Forgot how good this one was....

majspud

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Forgot how good this rifle was. This is one of the 10 official "Oddball" M03 Springfields; I got it from my local gun store back in 2008. Backstory: the Rock Island Arsenal was shut down after WWI; it's machinery and remaining parts inventory mothballed. Eventually the machinery would be leased to Remington at the start of WW2 to make the M03A1 and later the M03A3. In 1925 or so, the Government had the parts packed up and sent to Springfield and slipped into the production run. Both blank and serialed RIA receivers were completed into rifles. So you can find unfinished RIA receivers in the 1+ million mark when RIA made fewer than 430,000 rifles, and you can find finished serialed RIA receivers with 20s and 30s Springfield barrels. My example has the second highest serial number known...at least from what I've seen on the M03 research page and other sources. This 1919 serialed receiver was originally completed and barreled by Springfield in August of 1931. Again according to the M03 page, the rifle went back through Springfield in 1940, receiving its B2 marked bolt and "s" marked Semi-C stock. Sometime after that, during WW2, it passed through the Augusta Arsenal.

Can't remember the last time I shot it. Corrected after a few highs and lows and the rest were in. I never shot well with the M03A3 sights, but do extremely well with the old style rear sight. 45 rounds of '69 HXP. Rang the gong a few times for the hell of it while I was at it.

I remember a saying about the main battle rifles of WWI; that the Americans brought the best target rifle, the Germans the best hunting rifle, and the British the best battle rifle. The Germans called the M03 "Silent Death" as the Americans could hit kill shots from so far out that you never heard the bullet coming.
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Welder1

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Very nice looking example. I’m always particularly interested in the RIA examples because of all the anomalies.
While I like the 1903 the most I do think the early K98s were the best made. I don’t get the fascination with the Enfield rifle as the best battle rifle.
 
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