks to be a WW-2 replacement stock that even may be one of the mahogony ones. With that date it my bet is its NM or a DCM match rifle too but should have a full pistol grip stock.