Tag Archives: M1905 bayonet

Sacramento’s Own

From the California Military Museum archives:

An unidentified infantry sergeant of Sacramento’s Company E (former Yuba Light Infantry) 2nd California Infantry Regiment (now the 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment [Second California]), National Guard of California. Circa 1906-1912. It is a really nice cabinet photo of a pre-WWI infantry NCO.

This photo was taken by Hodson Fotografer (sic) of Sacramento and Oakland. California Military Department Historical Collection No. 2020.11.60.

This soldier is attired in the Army’s standard M1902 pattern new service dress uniform complete with a six-button dark blue coat and cap with service cords. He has an early model Springfield M1903 .30-06 rifle at the ready, which only began replacing the Guard’s Krags in about 1906. The rifle’s companion 20-inch spear-point M1905 bayonet is on the sergeant’s belt, another new item that only began fielding in 1906.

Via Survey of U.S. Army Uniforms, Weapons and Accoutrements
https://history.army.mil/html/museums/uniforms/survey_uwa.pdf

Happy Birthday, Teddy

This week is the 161st birthday of the iconic sportsman, former assistant NAVSEC, short-term colonel and occasional statesman, Teddy Roosevelt. In honor of this event, I spent the past several months researching one of his guns, a custom M1903 Springfield that had been sporterized.

Roosevelt’s modified M1903, courtesy of the Sagamore Hill collection

However, it wasn’t some aftermarket bubba hack job on the rifle. This custom work was done at Springfield Armory during the M1903’s first year of production, under the close attention of the arsenal’s commanding colonel– with BG William Crozier acting as the go-between.

And TR took the rifle on several hunting trips ranging from Colorado to Africa.

“On the great bear hunt President Roosevelt after leaving Newcastle [Colorado] for the mountains 1905” — note the sporterized M1903, with its distinctive single barrel band and cut-down pistol grip stock.

More on the story of this interesting, and historical M1903, SN0009, in my column at Guns.com.

Putting in guard time at Great Lakes

Here we see Seaman David J. Lohr, USN. Serving with the Seaman Guard at Great Lakes, Illinois, after Boot Camp, 1917. Note the M1905 bayonet and scabbard with M1903 Springfield rifle to go along with his flat cap and Cracker Jacks.

Copied from the collection of David J. Lohr, by Courtesy of RM1 Pamela J. Boyer, USN, 1986. NH 100998

Next, we have a crisp new Blue Jacket at Great Lakes in the 1960s guarding a stack of M1s and the platoon guidon, likely during chow. Even while the fleet, by and large, was using M14s at the time, M1s (along with M1917s and 1903s) remained in use as training rifles not only there but at Orlando and San Diego for some time.

Stack, Arms. RTC San Diego 1970s. note the SA03s

And M1903A3 drill rifles with M1 bayonets still clocking in to one degree or another in 2002 in the below image. I’ve seen lots of images since then of Great Lakes trainees with M1s but they have all been chromed rubber ducks I believe.

020208-N-5576W-005 Great Lakes, IL (Feb. 8, 2002) — The Honorable Gordon England, Secretary of the Navy, inspects the recruit rifle team during the Recruit Pass in Review Ceremony held at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, IL. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Michael Worner. (RELEASED)

When President Theodore Rossevelt saw the proposed design for the pigsticker on the Springfield 1903 rifle, he wasn’t amused.

Hey, Mack, there is a screwdriver on the end of your Springer there...

Hey, Mack, there is a screwdriver on the end of your Springer there…

Roosevelt, a conservationist and big game hunter who settled for being president after stints as New York City police commissioner, Assistant Secretary of the Navy and an Army colonel in the Spanish American War knew a thing or three about firearms. Good guy Teddy even used one of the first suppressors built and marketed in the U.S. so that he could target practice at home without bugging the neighbors.

So when he saw what the Army ordnance guys at Springfield Armory came up with for the original design of the M1903 rifle, a flimsy screwdriver looking rod bayonet, he wasn’t impressed.

More in my column at Guns.com