The M1903 Springfield is a classic military rifle that has proven its worth time and time again. It was first adopted into the Army in 1903 and continued to be a crucial part of its arsenal until 1975. This means that the M1903 Springfield served as a battle rifle through both World Wars, the Korean War, and the early stages of the Vietnam war. Although these rifles stopped production in 1949, they are made to last forever and can be an excellent choice for a deer hunting rifle.
The creation of the 30-06 and the M1903 Springfield Rifle
In the Spanish American war of 1898, after Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders felt the deadly force of the 7x57mm Spanish Mausers in Cuba. The United States was dead set on developing a rifle that not only competed with the Spanish rifle but dominated it. This led to the creation of the Model 1903 Springfield bolt-action and 30-03 cartridge. This cartridge shot a 220-grain round nose bullet at 2,300 fps. After three years of action, this cartridge was not good enough. So, the 30-06 was born, firing a 150-grain spire point at 2,800 fps.
Is the M1903 a Good Choice for Deer Hunting?
After this 30-06 has proven itself for more than 100 years, many hunters describe it as the cartridge that can be used for everything. This is an all-time favorite and is plenty adequate to take down whitetail deer. You can also use it to hunt every other type of big game in North America, like bear, moose, elk, and pronghorn. So, if you are an avid big game hunter and want a rifle that will perform in any situation, the M1903 Springfield is an excellent choice.
Specifications of the M1903 Springfield Rifle
|Cartridge||.30-03 & .30-06 Springfield|
|Capacity||5 round stripper clip|
|Muzzle Velocity||2,800 ft./sec.|
|Effective Range||2,500 yds.|
|Barrel Length||24 in|
|Sights||Leaf rear sight, barleycorn-type front sight, 2.2x scope|
Accuracy of the M1903 Springfield Rifle
Other than being a reliable rifle, the M1903 Springfield is also very accurate. Modern-day testing has concluded that the rifle can make groups only a couple inches big at 100 yards. The farther away a target is, obviously the accuracy of this gun(and any other) will decrease. But at a range of 100 yards with its factory iron sights, it can hit an ant on the butt.
There were also other variants of the M1903 that rifle came with an issued 2.2x scope to allow snipers to reach out even farther. These variants of the M1903 became one of the most classic American sniper rifles of all time. You can still get these issued scopes and replicas all around the web for an affordable price.
If you would like to get a more modern scope, I suggest the highly rated and affordable Vortex Optics Copperhead 4-12×44. It allows for up to 12x magnification and will allow you to really take advantage of this accurate rifle.
Price & Availability of the M1903 Springfield Rifle & The 30-06 Cartridge
While M1903 Springfield rifles can sometimes be hard to find, they are worth it. Most of the time these rifles will sell at auctions for between $750 and $1500 depending on how old they are and what condition they are in. This is a lot of money for a single hunting rifle, and you can definitely get a modern-day rifle that will be much newer and a bit nicer for the same price. Unless you just love the old school feel of the M1903 Springfield I would suggest going with a modern-day rifle for your big game hunting needs.
Although the 30-06 is still a very popular caliber to use. If we learned anything from the M1903 Springfield, it is how great the 30-06 is. So, if you want to hunt multiple types of big game with the same rifle, I suggest taking a page out of the M1903’s book and going with a 30-06 chambered modern-day rifle. Not to mention that 30-06 cartridges can be found all around the United States for about 60¢/ round currently, whereas many other modern-day calibers sell for near $1/round or more.
The M1903 Springfield is a great rifle that has proven itself time and time again. You can definitely use the M1903 Springfield to hunt whitetail deer and any other big game in North America thanks to its versatile 30-06 cartridge. The M1903 Springfield is also a very accurate rifle and even more accurate if you find a sniper variant or add your own scope over the iron sights. Though they can be expensive, if you buy an M1903 Springfield rifle, it will be one of your most favorite guns you own.