POTD: Grandpa’s Rifle

    Mike from North Dakota …

    This is my grandfather’s sporterized Springfield 1903 chambered in .30-06 Springfield. It’s got more of a family heritage than just being my grandfather’s (which is enough).

    My great-uncle sporterized a lot of rifles during the 1960’s and 1970’s (like a lot of others). My father described his Wisconsin workshop “as having rifles and parts everywhere”. He used most of the actions available in that day; Mauser ’98, Springfield 1903 and 1903a3, Mauser ’96, Arisaka Type 99. Uncle Arno did all the stock work, often carving from hardwood blanks; and I think he did the bluing, scope tapping, safety, and trigger conversions. He had a gunsmith friend do the barrel fitting and lathe work, if necessary. This rifle has a Remington military barrel that was cut down to 22″ and re-contoured with a sporter profile.


    My grandfather received several rifles from Arno. My father and uncles each received at least 1 rifle from him as well. They were often very accurate, were nicely turned out, and were expected to be hunted with. My grandfather and uncle hunted deer for many years with Arno’s ’98 Mausers chambered in 6MM Rem. My father shot many prairie dogs with his ’98 Mauser chambered in .22-250 Rem.

    My father gave me this Springfield a few years ago and I shot 2 Colorado elk with it. During the last elk hunt, it and the gun case got wet and there was some rust on the barrel when I got home. The stock was urethaned and yellowed after 43 years. I took the opportunity to have the gun re-blued, the stock refinished, and the bolt body replaced (my dad ground the handle way down to clear a large objective scope). (Mark Smith of Precision Bluing in Greene, New York. Bill Sporcich in Burbank, WA did the stock. Doug Fincher in San Augustine, TX polished and forged the period-correct bolt.)

    To me, she’s a beauty with a great heritage. This rifle and the memories of my grandfather will be passed down to my children.

    This is a very special rifle. Mike, thank you for sharing its story with us.