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California Rifles: 1908

1908. "California rifle team at Camp Perry, Ohio." Site of the National Shoot. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

1908. "California rifle team at Camp Perry, Ohio." Site of the National Shoot. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.


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03 Springfields

In response to Harvey in Fla, those are not the A3 version. The A3 version was a modification made for WWII. Hatcher's Notebook, available at (, has a lot of detail on this firearm.

71 bullseyes and a Worlds Record

My great-grandfather set a Worlds Record at the 1921 Camp Perry Match, it still stands today as the equipment has changed slightly - 71 bullseyes at a 1000 yards. He was a pretty amazing guy. Civil Engineer, Lumber Mill owner, and gunsmith in his later years.

This article is a good write up on his accomplishments at Camp Perry - and the current Farr Trophy is in his honor.

I don't have his skills, but my sister does.

Krag 30/40 vs. 1903A3 Springfield

I believe the rifles pictured to be 1903A3 (or variant) Springfields. The Krag has a unique side-load magazine on the right side forward of the bolt.

Fond memories of Camp Perry

Between about 2002-2009 I used to work for Bushmaster at Camp Perry every year as I was their gunsmith. It was a really fun time and I loved the rich history of Camp Perry and the National Matches.

A little rifleology

The M1903s shown are equipped with a clip on front sight protector. The guard was not used during firing as it partially obscured the sight picture. The two guardsmen standing on the left may not have the protector on their rifles. The photo shows the early version on the right, a later Marine Corps version is on the left.

The 30-40 is indeed 30 caliber but the "40" was not shoulder width (actually that would be .422 inches) but rather the original weight of whatever early smokeless powder first loaded in this 1892 dated cartridge. The 30-30 and a few others introduced in the mid 1890s were named similarly. That naming system quickly went away as smokeless propellant technology advanced.

"Krag-Jorgensen 30/40 1898 Springfield Armory"

That was engraved on my rifle I used out in Utah and Wyoming when I shot my first white-tailed mule deer in 1953. My wife's Mormon hunting pro relatives laughed at the idea that a kid from NYC wearing his arctic wolf hound fur lined hood and high-altitude insulated flight suit would use a piece with such ancient, slow muzzle velocity rounds. You fellows seem to know a lot about these older rifles - why would a previous owner have shortened the barrel?

The cartridge was .30 caliber with large shoulder swelling to (I presume).40 cal.

One pulled down against a strong spring-loaded side cartridge loading box cover with right hand thumb and pushed one round into the barrel and around 5 loose cartridges into the cavity and slammed it shut. Got the last laugh though as this city slicker brought home the only deer. A 400 yard shot at that. Had to compensate by holding the sight so high I could no longer see the deer.

A local ice house just south of Ogden (I was stationed at Hill AFB) cut it into steaks, roasts and the usual family sized portions and stored the packages free in return for the antlers and hide. We ate from my trophy for almost a year. That was my one and only hunt as when looking at the still, bright eyes of that beautiful creature, I swore I'd never do this again.

I still am a voracious meat eater but too cowardly to kill them myself.

Springfield rifles

Those are indeed M1903 rifles, possibly in the original .30-03 cartridge. The front sight is non-standard for the .30-06 cartridge adopted in 1906. If these are national guardsmen, perhaps they are on the bottom of the list to be issued rebarreled rifles.

Looks like they are National Guardsmen.

I see a First Sergeant on the left. He has a diamond under his chevrons. There's a sergeant in the middle, next to the Guardsman with the marksmanship medals. The rifles look like Springfield '03's.

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