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Old March 6, 2013, 11:16 PM   #1
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1903 Springfield Sporter

Hello, I’m Carl and live in NC but originally from California. This is my first post here on this Site.

My Grandfather gave this to me before he pasted in the mid 90's

He bought it from the NRA still with all of the cosmoline on it.

I know that he shot it in competition in the National Guard but that is about it.

I want to know more about this rifle so I have taken a bunch of pictures to share and have you guys help me figure it out.

I believe that it has not be modified at all since he bought it.

it has a star gauge barrel with a S A flaming cannon ball and a date of 12 - 27. According to some sites I have found it was made in 1928..

serial number 1285486

here are my questions

Is this a national match rifle?

Was this made from Springfield Armory this way or was it modify by the NRA?

I had hoped to be able to shoot in some CMP competitions with it but was told that it did not qualify because it is not in the military service configuration.

I am new to any type of shooting competition so I really do not know

Is this true?

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Old March 6, 2013, 11:17 PM   #2
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more pics

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Old March 7, 2013, 12:19 AM   #3
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that's a pretty nice sporter but it's definitely not factory config. even the national matches had full length stocks and the rear sights are aftermarket. generally the NRA kept things stock and sold as collectors pieces, I don't know of anything they sporterized.

no doubt it's a great shooter but yeah, not able to compete with it. there are sporting rifle matches though and just about anythings welcome there...
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Old March 7, 2013, 03:52 AM   #4
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Looks like a Springfield Sporter, and a very nice one at that. Springfield Sporters were never in "military configuration" (i.e. full stock, upper handguard, bayonet lug, rear sight on the barrel, straight grip or scant grip, etc), they were sporters. Note the barrel band fits the barrel and stock as is, and has a crosspin to secure it. Very nice rifle. Springfield Sporters can be worth a bit of change. If you intend to sell it, have it appraised by someone who knows about Springfield rifles.

Looks like someone put the front sight blade in backwards.

As far as shooting it in matches, it is not in military configuration so it will not work for military match. I am sure there are still sporter matches in various locations around the country.
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Last edited by Scorch; March 7, 2013 at 03:58 AM.
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Old March 7, 2013, 06:28 AM   #5
Jim Watson
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That definitely looks like a Springfield Sporter.
There were few made and Springfield quit building them when Winchester and Remington got enough bolt action rifles on the market to cover the demand.
Dollar value is considerable. I don't know how high, they seldom come up for sale.

The front sight is a commercial bead replacement... put in backwards and with the bead itself knocked off.

The barrel band is on backwards, the U mark stands for "up" and should be on the bolt handle side. But I would not mess with it at this late date, it has apparently been on that way for a long time. You might just scrape up the finish trying to turn it around.

It is not a service rifle but it is a legitimate product of Springfield Armory.
The match director was being a real nitpicker to not let you shoot it alongside the service rifles.
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Old March 7, 2013, 07:50 AM   #6
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That is a nice looking Sporter and a valuable memory of your grandfather.

Jim and Scorch are right. The NRA Sporters were built at the Springfield National Armory for sale to NRA members.
The NRA did not possess, much less build or modify, any of the various rifles that came up for sale to its members from the Government.
Sales were handled through the Department of the Army by the military Director of Civilian Marksmanship.

Can't recall seeing a 1903 with a threaded front sight screw rather than just being pinned in place.
That said, it will not hurt value like the ones that you see that have been drilled and tapped for scope use.

I could see that rifle easily going north of 2500 and, depending on the percentage of finish, above 3000.

It would be a centerpiece for many 03 collectors.

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Old March 7, 2013, 11:27 AM   #7
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1903 sporter

In the 30's a company sportized several Krags out of California: I own one of the Krags they sportized: I just don't recall the company name. A Lockheed retired worker often went to the range with me, he is now deceased, thought they also sportized some 1903's, that 1903 you own may be one. some features on your stock The retainer ring and the pin, along with the butt stock are very simular, But the fine adjustable rear sight raise a few questions, to save on costs this company often used the original sights. You have a nice 1903, Be safe and shoot clean Sunny
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Old March 7, 2013, 12:01 PM   #8
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YMMV, but I wouldn't let that rifle leave my hands for a penny less than $4500.

(The Lyman receiver sight was issue, BTW.)

VERY nice, AND desireable ( to Springfield cognescenti ).

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Old March 7, 2013, 01:43 PM   #9
James K
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Check out Brophy, page 59 ff. for both sporting rifle and NM rifle info.

Jim K
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