Sunday, December 11, 2016

Experimental Springfield M-1903 Semi-Auto

Certainly a prototype and possibly one of a kind semi-automatic rifle built on a Model 1903 Springfield Action. One of the first attempts to design a semi-automatic rifle to replace the bolt action Model 1903 Rifle? We will likely never know.

This rifle is illustrated and briefly described on pages 6 and 7 of "THE GAS TRAP GARAND" by Billy Pyle. The caption describes this rifle as an "enigmatic M1903 conversion, inventor unknown. This rifle, which has a fixed barrel and no gas system, appears to be primer-actuated."

Pyle also notes that the rifle has a post-WWI course checkered buttplate and flat faced rear sight windage knob which suggests, the actual modification took place in the 1920s using a pre-WWI Model 1903 rifle. (the stock and most of the other components are early Model 1903 pieces c. 1910)

The rifle has a standard Model 1903 barrel, rear sight, upper and lower barrel bands, buttplate and front sight. The barrel and receiver have standard Model 1903 Springfield markings; the barrel is dated "1-10".

The receiver has been extended by approximately six-inches to accommodate the modified bolt. A seven inch section of walnut has been added between the original Model 1903 buttstock and forearm to fit the extended receiver.
The stock modifications are professionally done and are barely visible on initial inspection. The added section matches the butt and forearm very closely in grain and finish.
The trigger guard finial has been extended several inches.

A sold at auction price of $21,850 indicates the rifle is/was a highly desirable collectors item.

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