Although, as its name suggests, the 1903 Springfield rifle was designed early in the 20th Century, it was still in use by the time of the Vietnam War, which began in 1955.
After the Battle of San Juan Hill – where less than 800 Spanish soldiers managed to hold back a much larger American force – US authorities set up an investigation into the event, and the problems their troops had faced. It was found that the guns they had been using at San Juan Hill were extremely slow to load, putting them at a considerable disadvantage. Clearly, a new rifle was needed.
The Americans had captured thousands of Spanish Mauser Model 93’s in Cuba, and shipped many of them back to the US for research. Their design was studied and found to be superior to the current American rifles, and a few years later the 1903 Springfield was created by the Springfield Armory.
In 1907 it was adopted by the US military, seeing considerable action during the First World War. In fact, it went on to be used in many subsequent conflicts, including the Second World War, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. A number of updated models were later created, eventually superseding the original designs, but the 1903 Springfield remains a popular rifle to this day, among both collectors and civilians.
In this video, the popular YouTuber hickock45 gives viewers both an insight into the historical and technical context of the weapon, and a chance to see it in action. The channel hosts a great deal of similar content, exploring firearms of all shapes and sizes throughout history, and putting many of them to the test on a large firing range.
If you have an interest in the 1903 Springfield rifle or just a taste for historical weaponry in general, this video and the channel behind it will definitely be worth your time.