April 9th & 10th Premier Firearms Sale (MFIRE)
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/9/2016
24.206” barrel in caliber .30-03. As if having an original U.S. Springfield Model 1903/05 unaltered .30-03 rifle in an auction would not be enough excitement to any Springfield collector, this rifle from a completely different consignor, came into this office just a few weeks later. It is equally as rare as the offered 05, and it, too, is the only known surviving example. This rifle was originally shipped to the Pratt & Whitney Tool Company as a test rifle. The Pratt & Whitney Tool Company manufactured the original tooling for the rifling of the Springfield 1903 barrels. The Springfield Research Service letter states “This rifle is a one-of-a-kind original caliber .30-03 Model 1903 Springfield serial No. 173277 with a February 1906 dated barrel, with no inspectors cartouche, was authorized and associated test and similar rifles. It was original sold by the United States government to the Pratt & Whitney Tool Company with authorization by the United States Congress act, approved April 23, 1904. the act allowed and encouraged inventors, firearms companies, and technical innovators to purchase Model 1903 weapons. The Pratt & Whitney Tool Company purchased this weapon where it remained in the Tool Company museum until it closed in 1994. Pratt & Whitney started in operation before the Civil War and provided special machining and precision tools to the Springfield Armory. This rifle could not be resold or disposed of without government permission, and remained in perfect condition in the company possession. The Act allowed this sale for approximately $25, regulation allowed testing, ammunition testing, and offers of improvements and alterations to the 1903 action. There are no inspector marks of proof marks on the stock, which is correct for special test rifles. The original length stock with high hump flat top handguard and a barrel date of February 1906 is correct for early 1906 production”. The original front and rear sights are present. Rear sight has the 2,400 yard elevation with no ridge, platinum line, dished knurled knobs with groove. The cut-off is case colored and has the serifs, 1905 polished bolt with the single small hole, fire blue extractor (90% finish), straight blued bolt, case colored safety, fire blue body, proper cocking knob. Flat top handguard is sans clips, has the proper cut-out. Barrel is stamped “SA” with Ordnance bomb and marked “2-06”. No age on bayonet lug band and rear band is stamped “U”. There is a yellow sticker under forend that reads “U.S.A.”, brass museum tag stamped 24. Small number 59 stamped in stock under wrist, and a number 12 is stamped at bottom of toe. All milled parts. Fire blue smooth buttplate with large trap, top tang and screw retain brilliant fore blue. Rear sling swivel retains 70% fire blue. Trigger guard retains 60% fire blue. Floor plate is grey patina. Rear barrel bands retain 50% fire blue. Retaining spring also retains the fire blue. Forend cap retains 80% fire blue. Barrel retains approximately 80% of the rust blue mixed with patina. There is an outer ring of wear at end of muzzle from bayonet. Frame retains 50-60% original blue, starting to thin. Stock is in near mint condition with virtually no marks of any kind. It has the proper contour with the wide finger groove. The factory did add a rear stock retaining bolt, which may have been used as the prototype for standard Springfield production beginning in 1909. The cut-off groove in stock is stamped with an “H”. Bore has an ME reading of .3 and is mirror bright. The condition of this rifle would be amazing on any early 1903 Springfield, let alone a one-of-a-kind tool room example. Another one-of-a-kind early Springfield. This rifle has a copy of a letter of the attorneys for the Pratt & Whitney collection that lists this rifle as being sold from the Pratt & Whitney firm, by serial number, tag No. 24, in 1992.
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $6,250.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $17,080.00
Estimate: $25,000 - $50,000
Number Bids: 1
Auction closed on Saturday, April 9, 2016.
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