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6/21/2017 8:25:40 PM
Posted: 12/22/2001 9:48:25 AM EDT
From the info I have about 2000 of these rifles were made.
Today only one is known to exist and I think I maybe holding number two but I know so little about older bolt-action rifles I need help.

Anyone have a site/person anything/anyone where I might find some help with the I.D. ???

Thanks Much.
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 2:47:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 3:32:39 PM EDT
Please give a description of the rifle, we may be able to help.
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 3:37:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:
From the info I have about 2000 of these rifles were made.
Today only one is known to exist and I think I maybe holding number two but I know so little about older bolt-action rifles I need help.

Anyone have a site/person anything/anyone where I might find some help with the I.D. ???

Thanks Much.



Model of 1903 Springfield?
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 6:41:01 PM EDT
Might try the collectors over at jouster.com

SRM
Link Posted: 12/23/2001 3:10:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2001 3:04:31 AM EDT by raf]
Link Posted: 12/23/2001 5:36:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By raf:
What model of rifle is it?


Raf & All,
the model is a 1903 Springfield but instead of being made by Springfield Armory the rifles were made by Rock Island Arsenal. The rifles were made for the 1919 National Matches and specifically for the Army Infantry Team and the Army Calvary Team. The Marines continued to use their Springfield Armory manufactured 1903's.
The S/N is 384911 and fits into the proper range of 370000 and 390000.

The information I have comes from "Man at Arms", the NRA Journal for the American Arms collector; Vol 23, number 2 April 2000.

"Of the more than 2000 rifles originally made, only a single original is known to exist today."
Link Posted: 12/23/2001 6:08:23 AM EDT
Try www.milsurpshooter.com they have a US military bolt action rifle forum and some of the people there are very knowlegable and helpful.
Link Posted: 12/23/2001 6:16:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:

Originally Posted By raf:
What model of rifle is it?


Raf & All,
the model is a 1903 Springfield but instead of being made by Springfield Armory the rifles were made by Rock Island Arsenal. The rifles were made for the 1919 National Matches and specifically for the Army Infantry Team and the Army Calvary Team. The Marines continued to use their Springfield Armory manufactured 1903's.
The S/N is 384911 and fits into the proper range of 370000 and 390000.

The information I have comes from "Man at Arms", the NRA Journal for the American Arms collector; Vol 23, number 2 April 2001.

"Of the more than 2000 rifles originally made, only a single original is known to exist today."

Link Posted: 12/23/2001 7:51:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/23/2001 9:12:03 AM EDT by raf]
Link Posted: 12/23/2001 8:15:18 AM EDT
raf and Group,
I'm even afraid to take the bolt out !

The NRA mag has some good pictures and shows what markings should be where.
As an example, there were only four possible inspectors. Fortunately one of the correct inspector's, SS1919 (Samuel O. Spangler) cartouche is there and in the correct place.

The correct barrel markings should be RIA, the exploding bomb symbol and 2-19. All are there.

At the very end of the wood - just in front of the bayonet lug (referred to as the fore-end tip)a large "RI" may be there but doesn't have to be there for the gun to be real. On this one the large "RI" is even there.

[From the NRA magazine "The rifle barrels were star-gauged, but probably had no special star-gauge marking."] Article goes on to say the star marking did not begin until 1921.

I too am far over my head here.

Link Posted: 12/23/2001 8:39:44 AM EDT
National Match rifles were typically sold to competitors after the matches. Those which weren't sold at Camp Perry were sold via the NRA or merely cleaned and repaired and issued as regular rifles.

Once sold, and when no longer competitive in matches many M1903's, like the Krags before them, became deer rifles.

Try www.gunandknife.com in the M1903 section. John Beard, a published expert on the M1903, is there and can provide more details -- if there are any.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 12/23/2001 10:40:42 AM EDT
I've put a "Help" post on gunandknife.
Link Posted: 12/23/2001 11:17:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:
Army Calvary Team.



Calvary is a hilltop where my messiah gave his life. Calvalry is mounted infantry.
Link Posted: 12/23/2001 11:21:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By brouhaha:

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:
Army Calvary Team.



Calvary is a hilltop where my messiah gave his life. Calvalry is mounted infantry.


Prease lamember the spill ckr she isnot werking.
(Also please remember that this is all "Hanoi Jane Fonda's fault.)
Excepting those two excuses and alibis "thank you."
Link Posted: 12/23/2001 11:22:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By brouhaha:

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:
Army Calvary Team.



Calvary is a hilltop where my messiah gave his life. Calvalry is mounted infantry.



Actually it's cavalry.
Link Posted: 12/23/2001 11:41:18 AM EDT
What I really meant to say is those soldiers of old that at one time rode horses.
Link Posted: 12/23/2001 1:55:03 PM EDT
Just use Cav.
Link Posted: 12/23/2001 2:10:38 PM EDT
Also jouster.com
cpermd
Link Posted: 12/23/2001 5:21:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cpermd:
Also jouster.com
cpermd



I've now posted at this site.
Link Posted: 12/23/2001 5:26:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 03shooter:
Try www.milsurpshooter.com they have a US military bolt action rifle forum and some of the people there are very knowlegable and helpful.



03, I'm posting here tomorrow.
Thanks !
Link Posted: 12/24/2001 12:31:08 AM EDT
Don’t know if it would tell you any more than you already know, but you might track down a copy of William S. Brophy’s “The Springfield 1903 Rifles”.

Brownells carries this book. However, it is quite expensive.
Link Posted: 12/24/2001 5:04:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Chuck:
National Match rifles were typically sold to competitors after the matches. Those which weren't sold at Camp Perry were sold via the NRA or merely cleaned and repaired and issued as regular rifles.

Once sold, and when no longer competitive in matches many M1903's, like the Krags before them, became deer rifles.

Try www.gunandknife.com in the M1903 section. John Beard, a published expert on the M1903, is there and can provide more details -- if there are any.

-- Chuck


Chuck,
this site was a direct hit !
The "John Beard" you mention is actually the co-author (along with C. S. Ferris) of "The Rock Island 1919 National Match Rifles" (Man at Arms, April 2001) article that started this whole thing.
John Beard and I are now in contact.
Thanks again.

(P.S.) Early returns indicate this rifle I have is actually a little more correctly marked than the rifle featured in Messers. Ferris and Beard's article.
Prior to this one - if authenticated - the rifle in the article was the only one known to exist.)
Link Posted: 12/24/2001 5:05:30 PM EDT
BLT
Link Posted: 12/24/2001 7:25:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/24/2001 7:36:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By raf:
Congrats. Looks like you may have a real treasure there.


raf, thanks very much.
I'm about 95% sure the rifle is the real deal.
Somehow even things like the correct oiler, thong, cleaning rod, etc., have remained with the rifle.
This rifle must have been gotten from the military many years ago and seldom if ever used.
As just a nice rifle it's at least 90%.
Link Posted: 12/25/2001 4:37:40 AM EDT
HEY.......That`s an ASSAULT rifle!......
Link Posted: 12/25/2001 12:28:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BlackandGreen:
HEY.......That`s an ASSAULT rifle!......


Must be - it has both a bolt and a bayonet lug !
Link Posted: 12/25/2001 2:47:47 PM EDT
So how about some pics!!!!!
Congrats and enjoy the rifle. I own a rare small-bore match rifle, based on the 1922 Springfield, but heavily modified by the APG small arms shop and my dad back in 1947. Yours sounds original and extremely valuable.
So, how about some pics!!!!!
Link Posted: 12/25/2001 3:03:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gus:
So how about some pics!!!!!
Congrats and enjoy the rifle. I own a rare small-bore match rifle, based on the 1922 Springfield, but heavily modified by the APG small arms shop and my dad back in 1947. Yours sounds original and extremely valuable.
So, how about some pics!!!!!


Please, please don't tell anyone but me and two guys in China still can't send pictures !
Now if I could send pictures it would still take me another year to learn to post them on this board.

I don't like to brag but a lot of years and research didn't go into locating this rifle.
A local boy wanted to sell what was just assumed to be a Springield Armory 1903 for $300.00. As this rifle is at least 90% that deal was a no-brainer.
Only later was it determined to be this odd-ball "Rock Island Armory" 1903 and still later before the April 2001 article in "Man at Arms" was blundered on. (I'd never heard of "Man at Arms !")

When this puppy is finally 100% authenticated I'll haul it down to my FFL and get some pic's made and then figure out how to get them posted.

(Yes it appears this rifle is all original and even has all the accesssories that came with these rifles.)
Link Posted: 12/25/2001 3:45:16 PM EDT
I wonder if those folks on that "Antique Roadshow" are anti-gun? It would really be great to see appraisals of old guns on TV.

Link Posted: 12/25/2001 6:33:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Adam_White:
I wonder if those folks on that "Antique Roadshow" are anti-gun? It would really be great to see appraisals of old guns on TV.




They do not appear to be. I have seen Colts, Henry Rifles, 1873 Winchesters, etc. If it is an antique, they will appraise it.
Link Posted: 12/26/2001 9:35:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By QCMGR:

Originally Posted By Adam_White:
I wonder if those folks on that "Antique Roadshow" are anti-gun? It would really be great to see appraisals of old guns on TV.




They do not appear to be. I have seen Colts, Henry Rifles, 1873 Winchesters, etc. If it is an antique, they will appraise it.



Now that you mention the fact I do remember a couple of Civil War era pistols being appraised.
I had forgotten and was just going to "assume" they were anti-gun.
Link Posted: 12/26/2001 9:44:46 AM EDT
Yea, but showing them one of two existing "modern" rifles I doubt they'd pick up on it. Would be interesting to find out, though.

Psst, I'm not in China, but I still haven't got a clue to posting pictures.
Link Posted: 12/26/2001 3:23:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JonnieGTyler:
Yea, but showing them one of two existing "modern" rifles I doubt they'd pick up on it. Would be interesting to find out, though.

Psst, I'm not in China, but I still haven't got a clue to posting pictures.


JGT,
maybe it was two guys in the U.S. and one guy in.........
Link Posted: 12/26/2001 3:35:14 PM EDT
Where in OK are you? If yer really interested, I think I may be up in Ardmore in the next week or so. I'll take some pics if yer in the area.
Link Posted: 12/26/2001 3:48:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By brouhaha:
Where in OK are you? If yer really interested, I think I may be up in Ardmore in the next week or so. I'll take some pics if yer in the area.


That's a mighty generous offer. I'm in Oklahoma City.
I'm going to wait until this rifle is finally "authenticated" and then I'll take the rifle down to my FFL and have some pic's made.
(Then I'll have the owner's teenage son figure out how to get them posted !)

I don't want to put that proverbial "horse before the cart" but C. S. Ferris and John Beard, the two guys that wrote the original article in "Man at Arms" - April 2001 - are planning a second article on these rifles.

I would think "if" they authenticate this rifle, as it would be only the second known, that perhaps they will include photos in their article.
Link Posted: 1/1/2002 7:30:21 PM EDT
I would like to thank all members for your advice and suggestions.

John Beard, co-author of the "Man at Arms" article, and I have exchanged several emails culminating with a phone call tonight to go over each facet of the rifle.

This rifle is the "real-deal" and is probably more true to the original Rock Island Arsenal Model 1903 National Match rifle than the one featured in the article. This 1903 also has accessories such as "oiler case, thong and barracks cleaning rod" that although pictured with the rifle in the article actually did not come with that rifle.

Incredibly after all these years the rifle's condition is a solid 90%.

Since the article was written in 4/01 one other R.I.A. 1903 N.M. has surfaced but that rifle is only "partially' correct.

The next step is to send the rifle to John Beard so that he may visually confirm what we have verbally discussed and he will issue a "Letter of Authencity."

Again my thanks to all of you for your help and advice. I sure didn't have a clue as to where to go for help - except for members of this board.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 5:08:03 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 6:23:37 AM EDT
Congratulations 5subslr5. Now that is one heck of a way to start out a new year.

Send the rifle to him (Mr. Beard)? What are you going to insure it for? a bazillion dollars??? Seriously, I would add heavy insurance and send it air-over-night-express whatever. Reduces the chance that something not good happens to it.

I'll have to find a back copy of 'Man at Arms' and await the second article.

Again, congrats bro.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 6:27:32 AM EDT
Big insurance and overnight Fed Ex it will be.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 6:30:06 AM EDT
So, now that you've got everybodies attention....What's the approx. value of that thing? With only two known examples of an extremely popular rifle it's gotta be worth some $$$....
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 6:40:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Ponyboy:
So, now that you've got everybodies attention....What's the approx. value of that thing? With only two known examples of an extremely popular rifle it's gotta be worth some $$$....


Just general conversation puts it around $5,000.
More at auction.

To the right private collector ???

Also the Rock Island Arsenal Museum doesn't have one.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 6:49:27 AM EDT
Wow, that's a nice little return on a $300 investment! It's good to know that it has possibly been saved from being lost forever though.

If you don't mind me asking, are you planning on keeping it or selling it or undecided? I don't really know what I would do if I were in your situation.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 6:58:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Ponyboy:

If you don't mind me asking, are you planning on keeping it or selling it or undecided? I don't really know what I would do if I were in your situation.


Like you I really don't know either.
After I receive the "Letter of Authenticity" I hear that maybe there will now be a second follow-up article on these rifles.

With the letter and the rifle featured in another article.......................???
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 7:12:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/2/2002 7:12:36 AM EDT by Ponyboy]
Actually, after reflecting on it for a minute, I think I would keep it. As much as I would like to trade it in on an M16 or a ton of other guns that I could actually shoot, I don't think I would have the heart to get rid of it.

It would be pretty nice to know that you are the owner of the finest example of a particular firearm in the entire world. It would be something that you could brag to all of your friends about and show off to everybody with the magazine articles and books written all about your gun. It would be something that you could probably never replace. It's something that no amount of money can replicate.

It's pretty cool that you found it....I'm happy for ya man.
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