- Model 1903, 30-06, Historical, MUST SEE THIS!

Used Condition
FFL is required

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Minimum bid: $3,599.00
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Time Left 15 min rule
1d 16h +
10/21/2019 9:08 PM
Item 823838262
Location Houston, TX 77065
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AS IS - No refund or exchange

The seller of this item assumes all responsibility for this listing. You must contact the seller to resolve any questions or concerns before placing a bid. Payment must be made using U.S. dollars ($) unless otherwise stated in the listing. Firearms may only be shipped to a licensed dealer (FFL Holder). Some listed items may not be legal in every state. Complete your purchase within the law.

Please read the Additional Terms of Sale and Item Characteristics for important listing details. You must contact your FFL transfer dealer and have them send a copy of their license with your name, username, the item and order numbers to the seller.

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Springfield Model 1903, 30-06, Historically Significant, Must Read/See.

Layaway 25% down and 15% per month until paid in full. Seller will refund half of all payments made at any time if Buyer changes mind. Or suggest layaway terms.

Special Note: All reasonable offers will be considered. Feel free to suggest a sales price via the Gunbroker email system – click on “Ask Seller a Question.” If we agree on a price, I will change the auction to have a BUY NOW amount equal to the agreed amount. Do not bid on the auction until the agreed price change is made in the auction. DON’T HESITATE TO MAKE AN OFFER!

Important: (1) All sales must be completed through Gunbroker. (2) Gunbroker richly deserves its fee for the very fine service they provide us all. (3) Do not ask to finish the transaction outside of Gunbroker. (4) Make sure your FFL (or C&R) will take shipment from a private party. (5) Read the “Additional Terms of Sale” included in this auction.

This rifle has so much going for it to make it extraordinary, it might be difficult to keep up with it all. First, this old military rifle was customized by Roy Vail, one of the most famous US Gunsmiths of the 1930s through the 1970s, who had an illustrious career of almost 50 years. One of many of Vail’s claims to fame was being selected by West Point to refurbish George Washington’s ivory and pearl studded matching pistols, now on display at the West Point Museum. Vail also made several guns for General/President Ike Eisenhower. The Vail family lived and worked in the Amity/Blooms Corner/New Milford area of Warwick, New York Township.

Photo 26 below shows Roy Vail on the cover of the February 1950 edition of American Rifleman Magazine. He smithed some 200 rifles and 150 shotguns in his illustrative career, each having that flair of design and workmanship that makes it distinctively, “a Vail.” Vail is also known for converting right hand Mauser 98s to left hand versions – a monumental amount of gunsmithing effort and craftsmanship – of special significance to “lefties” since Mauser never factory manufactured left-handed 98s. (I am told this but have not confirmed. Is this correct?) Photo 29 is Vail in the Army. The reverse of the photo (Photo 28) has his autograph. A copy of this photo will be provided with the rifle.

This rifle is also distinguished because it was owned by General Sherman Hasbrouck, a veteran of both World Wars, who lived to be 103 years old and gave the commencement address at West Point every year the last several years of his life, as the Academy’s “Oldest Grad.” He was born June 18, 1898 and died March 13, 2002. (You should “Google” him.) According to the General’s widow, who by last account was almost 100 years old (she could have passed away since last contact) and living with a daughter in the Washington, DC area, she remembers her husband talking about Roy Vail, and she also remembers when Vail was murdered in the late 1970s, which made the headlines all over New York State. (Actually Vail died of a self-inflicted gunshot ... another story for another time.)

The General’s second wife was many years younger than the General, he having “robbed the cradle” when his first wife died and he went looking for companionship. They lived together in New Paltz, New York most of their married life. (New Paltz, where the Hasbroucks lived, and Warwick, where Roy Vail lived, are only about 50 miles apart.) The Widow remembers that her husband had small gold identification plates put on all his custom firearms – like the one on this rifle! The small engraved plate embedded in the wood stock of this rifle has in script letters “GEN” over “H” with the H much larger and more ornate script. See photo 19 in this auction.

Hasbrouck showed leadership potential at an early age. He was Class President of the first graduating class at Kingston High School in 1916. Fascinated by war stories he heard from an uncle and the local doctor, both Civil War veterans, Sherman decided to join the Army and won a competitive appointment to West Point in 1918. With classes accelerated due to World War I, he graduated in 1920 and served interesting assignments in the Philippines, Japan, and Central/South America as well as U.S. military posts during the years before World War II. During that war he was promoted to brigadier general and commanded the artillery of the 97th Infantry Division on its sweep across the Rhine River, through Germany, and on into Czechoslovakia at the end of hostilities in Europe.

Soon afterwards, Sherman was sent to Japan, where he was military governor of two provinces until March 1946 and left with high praise from General MacArthur. He was then assigned to the nuclear weapons development program until August 1947, followed by five years with the U.S. Delegation of the United Nations Military Staff Committee. In 1952 he returned to a senior position in the nuclear weapons program until his retirement in 1955. His service was so valuable that his active duty was extended five years beyond the normal maximum of thirty years. During his distinguished career he was awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Commendation Medal, and several foreign decorations.

Most of you know this, but the M1903 Springfield, formally the United States Rifle, Caliber .30-06, Model 1903, is an American clip-fed, 5-shot, bolt-action service rifle used primarily during the first half of the 20th century. It was officially adopted as a United States military bolt-action rifle on June 21, 1905, and saw service in World War I. It was officially replaced as the standard infantry rifle by the faster-firing, semi-automatic 8 round M1 Garand, starting in 1937. However, the M1903 Springfield remained in service as a standard issue infantry rifle during World War II, since the U.S. entered the war without sufficient M1 rifles to arm all troops. It also remained in service as a sniper rifle during World War II, Korean War and even in the early stages of the Vietnam War. It remains popular as a civilian firearm, historical collector's piece and as a military drill rifle. The serial number at just under 1.5 million indicates manufacture at Springfield in 1934. This action is from one of the originally-configured Model 1903s.

The scope on this marvelous rifle is an era-perfect Lyman All-American 3X Perma+Center, made in the USA. See photos 5, 8, and 9 for close-ups. Lyman All-American scopes were introduced in 1954. In 1961 Lyman added the Perma+Center reticle, which was marked on the adjustment turret. The Perma+Center scope quickly became the most sought after of Lyman’s fine line of All-American scopes. This scope was probably mounted new by Vail on this rifle in the 1960s when the General most likely charted Vail to create this masterpiece for him. If correct, rifle and scope have been companions for almost 50 years.

An interesting side bar is that in the 1970s this rifle was one of many of the General’s firearms stolen from him in a house burglary. I requested the Police Report, and the local police in this part of New York State tried to find it. But they could not – the burglary records being so old and disorganized. What winding paths this beautiful rifle traversed from the mid 1970s when stolen to my collection when I purchased it in March 2009 is little known. All I know is who I bought it from, a stranger to me, living in the Southeast USA, who answered a “want ad,” negotiated a price, and shipped the rifle to me. No need to worry about this still being stolen property, however. I have cleared this with the proper authorities in the jurisdiction where the theft occurred. I also have it in writing that the General's widow makes no claim for the return of the rifle. See below for details of my recent communication with the Hasbrouck family in New York and Washington DC. Be sure to see and read the photo of “the Hasbrouck Family Association” write-up about the re-discovery of this rifle. In it they make clear the family makes no claims to repossess this rifle.

I have exchanged numerous emails with a relative of the General who knows the Widow well (she does not do email), substantiating information from the Widow about this rifle and about the General. I will provide all these emails with the rifle. This person was the author of the “Hasbrouck Family Association” write-up about the re-discovery of this rifle. In this sale I will provide a hard copy of this article in their family newsletter. I will also provide copies of numerous obituaries of the General and Vail. I will also provide copies of numerous articles about Vail’s work on George Washington’s pistols, his other work, and his “haunted house.” I will also provide a copy of the cover of the American Rifleman magazine with Vail on the cover depicted in the photographs below. I will provide copies of numerous newspaper clippings about Vail’s strange death, and the speculation that his 9,000 square foot house, parts of which date back to the late 1700s, always has been, was in the days Vail lived there, and today remains haunted.

Also included will be a copy of my interview notes I took discussing Vail with a friend of Roy Vail, now living in Manhattan, who purchased Vail’s $1 million house from Vail’s heirs soon after his death, and lived there seven years. Yes, folks, put Vail and Hasbrouck together, with a beautiful work-of-art firearm linking them, and you have one very fine and interesting gun for your collection, indeed! Copies of all of my hard copy research and all of my PDF and other files from online research on thumb drive will accompany the gun when shipped to you.

Additional Notes: Item is used, but in very good condition -- see the photographs. Numerous photographs are included to show the bluing handling/use marks, which are mild considering this hardware's age. Also see Vail’s custom wood stock dating to about the 1960s time frame when Vail probably customized this rifle for the General, and be pleasantly surprised at how minimal the flaws are. Included are the rifle in hard case for protection and copies of the research papers and files previously mentioned. Any other item appearing in the photos are for display only, and are not included.

Additional $100.00 Shipping is to pay for fully insured (insurance is a big part of the cost) FedX shipping to all states except California, Alaska, and Hawaii. In those states add $50. Shipping will be fully insured, and packaged securely in a hard plastic case to protect your investment. Seller does not collect Sales Tax.

More Notes: The soft case and the sling shown in some of the photos below are not included. They were not shipped to me when I purchased the rifle, and I do not have them.

Note that photos 28 and 29 can be used to compare Vail's autograph on the rifle to his autograph on the back of the postcard -- clearly a match. Photo 28 shows the Roy Vail script signature in the wood on top of the pistol grip. Photo 19 is more difficult to discern due to glare, but the left side of the "G" in "GEN" and the left side of the large script "H" for "Hasbrouck" can be seen. More photos to you by email upon request. Good luck bidding!

The Widow knows that this rifle finally surfaced, after all these years. She has stated through her relative, my contact, that she has no use for the rifle now, and she is glad it found a good home with an owner who appreciates its beauty, craftsmanship, and historical significance. I am presently that owner. Soon you can be. Good luck bidding!


Information has been added about the theft of this rifle from General Hasbrouck and his wife Clara some 40 plus or minus years ago. See the added information in photographs 31 and 32. The Hasbrouck Family Association has now written about this rifle in their family newsletter. These pages tell the fascinating story of their family’s re-discovery of this famous old rifle, stolen from their ancestor some 50 years ago!!! IMPORTANT: THE GENERAL'S ANCESTORS HAVE SURRENDERED ALL CLAIMS TO THE RIFLE IN WRITING. NO CONCERN ABOUT THE RIFLE BEING CONFISCATED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT EXISTS.

Need more information? Need to email the seller? Ask Seller a Question

1. Seller is a private collector, not a business. This does not mean reduced service. Firearms are packed more securely than most FFLs, and they are fully insured for the Buyer’s full investment cost. Shipping is usually the same day US Postal Money Order or Bank/Cashier's Check is received – with zero wait period. Buyers are kept informed by text, email, phone, and/or tracking websites about the status of the shipment. A convenient no-interest Layaway option is provided to spread out payments.

2. Buyer agrees to hold Seller harmless for any accidents, injuries, costs, damages, or inconveniences related to the purchase or use of any item purchased from Seller. Buyer should have used firearms inspected by an experienced firearms expert for safety prior to use.

3. If your FFL requires shipping by an FFL, add $20.00 to total cost.

4. Buyer agrees to make all Layaway payments as agreed. Any payment more than 30 days late without written authorization from Seller could result in DEFAULT. DEFAULT could mean cancellation of sale, with Seller retaining some or all of funds paid to cover costs.

5. Seller ships every firearm securely packaged and fully insured. Buyer takes shipping risks. Buyer is responsible for any claims with the Shipper. Buyer holds Seller harmless for shipping damage and FFL handling damage.

6. Seller recommends Buyer be present when FFL opens the package. This is for the benefit of all involved parties, to better pinpoint the root cause of any damage.

7. Seller provides no warranty or guarantee, written or implied. Manufacturer warranty might apply on new guns, with Buyer responsible to pursue with manufacturer. Seller does not inspect or test the functionality of firearms or peripherals for the purpose of sale, used or new.

8. Buyer is responsible for knowing state gun laws. No refund for firearm(s) shipped to a state where it is illegal and FFL will not transfer.

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Other Army
Barrel Length
23 inch
Mfg Part Number
15.00 Pounds