U.S. Rifle, Cal. 30 1903A3 Springfield (Remington)
Adopted in 1903 to replace the 30-40 Krag and utilize the newly adopted Government .30-06 cartridge, the Springfield bolt-action service rifle has proven to be one of the classic military rifle designs of the 20th century. Though borrowed heavily from the 1898 Mauser design, the Springfield incorporated a number of unique improvements and modifications which allowed it to serve in U.S. Military service for most of the 20th century, seeing heavy service in World War 1, the inter-war period of the '20's and '30's, World War 2, and limited use in subsequent actions such as Korea and Vietnam. It proved to be a very hearty and accurate rifle, which played a large part in its long use. After other weapons such as the M-1, the M-14, and the M-16 had long since replaced the Springfield in front-line infantry units, the M1903 continued to soldier on in a variety of specialty roles such as being used as a sniper rifle, an anti-mine rifle, and as late as the 1980's, as a sub-caliber tank training aid.
It is a fine rifle, and continues to soldier on today at countless rifle ranges, hunting expeditions, and arms collections.
1903A3, Manufactured by Remington, 1943
This was the second rifle my father and I de-greased of the three he had ordered from the CMP. It was in much nicer shape. There were scrapes and dings, yes, but by and large the metal looked largely brand new. This rifle was in the A3 configuration, which was the version still in production during the Second World War, though my father said that all the 1903's he ever saw in the Pacific were the earlier 1903A1 configuration. The principle differences revolve around labor saving innovations designed to make the rifle more readily mass produced. Several stampings were used instead of milled steel, and a simpler rear sight was adopted. To illustrate the extent of the simplifications, even the number of lands and grooves inside the bore was reduced from four to two.
Still a very handsome rifle.
Here some of the roughness of the stock is visible. There is still a great deal of cosmoline on the rifle here.
Note the cosmoline in the rear receiver bolt hole, and the drop running down the stock at the lower left.
You can also see where the bolt was ground and numbered. I believe this was done in Greece, where this rifle must have languished for years before being snatched up by the CMP.
This photo also shows the A3 versions rear peep sight quite well.
Another image showing off the rear sight. The trigger housing is a stamped piece on the A3 version versus all milled steel on the earlier rifles.
Close up of the barrel showing it as being made by R.A. - Remington Arms in February of 1944.