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With 2017 being the 100th anniversary of the US entering WWI, my 1/6 interests have been focused on "The War to End All Wars". Before I get too deep into any subject, the weapons always take first priority, and I already posted a couple of automatic rifles. Today I finished some 1903 Springfields, so here they are.
The U.S. Model 1903 Springfield is a bolt-action, 5-shot rifle chambered in .30-06 and the action is based on the proven Mauser design. Originally fitted with a telescoping cleaning rod bayonet, by 1905 it was issued with a detachable knife bayonet with a 16" blade. Sturdy and reliable, it was issued in several versions in both World Wars, and is still highly regarded for it's quality.
In 1/6th, there are two excellent versions of the WWI Model 1903 - the old Sideshow Toys version from their "Bayonets & Barbed Wire" series, and the more recent Dragon-in-Dreams wood and metal version that came with their "Buck Jones' Doughboy. There are others, like the GI Joe, Soldiers of the World and Cotswold versions that I didn't bother trying to upgrade. Both of the better versions suffer from the same odd deficiency - that is, there are no finger grooves in the wooden fore-end. Why this was left out is anyone's guess. It was the first thing I added to both, using a Dremel tool and some shaping files. It would look much better if the manufacturer had done it.
The SST version is very detailed, and mostly just needs a good paint job. I replaced a broken bolt handle on two of them with a brass nail inserted through a bead, and pulled it away from the stock a little further than SST did. Another major improvement you can make is adding a BattleGear Toys sling, which requires a little narrowing where it sits in the SST sling swivels I also replaced the forward sling swivel with a stationary wire one, cut to be a split stacking swivel. In the photo, I used a weathered 1903 I made for a 1916 cavalryman in Mexico.

The DiD rifle is made of real wood and metal, with some of the pieces screwed into the wood stock, and others fitted on with a little pressure. The stock on the DiD rifles has a very RED finish, so I took it apart and sanded the stock down, and stained it with a MinWax touch-up pen. The stain didn't take as well as I would have liked, and even several applications didn't leave it very dark, and some of that came off when a tung oil finish was added. Overall, it still looks better than the red wood. Be careful removing the parts, especially the front barrel band. Squeeze it gently with padded plyers top to bottom to release the fit, then squeeze the sides when you put it back on. The barrel pulls straight out of the stock and pushes back in, but it bends easily and the front sight/muzzle can pop off. Some of the screws seem to be glued in place - I never did get the butt-plate off the one rifle.

The sling has to be replaced on the DiD rifle. The web sling it comes with might be their idea of a Kerr sling, but they were not issued in Europe during the War. Again, the BGT sling works perfectly. I took a brown marker to the edges of the sling to finish them properly.
As for the bayonet, the best one I've found is the Sideshow Model 1905 that came with the '03 in the Marine and the Doughboy figures. The Model 1917 bayonet that comes with the DiD rifle is not correct and shouldn't fit the '03. It IS right for the Model 1917 Trench Gun (shotgun) that also comes with Buck Jones. I'll talk more about the 1917 in a post on the Model 1917 Enfield. The Sideshow Model 1905 bayonet only needs some painting, but the Model 1910 scabbard needs some work. I ground mine down with the Dremel sanding wheel, painted some "bluing" at the opening, then glued some khaki fabric around the body. Some thin leather was soaked then shaped around the tip, then dyed and glued in place. A small piece of fabric folded over the wire hanger was enough once it was glued in place. The blade of the war-time 1905 was polished steel, so I covered the SST blade with Bare Metal Foil.

I hope some of this was useful, and if you have anything to add or correct, please do. Also, take a minute to look at my other post on the Model 1917 Enfield with some more tips on upgrades and some interesting historical stuff.

U.S. Model 1917 Enfield Rifle

13th U.S. Cavalry Private, Mexican Punitive Expedition, 1916 (PIC HEAVY)

U.S. Model 1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR)

French Model 1915 Chauchat Automatic Rifle (US Use)

Private, 339th Infantry, AEF, North Russia Expedition, 1919

Canfield, Bruce N.; U.S. Infantry Weapons of the First World War, Andrew Mobray Publ., 2000
Cunningham, Gary M., American Military Bayonets of the 20th Century, Scott A. Duff Publ., 1996

wave man TDY staff
41,776 Posts
Lovely work again, Mark. I owned a fine 1903 Springfield long ago, what a rifle it was. I'll admit I have never seen a rifle stock that worn, but I think that Mexico's environment might well have accomplished that, given enough time, and a dearth of anything to treat the stock. Getting DiD bolts to close properly seems to be a required part of owning any of them.
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