POTD: U.S. Model 1903 Springfield Rod Bayonet Rifle
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Diving right into it, this terrible idea was a result of military officials deciding to have a long bayonet (basically a sword at this time in history) hanging off the end of a rifle was not useful, practical, or efficient. How do we fix this? Modify an existing portion of the gun to be a new bayonet. This is where the rod bayonet came into play. The cleaning rod on a U.S. Model 1903 Springfield was made into a “bayonet” by pretty much just making it pointy. The rod bayonet did not last very long; however, since the man himself, Teddy Roosevelt, called it garbage after seeing testing on it first hand. It should be mentioned that Theodore Roosevelt was secretary of war at this point in time.
“This is a nice example of a U.S. Springfield Model 1903 rod bayonet bolt action rifle as manufactured in 1904. Like nearly all of the original production Model 1903 Rod Bayonet rifles, it was modified to accept the Model 1905 Bayonet and then subsequently restored back to the original Rod Bayonet configuration with many of the original parts, that include the distinctive 12-inch retractable rod bayonet, unique two hole front sight base, special front barrel band, early pointed tip narrow trigger, full length style handguard and Model 1902 Krag tangent rear sight. The rifle is fitted with an early “S” type stock with the single reinforcing bolt added in 1909 and has the early smooth buttplate with small diameter butt trap. The tip of the forearm still retains the original hole for the upper barrel band screw that was added when the stock was modified to accept the Model 1905 bayonet. As noted the rifle retains a full length style Rod Bayonet handguard that was originally modified to the shorter length and then restored back to the full length. “
Lot 3734: U.S. Model 1903 Springfield Rod Bayonet Rifle. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved September 21, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/55/3734/us-model-1903-springfield-rod-bayonet-rifle.