The U.S. Model 1903 Springfield Rifle was developed during the late 19th century, when US troops engaged in the Spanish-American War found their weapons, the Springfield Model 1892-99 Krag-Jorgensen rifles, far inferior to the bolt-action Mausers used by Mexican forces. As a result, US Army authorities sought a more powerful rifle with a faster rate of fire to provide their troops. In 1900, the state-owned Springfield armory was set up to build such a rifle, based on the battle-proven Mauser design. In 1903, the U.S. Model 1903 Springfield replaced the Krag-Jorgensen and was adopted as the primary U.S. battle rifle.
With the outbreak of the World War II, the US army had a limited supply of rifles, and while the standard US rifle was already the M1 Garand, it was decided that the Army would benefit from being supplemented by a simpler and cheaper bolt-action rifle. The Remington Arms company was given the task to produce rifles and created a variant of the M1903, simplified for wartime production. Adopted in 1942, the M1903A3 rifles featured a number of parts made by stamping instead of machining as well as receiver-mounted peep-hole sights instead of the leaf-type tangent sights.
Despite not being the official rifle of the US military (since the replacement of the M1 Garand), the A3 model of the 1903 Springfield was adapted into a sniper rifle and served US forces for an additional two decades. This variant, the 1903A4, was used during WWII, the Korean War, and in the very early stages of Vietnam.