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USMC Model 1941 Sniper Rifle
The USMC had their own sniper rifle based on the Springfield, in addition to the M1903A4 Springfield Rifle for snipers adopted by the Army. Building on successful experience with modified M1903 Springfields dating back to World War I, in November 1943 the USMC adopted an M1903-A1 mounted with the Unertl 8x telescopic sight for sniper use. The scope was marked "USMC SNIPER" and serialized from 1000 to 2775. The scope came with a Micarta carrying case.
USMC Model 1941 Sniper Rifle
The origin of the USMC Model 1941 Sniper Rifle was in 1929, when the Springfield National Match rifle was modified with a Type-C stock in place of the non-pistol grip Type-S "straight stock." In this new form, the NM rifle was designated as the M1903A1 National Match. In 1942, the Marine Corps chose the military version 8X Unertl telescopic target sight for use on the Springfield M1903A1 NM rifle, creating the "USMC Model 1941 Sniper Rifle." The rifle was issued to Marine Snipers on Bougainville and was used extensively and successfully by the Marines in the Pacific Theater of World War II as well as in Korea.
Selection of M1903A1 NM Rifles for the Marine Corps
Marine Corps selection of M1903A1 NM rifles for sniper use was made after test-firing. Most had star-gauged barrels but ordinary barrels were used if they performed well. After Unertl scope blocks were installed, trigger pulls were adjusted and the latest pattern components installed. These included parts received from the Springfield Armory that were then reworked by Marine armorers. There was no correlation between serial numbers and barrel dates.
Bolts were carefully fitted and electro-pen engraved with the rifle serial number, then blued. There is no conclusive evidence that suggests that all bolts were blued. Bright NM bolts have been observed on M1903A1 sniper rifles.
The hand guards were modified to fit the small front scope block. Once a M1903A1/Unertl rifle had undergone the prescribed modifications by a Marine armorer, the rifle earned the right to be called a "Model 1941 Sniper Rifle." Some Marine Corps armorers adopted signature methods that included chalking or pencil-marking initials and rifle serial numbers inside the hand guards and stamping their initials on the stock.
USMC Model 1941 Sniper Rifle Characteristics
This section compiled by Larry Reynolds as presented in USMC publication, "History of the M1903A1 Rifle" by Dieter Stenger, Curator of Ordnance. The USMC Model 1941 Sniper Rifle characteristics cited are:
Recommended Books about USMC Sniper Rifles
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