Magazine Fed 1903? Indeed – The Air Service M1903

    The U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, Modle of 1903, commonly called the “Springfield” to this day for its close association with the government arsenal has a long, storied, and well-documented history. The weapon faithfully served through two World Wars and numerous lesser ones and has a reputation for stout service and faithful reliability – a fact not lost on the new Army Air Service.

    The 1903 has various modulations – various models for snipers, scouts, and others. The weapon was adapted for as many uses and the military had specialties. One of the most specialized was for pilots, who had extreme space and usability constraints.

    While the exact reasons for the “Air Service” 1903 remain a mystery, it can be deduced through the large-capacity magazine (for the time!) of 25 rounds was set up for pilots who would not have easy access to reloads. The magazine was not detachable, the stock and forearm modified, and the sights greatly simplified.

    Sorting through old Springfield Armory and Great War records, has painted a compelling picture of the weapon’s origins, its usage (or lack thereof), and perhaps most interestingly – its intended usage.

    To read the full story on the Air Service weapons and to piece how they fit into a nation at war and later weapons development, check it out at

    Nathan S

    One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

    The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.