During World War I, production shortages and equipment shortages placed a large burden on the manufacture of arms in the United States. This included M1911 pistol production by Colt, which developed an interesting hybrid with Springfield Armory to alleviate shortages.
When the battleship U.S.S. California was sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, several M1903 rifles still in her hull were salvaged after the attack, as revealed thanks to the efforts of the Archival Research Group.
Despite the lessons learned during World War I, the U.S. Army lacked a purpose-built sniper rifle throughout the interwar period, even after efforts were made to develop one. The need became more apparent as World War II loomed, leading to the adoption of the M1903A4, with its developmental history explored here.
There has been confusion and speculation about the M1903 Springfield “Stripped for Air Service.” Documents from the National Archives explain the why, how many were made, and how the “Air Service ’03” was obsolete before it was even made.