The U.S. Model 1903 Springfield Rifle was developed during the late 19th century, when US troops engaged in the Spanish-American War found their weapons, the Springfield Model 1892-99 Krag-Jorgensen rifles, far inferior to the bolt-action Mausers used by Mexican forces. As a result, US Army authorities sought a more powerful rifle with a faster rate of fire to provide their troops. In 1900, the state-owned Springfield armory was set up to build such a rifle, based on the battle-proven Mauser design. In 1903, the U.S. Model 1903 Springfield replaced the Krag-Jorgensen and was adopted as the primary U.S. battle rifle.
With the outbreak of the World War II, the US army had a limited supply of rifles, and while the standard US rifle was already the M1 Garand, it was decided that the Army would benefit from being supplemented by a simpler and cheaper bolt-action rifle. The Remington Arms company was given the task to produce rifles and created a variant of the M1903, simplified for wartime production. Adopted in 1942, the M1903A3 rifles featured a number of parts made by stamping instead of machining as well as receiver-mounted peep-hole sights instead of the leaf-type tangent sights.
Despite not being the official rifle of the US military (since the replacement of the M1 Garand), the A3 model of the 1903 Springfield was adapted into a sniper rifle and served US forces for an additional two decades. This variant, the 1903A4, was used during WWII, the Korean War, and in the very early stages of Vietnam.
.30 06 Springfield
Initial date of manufacture:
1942 to present1962