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TR’s Springfield Sporter


Our 26th—and youngest—president, Theodore Roosevelt came to the Oval Office with a wealth of hunting and outdoors experience, including a particular interest in the Model 1903 Springfield. Though this interest helped usher in an era of improved bolt-action rifles for America’s armed services, Roosevelt’s fondness extended beyond military applications. Hand built at the Springfield Armory, this Model 1903 Springfield sporting rifle, serial number 6000, was constructed to his exact specifications with a checkered pistol grip stock and front barrel band.

Roosevelt used this .30-’03 sporter on safaris ranging from Africa to South America, with an estimated 300-plus head of game species—from dik-dik to hippopotamus—taken with this rifle alone. On loan from Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, this sporter rifle is currently on display at the National Firearms Museum as part of the Theodore Roosevelt exhibition, “Trappings of an Icon.”

Located at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va., the National Firearms Museum galleries are open daily and admission is free (donations appreciated). And opening July 4, 2013, in Springfield, Mo., the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum, in conjunction with Bass Pro. For more information, call (703) 267-1600, e-mail or visit