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Discussion Starter #1
I just picked up a beautiful early 1919 serial number range '03 with a 10-18 barrel, perfect DAL cartouche, and an O'Hare-Miller Windage Mirometer. What an amazing condition gun!
The wood and metal is near flawless.

Several questions for the group.....

1) When did the Mark I's start, this one is still a standard M1903
2) When were the O'Hare-Miller Widage Micrometers made available?
3) Were these used for competition or just as a civilian aftermarket accessory?
3) How rare/unusual are these sights?
4) Any info on who or what "DAL" was, and is this correct for the serial number range?

This really isn't my specialty, I have a number of "war time" 1903's, but I think this is keeper based on the near perfect condition.
 

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1) The first M1903 Mk 1 was 1034502 (Dec 1918) I have 1036724, with SA 11-18 Barrel.

2) Starting around 1910

3) Commercial product used in competetion

4) Rare? Not really

5) DAL is the stamp of Daniel A Leary, probably correct
 

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Discussion Starter #3
1903

Is the DAL cartouche correct for a serial number range of 1,09xxxx?

The barrel is SA 10-18, how problematic is this for the serial number?

Why would this still be a standard M1903 if they started making Mk I's in Dec 1918?
 

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The barrel could be correct, although most reported rifles in that s/n range have 1919 dated SA barrels.

DAL is probably the correct stamp for the s/n.

M1903 and M1903 Mk1 rifles were produced concurrently in Springfield Armory. They were still planning for the 1919 offensive that never took place... Remember, an armistace took place on Nov. 11, 1918, but the war was not over until the treaty of peace was signed by the belligerent parties.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
1903

Got more info, turns out to be a National Match rifle. Has the correct polished J5 bolt, polished rails and RIA cuttoff. Also apparently Daniel A. Leary was known for inspecting National Match rifles of the period. The NM status would certainly explain why a standard '03 was made 1/3 of the way into 1919, and not made as a MkI. The excellent condition would also be indicative. The 10-18 barrel was most likely one put aside as a "match" star guaged barrel at the time.
 

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Near as I can tell, the O'Hare sight was an accessory for people using the M1903 rifle in the National Matches and NRA matches. I suppose it was fairly common in it's day, but I'm no expert on it. I saw an ad for it in the "100 years ago" style pages in "American Rifleman", which illustrate what was "cutting edge" technology back in the day.

I was asked to score a shooter in the summer Springfield Match in the final relay. He was using a standard M1903 with ladder rear sight and he had a modern version of the O'Hare sight (look for it on the web) made of brass.

He was a very meticulous shooter, making very tiny elevation adjustments with his brass O'Hare copy and removing that tool in between shots in the slow fire prone stage. He took the time to log in his hits in a log book after making each adjustment.

Wish I'd thought of that. He scored well enough with that setup to earn a silver medal in the Springfield Match.
 

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Springfield never stopped making M1903 service rifles once M1903 Mk 1 rifle production was initiated.

I have the other side of the coin, a near new RIA 1919 NM M1903 (ID by Msrs Beard and Ferris), as well as a couple of RIA 1919 M1903 service rifles. Strangely enough, they all have RIA 2-19 dated barrels, and 100% RIA subcomponents.
 
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