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Gardiner/Scott Prototype Grip Safety on an Early 1903 Springfield

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In 1904, a man named Orlando Scott from Ontario filed a patent application for a safety device for breechloading rifles and shotguns. His idea was basically a spring loaded grip safety in the fore-end of the stock, which would have to be depressed in order to either cock or fire the weapon. His patent was approved in 1909 as number 911683, and assigned to another Ontario man, Robert Gardiner. As a way of demonstrating the patent, they purchased a 1905-production Springfield rifle from the US military (starting in 1904, the military had a policy of selling Springfield rifles to inventors for experimentation) and integrated their safety mechanism into it. We don’t have any record of military trials of the gun, but it is a neat model of a patent idea on a very scarce pattern of early Springfield.

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