Rifleman Q&A: CMP M1903A3 Sling Modifications?

posted on June 25, 2021
The M1903s recently offered through the CMP had been issued by the Greeks. Unlike this standard M1903A3, unusual sling swivel patterns intended for cavalry use have been observed.

Q. Some time ago I purchased a Springfield Model 1903A3 from the Civilian Marksmanship Program. The rifle had an unusual modification by the addition of a second set of swivels. I have not been able to obtain any information regarding this modification. Please let me know if you have any information.

A. All of the various types of M1903s recently sold through the CMP were formally in the possession of the Greek government. The Greeks were furnished these rifles after World War II under American military aid programs, and they were eventually returned to the United States and subsequently sold via the CMP. Most of the rifles were subjected to various types of modifications while in the possession of the Greeks. The modified sling swivel, as found on your rifle, has been observed on a number of these guns. It is theorized that the modification was performed for use by some type of Greek military mounted unit to make the rifle easier to carry on horseback. In any event, the modification was performed while the rifles were in the possession of the Greek government.

—Bruce N. Canfield

This “Questions & Answers” was featured in the July 2004 issue of American Rifleman. At time of publication, "Questions & Answers" was compiled by Staff, Ballistics Editor William C. Davis, Jr., and Contributing Editors: David Andrews, Hugh C. Birnbaum, Bruce N. Canfield, O. Reid Coffield, Charles Q. Cutshaw, Charles M. Fagg, Angus Laidlaw, Evan P. Marshall, Charles E. Petty, Robert B. Pomeranz, O.D., Jon R. Sundra, Jim Supica, A.W.F. Taylerson, John M. Taylor and John Treakle.

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