M1903 Springfield

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The Springfield M1903 was the first service rifle to be adopted by all branches of the United States Armed Forces. It is a Mauser-style turnbolt action with a 24" barrel, 5-round staggered-column box magazine contained within the stock, and straight-grip single-piece stock. It fired the new high-velocity .30-'06 caliber cartridge which would become the standard US rifle and machine-gun round for the next 50 years.

Springfield M1903 Mk 1 - .30-06
Closeup detail of the M1903 Springfield above - this model is receiver cut for a Pederson Device.
Springfield M1903 Transitional (pre-WW2) issue - .30-06

Contents

Development

During the Spanish-American War, US Army troops in Cuba found their Krag-Jørgensen rifles severely outmatched by the Spanish Army's M1893 Mauser rifle. The high-velocity and flat trajectory of the 7x57mm cartridge compared to the .30-40 Krag made the Spanish rifle more accurate, and the Mauser design allowed for immediate reloading of the entire magazine via stripper clips, whereas the Krag could only be loaded singly. This gave the Spanish a decisive advantage in rate-of-fire. A more powerful .30-40 cartridge was developed in 1899, but generated too much chamber pressure for the rifle to withstand repeated firings. It was decided that an entirely new rifle was needed. Thousands of M1893 rifles -surrendered by Spanish troops in Cuba- were returned to the US and extensively studied at Springfield Armory, where it was decided that the Mauser was the superior design. A prototype rifle was produced in 1900; interestingly, it was very similar to Rifle No.5, the final M1892 Mauser prototype in the US Army rifle trials of 1892. This design was rejected, and a new design combining features of the 1898 Krag rifle and the 1893 Spanish Mauser was developed.

Design

The new M1901 prototype combined the cock-on-opening bolt, 30" barrel, magazine cutoff, stock and sights of the Krag-Jørgensen with the dual locking lugs, external claw extractor, and staggered-column magazine of the 1893 Mauser. Taking a cue from the Gewehr 98, a large safety lug was added to the side of the bolt behind the extractor, which would engage the receiver bridge and prevent the bolt moving rearwards. The bolt handle was also bent downwards, to make operation of the bolt faster. It fired an entirely new .30 caliber cartridge, which propelled a 220gr round-nosed bullet at 2,300ft/s. The design was unsuccessful, however, and returned to the drawing board for further improvements.

Following then-current trends in service rifles, the barrel was shortened to 24" after it was discovered that a longer barrel offered no appreciable ballistic advantage, and the shorter barrel was lighter and easier to handle. This "short rifle" also eliminated the need of a shorter carbine for mounted troops or cavalry. A spike-type bayonet with storage in the forend of the stock was added to the design, and the new design was officially adopted as the United States Rifle, Caliber .30, Model 1903.

Almost immediately it underwent two important modifications. In 1905, with 80,000 rifles aready produced, then-US President Theodore Roosevelt ordered the spike bayonet redesigned; he believed it was too flimsy for combat. A conventional blade-type bayonet, the M1905, replaced it and all rifles already produced were retrofitted for the new bayonet. The .30-'03 cartridge was also troublesome; the bullet caused excessive wear on the rifling, and the round-nosed bullet was aerodynamically inefficient. A new cartridge, propelling a 150gr spitzer bullet at 2,700 ft/s (820 m/s) with improved propellant and redesigned case was approved in 1906, becoming the ubiquitous .30-'06. All existing rifles were re-chambered and re-sighted for the new cartridge.

The M1903 Springfield has appeared in the following movies, television shows and video games used by the following actors:

Specifications

  • Weight: 8.65 lb (3.9 kg) depending on wood density
  • Length: 44.9 in (1,140 mm)
  • Barrel length: 24 in (610 mm)
  • Cartridge: .30-03 Springfield; .30-06 Springfield
  • Action: Bolt-action
  • Muzzle velocity: 2,800 ft/s (853 m/s)
  • Feed system: 5-round, 25-round(Air Service variant) stripper clip, internal box magazine
  • Sights: Leaf rear sight, barleycorn-type front sight
  • M1903A3: Aperture rear sight, barleycorn-type front sight

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
Cold Steel (Bian di lang yan) Peter Ho Mu Liangfeng 2011
Cold Steel (Bian di lang yan) Tony Leung Ka Fai Capt. Zhang Menzi 2011
Cold Steel (Bian di lang yan) Mickey He Xiao Wu 2011
Cold Steel (Bian di lang yan) Chinese military snipers 2011
Shutter Island Leonardo DiCaprio US Marshal Teddy Daniels 2009
Shutter Island Prison Guards 2009
Spoils of War US Marines Archive footage 2009
Public Enemies US Army soldiers 2009
Public Enemies Prison guards 2009
Public Enemies Vigilante 2009
Fido Tim Blake Nelson Mr. Theopolis 2006
Fido US Army soldiers 2006
Fido Zomcon guards 2006
The Lost City Cuban rebels 2005
King Kong US Army soldiers 2005
Pearl Harbor US military personnel 2001
Commander Hamilton Libyan troops 1998
The Quest Dobbs' men and Turk smugglers 1996
Clear and Present Danger US military honor guard With metal parts chromed 1994
Forrest Gump Gary Sinise Lt. Dan Taylor's ancestor 1994
Child's Play 3 Kent Military School students 1991
Born on the Fourth of July 4th of July celebration cadets 1989
Sahara Cliff Potts String 1983
Sahara Perry Lang Andy 1983
The Big Red One Lee Marvin Private Possum 1980
The Police War (La Guerre des polices) French police With a Scope 1979
Go Tell the Spartans South Vietnamese militia 1978
The Muthers Pirates, Camp guards 1976
Dillinger Vigilantes 1973
Big Jake Texas Rangers 1971
Two Mules for Sister Sara French soldier 1970
100 Rifles Mexican soldiers, Indians 1969
The Sand Pebbles Steve McQueen Jake Holman 1966
The Sand Pebbles Richard Attenborough Frenchy Burgoyne The Sand Pebbles 1966
The Professionals Mexican soldiers 1966
The Professionals Rebels 1966
The Dictator's Guns (L'Arme à gauche) Leo Gordon Morrison 1965
55 Days at Peking US Navy sailor 1963
The FBI Story South American soldier 1959
China Gate French Legionnaires 1957
A Bullet For Joey US Navy sailor 1955
Battle Circus North Korean soldier 1953
Viva Zapata! Mexican soldiers and rebels 1952
Tokyo Joe US Army soldiers 1949
It's a Wonderful Life Ward Bond Bert the cop 1946
The Story of G.I. Joe US Army soldier 1945
They Were Expendable John Wayne Lt. JG 'Rusty' Ryan 1945
They Were Expendable US Navy sailor 1945
The Fighting Seabees CB recruit 1944
Bataan Robert Taylor Sgt. Bill Dane 1943
Bataan Thomas Mitchell Cpl. Jake Feingold 1943
Bataan Barry Nelson F.X. Matowski 1943
Sahara Louis Mercier Jean 'Frenchie' Leroux 1943
Sahara German soldiers 1943
Gung Ho! 1943
Guadalcanal Diary Richard Jaeckel Private Johnny "Chicken" Anderson 1943
Sergeant York Gary Cooper Sgt. Alvin C. York 1941
Sergeant York George Tobias Pvt. Michael T. "Pusher" Ross 1941
Sergeant York David Bruce Pvt. Bert Thomas 1941
Sergeant York Jack Pennick Cpl. William Cutting 1941
Sergeant York Lane Chandler Cpl. Murray Savage 1941
The Fighting 69th James Cagney Pvt. Jerry Plunkett 1940
The Fighting 69th Jeffrey Lynn Sgt. Joyce Kilmer 1940
The Roaring Twenties James Cagney Eddie Bartlett 1939
The Roaring Twenties Humphrey Bogart George Hally 1939
The Roaring Twenties Jeffrey Lynn Lloyd 1939
The Roaring Twenties Army National Guard soldiers Each Dawn I Die 1939
The Lives of a Bengal Lancer rebels 1935
Heroes for Sale U.S. Army 1933
Wings U.S. Army 1927

Television

Show Title Actor Character Note / Episode Air Date
Doctor Who Hugh Quarshie Solomon "Daleks iin Manhattan" 2005 - ????
Doctor Who Hooverville citizens "Daleks in Manhattan" 2005 - ????
Bonnie and Clyde (2013) police officer scoped 2013

Anime

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven 2002
Forgotten Hope 2003
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth 2005
Call of Duty: World at War 2008
7554 2011
Hidden & Dangerous 2 2003

Animation

Film/TV Show Actor Character Note Date
The Iron Giant US Army soldiers 1999

M1903A1 Springfield Rifle

M1903A1 Springfield - .30-06
M1903A1 Springfield sniper rifle with 7.8x Unertl scope - .30-06
M1903A1 Springfield sniper rifle with 7.8x Unertl scope - .30-06

The M1903A1 Springfield was introduced in 1929, with the only alteration being the C-type pistol-grip stock. The US Marine Corps utilized the M1903A1 with a scope added as their standard sniper rifle during World War II.

The M1903A1 Springfield has appeared in the following movies, television shows and video games used by the following actors:

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
Never So Few Burmese and american soldiers 1959
Best Seller Brian Dennehy Dennis Meechum 1987
Letters from Iwo Jima MSgt. Tom Minder US Marine sniper With 8x Unertl scope 2006
Let the Bullets Fly henchmen 2010

Television

Title Actor Character Note/Episode Date
The Pacific US Marine Sniper With 8x Unertl scope 2010

Video Game

Game Title Appears as Note Release Date
Forgotten Hope 2 2005
Heroes & Generals Springfield M1903 onli scoped 2012




M1903A3 Rifle

Remington M1903A3 rifle .30-06
An M1903A3 Rifle manufactured by Remington Arms for use during World War II. Note the C-type pistol-grip stock - .30-06

Anticipation of American involvement in World War II lead to the US War Department contracting with Remington Arms and Smith-Corona Typewriter Company to produce M1903 rifles to supplement production of the M1 Garand. Remington began production at serial #3,000,000 in September 1941 using old tooling from Rock Island Arsenal put in storage in 1919. As the older tooling wore out, Remington replaced unnecessary milled parts with stamped replacements, which helped to simplify and speed up production, and also improved the design by replacing the original rear sight with a peep sight on the receiver bridge. By serial #3,330,000 the design had been modified so much that it was decided to give the model a new designation, United States Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1903-A3. In October 1942 Smith-Corona began production of the M1903A3 in Syracuse, New York. Smith-Corona rifles were produced using a number of subcontractors, primarily barrels made by High-Standard Manufacturing and Savage Arms. Production of the M1903A3 ended February 12, 1944 when production of M1 Garand rifles was deemed sufficient for the war effort.

The M1903A3 was extensively used by Allied forces in World War II; it was the primary battle rifle of the 1st Brazilian Infantry Division in Italy, and was extensively used by Free French forces after August 1943. It would see action with postwar French forces in Indochina and Algeria. While the basic M1903 and the M1903A1 were distinguished by the use of either a straight-grip stock or a C-type pistol-grip stock, both stock types were used interchangeably in the M1903A3 without any change in designation.

The M1903A3 Springfield has appeared in the following movies, television shows and video games used by the following actors:

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
The Fighting Seabees US Marine and CB members 1944
Battle of the Bulge U.S. Army Soldiers 1965
The Wild Bunch Ben Johnson Tector 1969
The Wild Bunch Strother Martin Coffer 1969
The Wild Bunch U.S. Army soldiers 1969
The Wild Bunch Mexican Army soldiers 1969
Badlands Police officer 1973
Dillinger U.S. Army soldiers 1973
Ironweed Jared Swartout U.S. Army officer 1987
Return from the River Kwai Japanese soldiers, Miao tribesmen, former Allied POWs 1989
Courage Under Fire U.S. Army soldiers With metal parts chromed 1996
The Scoundrel's Wife U.S. Coast Guard sailors 2002

Television

Actor Character Show Title / Episode Note Air Date
Keith Nobbs PFC Wilbur 'Runner' Conley The Pacific 2010
Joshua Biton Sgt. J.P. Morgan The Pacific 2010
Josh Helman Lew 'Chuckler' Juergens The Pacific 2010
Tom Budge PFC Ronnie Gibson The Pacific 2010
Sam Parsonson Pvt. William LaPointe The Pacific 2010
US Marines The Pacific 2010

Video Game

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault With scope 2002
Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault With & without scope 2004
Death to Spies: Moment of Truth 2009
World War II Online: Battleground Europe Released with 1.34 update 2011

M1903A4 Springfield Sniper Rifle

M1903A4 Springfield sniper variant with M84 scope - .30-06
M1903A4 Springfield sniper variant (Remington markings) without scope and with "scant" variation of C-type pistol-grip stock - .30-06

The M1903A4 is an adaptation of the M1903A3 for sniper use, with the iron sights removed and a low-mounted scope in their place. The M1903A4 was used only by the US Army during World War II, as the Marines preferred their own modified M1903A1 design.

The M1903A4 Springfield Sniper Rifle has appeared in the following movies, television shows and video games used by the following actors:

Film

Actor Character Title Note Date
Barry Pepper Pvt. Daniel Jackson Saving Private Ryan 1998
South Korean soldier Tae Guk Gi With scope removed 2004
US paratrooper Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed 2012

Video Games

Game Title Appears as Mods Notation Release Date
Commandos 2: Men of Courage "M1903 .30-06" 2001
Commandos 3: Destination Berlin "Allied Sniper Rifle" 2003
Call of Duty 2003
Forgotten Hope 2003
Call of Duty: United Offensive 2004
Day of Defeat 2004
Call of Duty 2 2005
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One 2005
Call of Duty 3 2006
Call of Duty: World at War 2008
Hour of Victory 2007
Far Cry 2 Incorrectly shown loaded with a stripper clip inserted into the bottom of the weapon 2008
Forgotten Hope 2 2005
Medal of Honor 1999
Medal of Honor: Frontline 2002
Medal of Honor: Rising Sun 2003
Medal of Honor: Airborne 2007
Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 2005
Resident Evil 4 With upgradable scope Inaccurately chambered in .223 Remington 2005
Darkest Hour: Europe '44-'45 with M84 scope 2006
Death to Spies: Moment of Truth 2009
Day of Defeat: Source 2010
World War II Online: Battleground Europe released with 1.34 update 2011
Sniper Elite V2 2012

Anime

Character Film Title Note Date
Mayoi Neko Overrun! 2010
Lemure sniper Baccano! 2007
Hanasaku Iroha 2011


Sporterized M1903 Springfield

The M1903 and its descendants have long been popular as the basis for custom hunting/target rifles. Famous gunsmith Reginald F. Sedgely and the sporting house of Griffin & Howe (in business since 1923) are two of the most well known makers not to mention the thousands of self-taught hobbyists working in their basements and garages over the past one hundred years.

M1903A4 Springfield Sporter Rifles have appeared in the following movies, television shows and video games used by the following actors:

Sporterized M1903 with Weaver telescope.
A Griffin & Howe M1903 Sporter with iron sights.
Springfield M1903 in a Mannlicher Schönauer Carbine stock - .30-'06 This is the screen used rifle (and sling) carried and used by Don Johnson in A Boy and His Dog.The same rifle was also used in The Book of Eli (2010).
Sporterized M1903 Springfield
Sporterized M1903 Springfield

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
The Book of Eli Town guard Same sporterized rifle as used in A Boy and His Dog (1975) 2010
The Howling Colony Resident Griffin & Howe 1981
Black Sunday Robert Shaw Maj. David Kabakov Scoped 1977
A Boy and His Dog Don Johnson Vic Customized with Mannlicher Schönauer Carbine (Stutzen) stock 1975
The Dictator's Guns (L'Arme à gauche) Leo Gordon Morrison 1965

Television

Show Title Actor Character Note / Episode Air Date
The Walking Dead - Season 3 Lauren Cohan Maggie "I Ain't a Judas" (S3E11) 2010-Present




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