springfield m1903


Eddystone Model of 1917, barrel dated November 1918. This rifle has a SAA (San Antonio Arsenal) mark on it. It was taken out of storage and refurbished there in preparation for WWII. This one sports an interesting light grey or sliver finish. It is a CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) rifle, but the finish on it suggests most likely it was a VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) post rifle that was returned, and reworked by the CMP.

Remington Model of 1903 manufactured April 1942.

Springfield M1 Garand. This is a rifle I rebuilt to be as close to parts correct for 1944.

Steve is a fierce Drama Llama, and Bucky is the loyal Alpaca that follows him into danger.
They’ve been inseparable ever since Steve was a sickly little thing that everyone mistook for a Guanaco.

The hardest part of this was finding out how long an alpaca is, front-to-back, so I could have the M1903 Springfield to scale. Then, after all that work, I figured “screw it” when it came to how it would hang on an ungulate.

When you catch yourself thinking, “Oh no. I hope my alpaca’s scope is historically accurate, otherwise I’m going to catch hell.” then you have to face the uncomfortable realization that maybe your fandoms aren’t weird. Maybe it’s Just You.


Springfield M1899 Krag-Jørgensen carbine

Designed by the Norwegians Ole Herman Johannes Krag and Erik Jørgensen c.1886 and manufactured by the Springfield Arsenal c.1899-1904 for the US Army - serial number 349283 .
.30-40 Krag five-round ‘half-capsule’ fixed magazine, bolt action repeater, magazine cut-off, M1901 rear sights.
The Krag rifles and carbines were not only adopted by the United States, but also before that, with some variations, by Norway and Denmark. They are one of the very few foreign designs adopted by the US Army, and was replaced by the Springfield M1903 which, although a Mauder copy, was technically an indigenous design.


The Alaska Territorial Guard

A year before World War II the US Army withdrew all regular and reserve forces from Alaska, believing that the territory was too remote for an enemy attack.  Thus when America entered the war, there were no military forces available if a defense of the territory was needed. In the first year of the war Japanese patrols were constantly sighted along the Alaskan coast, Japanese forces occupied islands in the Aleutian Island chain, Dutch Harbor was bombed, and a Japanese submarine attempted to shell Vancouver.  As a result, fear of Japanese attacks or perhaps an all out invasion spread across the Pacific Northwest.

In response to the lack of Alaskan defenses during the war,  the Alaska Territorial Guard was organized.  Created in June of 1942, the Alaskan Territorial Guard was a militia or reserve force created to patrol and protect Alaska against any Axis aggression.  Incredibly, most of those who volunteered for the Guard were Alaskan Natives, drawn from various tribes including the Aleut, Inuit, Athabascan, White, Haida, Tlingit, Inupiac, and various other tribes.  Called “Eskimo Solders”, the men of the Alaska Territorial Guard were perfectly suited to military duty in Alaska.  Most lived in some of the wild and remote areas of Alaska, and thus were self reliant men who were adapted to the extreme cold of arctic winters while well accustomed to surviving in the rugged wilderness. While they never saw combat, the Alaska Guardsmen were often called upon to conduct scouting, exploration, and rescue operations as they had unique knowledge of the terrain and how best to traverse it.

The men who volunteered for the Alaska Territorial Guard were volunteers in the strictest sense; they received no pay.  At first, due to a shortage of weapons, many Guardsmen had to make due with their own personal hunting rifles.  Later, the US Army issued the Guard surplus World War I vintage M1917 Enfield and M1903 Springfield bolt action rifles as well as some WWI leftover machine guns. Later, when it was apparent that the US was winning the war, and American industry was in full gear, the Alaska Guards were issued modern M1 Garand semi automatic rifles.

During the war 6,389 men and 27 women served in the Alaska Territory Guard.  Tens of thousands more served as support personnel. The Alaska Territorial Guard was disbanded in 1947.


Springfield M1903 variant prototype

Manufactured c.1917 by the Springfield Armory with experimental rifling, fitted with a Winchester 1909 Patent A5 scope manufactured by Winchester Repeating Arms Company in New Haven, Connecticut - serial number 716929.
.30-06 five-rounds magazine fed by stripper clips, bolt action repeater.

The older scopes are also the sexier ones.

The Old Iron: The M1 Garand - .30-06 Springfield

Wars are a gruesome affair, this is a fact known to most people. Blood, sweat and gore accompany a conflict, and if one wishes to win it, they must first have necessary manpower, supplies and arms. And an icon of that is the M1 Garand. This WWII-era battlerifle has managed to become an icon of America, both of the war effort and far past it. 

The Garand begins life with it’s Canadian-American designer, Jean Cantius Garand, more commonly just called John C. Garand. A fan of machining and target shooting, this melded into firearm design and Garand’s first design was a light machine gun developed in 1918. While it lost out to other designs, his work soon caught attention of Springfield Armory, and they hired him.

By the 1930′s, there was a craze in the world for a semi-automatic battle rifle to replace older bolt actions. These led to a flurry for new designs, many of which ended in development limbo excluding a few like the SVT-40, G41 and Ljungman. In America, the trials boiled down to two main designs, the Garand rifle and the Pedersen rifle.

The Pedersen rifle was developed by Remington’s main designer John Pedersen, relying on a toggle-lock action and waxed ammunition. Garand’s rifle was a gas-operated rotating bolt. Both chambered in the prototype .276 Pedersen cartridge, concern began to brew on the logistics of the new ammo. Seeing an opportunity, Garand managed to work his rifle to use standard .30-06, something that Pedersen could not. This led to Garand and his rifle winning the trials.

And just at the right time, as the Second World War soon began and the US entered it with the Garand.

The M1 Garand was the US Armed Forces rifle of choice alongside the older M1903 Springfield. And while the rest of the world used bolt-actions or had semi-automatics in low production, the Garand was standard issue and gave US soldiers a giant fire power advantage in the field. 

However the Garand was not without flaws, the loading mechanism used metal en-bloc clips and used a spring meaning the clip would be flung out of the gun when empty, famously making a metallic “ping”. While its actual impact on the battlefield is fairly limited, it showed many flaws with the Garand design and the rifle was not due long in the ever advancing Cold War years.

Despite its age, the Garand lasted fairly long after the war. The rifle served into Korea and even the early days of Vietnam, though many had been replaced by that point by the later M14 and M16 rifles. Many nations both inside and outside of NATO used them, some still using the Garand today for ceremonial purposes. 

The IRA were famous for using Garands, even well past the introduction of AR’s and AK’s, many police departments used them after the war and even to this day, the Garand is a favorite in both 1st, 2nd and 3rd world.

And with over 70 long years of use, many Garands are still in operation across the world. Many countries still use them for ceremonies such as Veteran Parades, Honor Guard and Volley salutes. The gun’s age makes it common to find in many gunshops across the world and even still, militias still use Garands to fight their foes.

With the rifle’s fame in the world, it is no wonder the Garand is a very common sight in movies. Everyone from Dean Martin and Don Haggerty to Heath Ledger and Clint Eastwood have wielded the Garand. Almost every movie set within World War II or Korea features it, many movies in Vietnam feature it as a throwback and modern movies tie it in. Nothing quite says “Get off my lawn!” than an M1 Garand.

And it is these same WWII themed movies that help begin the FPS genre. Films such as Saving Private Ryan and more had a wide impact in the media at large, and video games are no exception. Many series began with WWII and this massive influx of 1940′s combat games lead to many portrayals of the arsenal of the era, Garand included.

Call of Duty, Brother in Arms, Battlefield and many other franchises began with simple WWII first-person shooters, and these helped propel the Garand to fame on the computer screen. But as the WWII-era game faded away, the Garand seemed to disappear. But the rifle was not done yet, as many games still feature the rifle. Some use it as a throwback to their earlier games, others attempt to paint forgotten areas like Korea and Vietnam,  even some set in a world inspired by the 1950′s and 1960′s feature the rifle. The Garand seems to deal just as well on the computer screen as it does on the silver screen. Where there is video games, there will be a Garand.

And that is the long history of the M1 Garand, the warhorse. Despite being out of service since the early 1960′s, the Garand is still famous. While it has some flaws, the gun is simply unstoppable. From the seas of France to the jungle of Vietnam, the Garand has kept on going and going far past any expectation. When you need a gun that could work in anything, you go for the Garand.

WWII Sniper Rifles of the USA

Springfield M1903A4   

  • Caliber: .30-06 M2 ball / .30-06 (7.62x63 mm)
  • Action: manually operated, rotating bolt
  • Overall length: 1097mm
  • Barrel length: 610 mm
  • Weight: 3.94 kg
  • Magazine capacity: 5 rounds

M1C & M1D (Garand)

  • Caliber: .30-06 (7.62x63 mm)
  • Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt
  • Overall length: 1103 mm
  • Barrel length: 610 mm
  • Weight: 4.32 kg
  • Feeding: non-detachable, clip-fed only magazine, 8 rounds

Springfield M1903 MkI rifle

Manufactured by the Springfield Arsenal c.1903-1918 and converted to use the Pedersen device - manufactured by Remington - c.1918 for the planned WW1′s 1919 Allied Spring Offensive - serial number 1172141.
.30-18 Automatic/7,65x20mm 40-round 45° removable stick magazine, originally a bolt action - bolt replaced by a semi-automatic pistol fitting snugly in the rifle’s barrel.

A clever device brought to us by John Douglas Pedersen, lauded by Browning as the greatest gun designer [sic]. Springfield M1903 rifles were converted to MkI’s by removing the bolt, replacing it by what was basically a pistol, and cutting an ejection port in the left side of the frame. This turned the rifle into a pistol-caliber semi automatic rifle to give greater firepower to American soldiers.
The converted rifles however were never used, as WW1 ended before they were shipped over. They were later destroyed in large number to avoid them falling into the wrong hands, but the cartridge had a second life as the 7,65x20mm Longue for French service pistols of the interwar era.

A platoon of US Marines poses with their Springfield M1903 rifles, Parris Island, 1932.

The Marine at the far left end of the top row is my great uncle Frank (short for Francesco).  Born in Italy he emigrated to the United States while an infant with my great grandparents in 1900.  In 1917 he enlisted in the US Army and fought in World War I.  He continued his career in the military as a peacetime soldier until he was honorably discharged in 1928.  In 1932 he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and served on the battleship USS Arkansas. In 1936 he finally retired from the military.  He passed away in the early 1990’s, living to a very old age.


Springfield Krag M1899 Philippine Constabulary carbine

Designed by the Norwegians Ole Herman Johannes Krag and Erik Jørgensen c.1886 and manufactured by the Springfield Arsenal c.1899-1904 - serial number 354255.
.30-40 Krag five-round ‘half-capsule’ fixed magazine, bolt action repeater, magazine cut-off, M1901 rear sights, M1903 bayonet.
The constabulary was a gendarmerie force created by the American colonial government after seizing the islands from Spain. These Krag rifles were no doubt sent there as rear-echelon weapons when the Springfield M1903 was already starting to equip American soldiers.