M1903/M1903A3 Rifle Information

Civilian Marksmanship ProgramRifle SalesM1903/M1903A3 Rifle Information

History of M1903/M1903A3 Rifles

The U.S. M1903 and M1903A3 “Springfield” rifles are the greatest of all U.S. military issue bolt action rifles. This series of rifles was originally issued to the many proud and selfless Americans that answered freedom’s call during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. The rifles continued to serve as ceremonial rifles by veterans’ organizations such as the VFW, AL, DAV and many others.

1903 rifle



For ordering information and to download an order packet, visit Ordering Information. Customers must meet our Eligibility Requirementswhen placing an order.

Effective June 26, 2024, customers are allowed to purchase up to six (6) bolt action rifles per year while supplies last. Current inventory of M1903 and M1917 rifles by grade is listed below. CMP also plans to release up to 1,000 Krag-Jorgensen rifles beginning in mid to late July. These have not been worked so a grade break-out is currently unavailable. Given the six (6) bolt rifle per customer per year limit, please plan accordingly. 

Once this inventory of bolt action rifles is exhausted the CMP does not expect to have further supply. The rifles will be sold via mail order and in CMP stores. Store sales may be limited due to inventory. 

Additionally, if a customer has already purchased their limit of six (6) bolt action rifles they are authorized to bid on and purchase bolt action rifles for sale on the CMP auction site above the six (6) rifle limit. 

Current Inventory:

M1903 Rifles — Service Grade: 78; Field Grade: 386; and Rack Grade: 356
M1917 Enfield Rifles — Service Grade: 203; and Field Grade: 1,067

 Rifle will generally be in fair to good condition. Bores may be dark with rust or minor pitting. Rifles will headspace and function fired. Finish may exhibit variation in color or type including chrome. Stocks may be of any variety and exhibit minor cracks with dents, gouges and scratches. Stocks may also be painted or varnished. Rear sight may be damaged but functional.
S/H included
 Rifle will generally be fair condition but will be rougher than the service. Bores may be dark with rust and pitting. Rifles will headspace and function fired. Finish may exhibit variation of color and type including chrome. Stocks will be of any variety and exhibit cracks, dents and gouges. Stocks may also be varnished or painted. Rear sight may be damaged but functional.
S/H included
Rifle will generally be rough but functional. Bores may be dark with rust, pitting, and generally exhibit extreme wear. Rifles will be headspaced with a Field gauge and function fired. Stocks will be functional but show signs of wear and poor storage. They may also have cracks in recoil blocks and handguards. Minor parts may be missing or damaged, and rear sight may not be functional.
S/H included


Dear CMP Family,

The CMP advises to not use .30/06 ammunition in M1 Garands, 1903s, and 1903A3s that is loaded beyond 50,000 CUP and has a bullet weight more than 172-174gr. These rifles are at least 70 years old and were not designed for max loads and super heavy bullets. Always wear hearing and eye protection when firing an M1 Garand, 1903 and/or 1903A3 rifle.

This warning is an update/addition to the Ammunition section in the Read This First manual enclosed with each rifle shipment (M1 Garand manual-page 6 and M1903 manual-page 10).

Civilian Marksmanship Program


M1903 rifles made before February 1918 utilized receivers and bolts which were single heat-treated by a method that rendered some of them brittle and liable to fracture when fired, exposing the shooter to a risk of serious injury. It proved impossible to determine, without destructive testing, which receivers and bolts were so affected and therefore potentially dangerous.

To solve this problem, the Ordnance Department commenced double heat treatment of receivers and bolts. This was commenced at Springfield Armory at approximately serial number 800,000 and at Rock Island Arsenal at exactly serial number 285,507. All Springfields made after this change are commonly called “high number” rifles. Those Springfields made before this change are commonly called “low-number” rifles.

In view of the safety risk, the Ordnance Department withdrew from active service all “low-number” Springfields. During WWII, however, the urgent need for rifles resulted in the rebuilding and reissuing of many “low-number” as well as “high-number” Springfields. The bolts from such rifles were often mixed during rebuilding, and did not necessarily remain with the original receiver.

Generally speaking, “low number” bolts can be distinguished from “high-number” bolts by the angle at which the bolt handle is bent down.  All “low number” bolts have the bolt handle bent straight down, perpendicular to the axis of the bolt body. High number bolts have “swept-back” (or slightly rearward curved) bolt handles.

A few straight-bent bolts are of the double heat-treat type, but these are not easily identified, and until positively proved otherwise ANY straight-bent bolt should be assumed to be “low number”. All original swept-back bolts are definitely “high number”. In addition, any bolt marked “N.S.” (for nickel steel) can be safely regarded as “high number” if obtained directly from CMP (beware of re-marked fakes).

CMP does not recommend firing any Springfield rifle with a ”low number” receiver. Such rifles should be regarded as collector’s items, not “shooters.”

CMP also does not recommend firing any Springfield rifle, regardless of serial number, with a single heat-treated “low number” bolt. Such bolts, while historically correct for display with a rifle of WWI or earlier vintage, may be dangerous to use for shooting.

The United States Army generally did not serialize bolts. Do not rely on any serial number appearing on a bolt to determine whether such bolt is “high number” or “low number.”