The Crazy Story Behind the First Springfield Rifle ever Produced

by Miles

What usually happens to numerically significant firearms is that they get put in a museum and carefully guarded. Not the first Springfield M1903, Serial Number One though! Crazy enough, this particular rifle actually rolled right off the production line and into Army service when it was produced before the war. Originally a rod bayonet version and in .30-03, it was later reconfigured into a non-rod bayonet variant and barrel changed to .30-06, having been made in 1909. But this is actually completely typical of many low serial number M1903 rifles during that era when these changes occurred. In fact what makes Serial Number One so much more significant is that for its service life, it wasn’t at all and was treated like any other Springfield out there in the Army’s service.

We also know a little bit about the story of how it came to the Armory. Issued to a soldier deploying to the Western Front during the First World War, it was taken away from him before he got to the front lines as some higher echelon leadership realized the importance of the serial number that the rifle had. The soldier was given an M1917 Enfield in exchange, of which apparently he didn’t like too much!


Springfield M1903, Serial Number One

************ (Guess from the video!) Also Serial Number One

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Ageless by Ian Locke


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I've made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at

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