The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Curios and Relics

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 12, 2015, 09:33 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: October 11, 2015
Location: Kansas City Kansas
Posts: 4
1903 Springfield

Hello all great fourm I'm happy to finally be a member my name is Daniel and my father passed away and left a old rifle I'm looking to keep it forever but I would like any information I can find on it to be honest all I know is that it is a model 1903 Springfield I know the gun is old is it safe to shoot and can you help me decipher the various numbers and markings on it

Thank you all

Jframe38 is offline  
Old October 12, 2015, 09:37 AM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: October 11, 2015
Location: Kansas City Kansas
Posts: 4

More pics
Jframe38 is offline  
Old October 12, 2015, 09:56 AM   #3
Jim Watson
Senior Member
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 16,480
Condolences on the passing of your Dad.
He left you a nice rifle.

It is, as marked on the receiver ring, a Springfield 1903 Mk I, caliber .30-06. The Mk 1 means it was made to accept the Pedersen device which replaced the bolt with a semiautomatic action firing a small cartridge a little more powerful than a .32 pistol. The little hole in the left receiver rail is the ejection port for its empties because the 40 round magazine stuck up and to the right out of the regular ejection port. Almost all the Pedersen devices themselves were destroyed, leaving the rifles with the extra ejection port and marking in service.

S.A. (ordnance bomb) 2-20 means the barrel was made at Springfield in February 1920. Undoubtedly the original barrel because the action serial number is in the 1920 block.

(Circle P) means the rifle was proof tested. I don't know about all those other stamps, likely inspectors marks from 95 years ago.

The action is of the "double heat treated" type and is safe with standard .30-06 ammo.

I have one similar, but yours looks nicer.
Jim Watson is online now  
Old October 12, 2015, 11:18 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: November 23, 2009
Posts: 3,963
I'm presuming you're a youngster and haven't seen this rifle until now. Your father left you a gem, do keep it forever as you say.

Some thousands of bolt-action Springfield rifles were modified for the Pedersen device, which turned the rifle into a submachine gun, for getting fire superiority when taking German trench systems in WWI.

Do get a rifle cleaning kit and a gun cleaning cloth, available at Walmart or any sporting goods store. Keep it clean and lightly oiled. Clean from the breech, not the muzzle, you remove the bolt by turning the safety switch at the back of the bolt up, then pulling the bolt out while depressing the trigger. Make sure the rifle is unloaded, first. You can do this by working the bolt, looking into the chamber and the magazine well to see if there are any cartridges in it.

Presuming the bore and all parts are in really nice condition, which seems likely, your rifle is worth several hundred dollars or more, so take good care of it. Do get a rifle case for storage, and don't show it off to just anyone.

Do not sand down the stock, refinish it in any way, add a telescope mount, or any other modification, you will devalue it substantially as a collector item and a piece of history.
kilimanjaro is offline  
Old October 12, 2015, 11:46 AM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: October 11, 2015
Location: Kansas City Kansas
Posts: 4
You people are great thank you for your replies I didn't realize it was a special edition to use the Pederson device there really isn't that much info on the Internet about the mark 1 model when I went to look
Jframe38 is offline  
Old October 12, 2015, 02:00 PM   #6
T. O'Heir
Senior Member
Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 12,120
My condolences.
Please reduce the size of your pictures. Big pictures take a long time to load for a member on dial up.
As mentioned, your rifle is in pristine condition. Absolutely safe to shoot. There's a S/N thing with '03's but your Mk I is way above the cut off.
A Pedersen Device if you can find one will run you in 6 figures at least. snicker.
Looks like this.
Rummage around here.
Spelling and grammar count!
T. O'Heir is offline  
Old October 12, 2015, 03:20 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: February 17, 2006
Location: Northeast of Houston, Tx
Posts: 393
Earlier poster commented about rifle being worth several hundred dollars or more......depending on its condition.

You have a Mark I 1903. Lets just say its value should be in the "OR MORE" category of value. Last time I saw one, was in a Gander Mtn store used rifle rack for military rifles. Gander generally is high priced, so the $1200 price I remember on its Mark I may be questionable. Regardless, a 1903 in decent condition should be valued these days up towards $800 plus easily. I regularly go to guns shows in the Houston area with a couple of my shooting buddies. Prices run around $1000 for them there.

And YES, your rifle is completely safe to shoot. LOL, I shoot one of the so-called LOW SERIAL Number 1903 Springfields on a fairly regular basis since I've acquired it. Darn rifle had been too well used by previously owner(s) not to shoot it. But then, I do reload and do keep my reloads on the low pressure side.
Huffmanite is offline  
Old October 12, 2015, 04:46 PM   #8
Junior Member
Join Date: October 11, 2015
Location: Kansas City Kansas
Posts: 4
Sorry about the gigantic photos I can't find out how to reduce the size I used tapatalk to upload them and it auto sized them from my iPhone
Jframe38 is offline  
Old October 12, 2015, 05:06 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: May 27, 2007
Posts: 5,261
Very sorry to read of the passing of your father. He left you a very nice rifle.

I don't have a stock picture, but your stock does not appear to be an original Mark 1 stock. There was a clearance on the left side of the stock for the ejection port.

This is an original Mark 1 trigger mechanism.

The barrel most certainty is original. Even though the war ended in Nov 1918, Springfield Armory must have been assembling these rifles up to 1920 or 1921.
If I'm not shooting, I'm reloading.
Slamfire is offline  
Old October 12, 2015, 08:23 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: June 14, 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 6,575
Yes that second smaller ejection port makes the whole story.
Just like mine it was for the Pederson device . Do some research about that it's a unique rifle. The Pederson deviceswere supposed to have been destroyed but afew silpped away. Had yopu all parts rifle + Pederson device you'd have some great value ! As a hunting gun it's fine as is ,in 30-06. Enjoy it !!
And Watson , bring your revolver !
mete is offline  
Old October 12, 2015, 09:27 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: August 30, 2009
Location: Northern AZ
Posts: 7,172
I agree with slamfire that the stock is not correct for the Mk I, but is in very nice condition, nevertheless. A correct Mk I stock has a slight dip where the ejection port is.

There is a possibility, however, since the Ordnance Board had decided to make these Pedersen devices obsolete, that remaining Mk I actions made after the war were assembled into standard 1903 stocks. A double bolt stock would certainly be correct for the 1920-21 era.
As always, YMMV.
gyvel is offline  
Old October 14, 2015, 03:33 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 4,462
I read that in 1930s the Mark Is were converted to "standard" by having the Pedersen device trigger parts removed, and so many M1903s-like M-1 Garands-were reworked and rebuilt as necessary. My 1918 M1903 has the "scant grip" stock from WWII but is otherwise "correct".
SIGSHR is offline  
Old October 14, 2015, 04:21 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Western WA
Posts: 7,995
I can't see the pics, but I also have an '03 Mk. 1. Other than the ejection port and the rollmark, it looks like any other WWI-era '03.
Mine has a 1918-dated barrel, straight-grip stock, but the rear handguard is a later piece without the apparent "hump" just forward of the rear sight.
It will close on a no-go gauge, but not on a field gauge, so I still shoot it very occasionally; checking the headspace, prior to shooting, is always a good idea on an old military rifle.
Even into the WWII years, the Pedersen device was considered secret, and "nobody" knew what the port or the markings signified.
Runs off at the mouth about anything 1911 related on this site and half the time is flat out wrong.
RickB is offline  
Old October 17, 2015, 12:00 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: July 30, 2011
Location: Reno NV
Posts: 1,023
Nice rifle. I too, am sorry to hear about your father and you have my condolences.

The stock is off of a WWII 03-A3, indicated by the cut for the A3 lower handguard retainer, the lack of finger grooves and the inspectors stamps in front of the trigger guard. If I could see the cut for the lower band spring, I could tell you whether it was from a Remington or a Smith-Corona, but in reality it would make little difference.

For some reason, it is fairly common to find Mark 1's that still have their original barrels, probably because they were made after WWI and didn't see a lot of post war service. I suspect that since the stock has been changed it is likely that the unique MK1 trigger and spindle/cut off have been changed too.

I would place the value on it at $700-800 as a shooter grade '03 Springfield. I have a 100% original Mark 1, and it is a great shooter. I load ammo for it to duplicate the original service loading and am sure it is more accurate than my aging eyes will allow.

Note how the stock is cut lower around the Pederson ejection port:

The majority of Mark 1 rifles were inspected by "WJS" at Springfield Armory:

This one still has it's WWI dated sling:
highpower3006 is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:19 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2020 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.23379 seconds with 10 queries