U.S. Springfield Rifle, One Only
Original Item: American collectors date our emergence into the modern era of rifle design with the M1903 Springfield series. Our previous attempt at a small-bore magazine had been the Krag-Jorgensen rifle of the 1890s. We discovered weaknesses in Cuba during the Spanish-American War, when the Krag came up against Spanish regulars armed with modern Mauser clip-loading rifles. As interesting as it is mechanically, the Krag could not be reloaded by a clip holding multiple cartridges. Its magazine had to be reloaded one round at a time. The Spanish Mauser could be reloaded five times faster than the Krag.
As a result, the US quickly developed a modern rifle derived from the Mauser bolt and magazine system. This was the M1903 Springfield, which had some important and interesting advances over the Mauser system. The Springfield, as it came to be known, was loved by troops and continued in use though WW1, WW2, and Korea. The sniper version of it was featured in the great motion picture, Saving Private Ryan.
A saying that has persisted until today says that the Germans issued the best hunting rifle, the British issued the combat rifle, and the Americans issued the best target rifle (that is, Mauser vs. Enfield vs. Springfield). We?ll skip the reasons for this, but we will look at the M1903?s features. The cartridge, the U.S. Cal. .30 M1906, had the highest velocity and longest range of any infantry cartridge in WW1 and WW2. And it was the most accurate. This accurate long-range cartridge combined with the outstanding M1903 rear sight produced the ?best target rifle? reputation.
The rear sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation, with a maximum range setting of 2750 yards, or more than one and a half miles. The other allies did not provide windage adjustments (except for the British at the very beginning of WW1), and the rifles of Germany and the other Central Powers did not have any provision for windage adjustments. Any experienced shooter will tell you that a windage adjustment is ABSOLUTELY necessary to hit a target at anything greater than point-blank range, and we provided to all our troops, except those using foreign rifles.
This sample is an original M1903 manufactured before the First World War. This virtually guarantees that it was in fact used by US infantry on the Western Front. The stock looks excellent. The handguard is a replacement.
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