Rifle on top is exhibit #6736. Serial of that rifle is 11248. Lower rifle, RIA catalog number 6737, is serial 3366. Index card notes that serial 11248 has the (incorrect) 1896 sight. That rifle has the correct cartouche (1895) whereas serial 3366 is missing the cartouche.
Did you take a good look at the '03 serial #1? Direct from manufacturing to the museum collection.
Pretty interesting place. Well worth the trip.
Some of what I know and some of what I deduce about the Museum. Firstly, it's well worth the trip. You can spend hours just looking at the guns. The museum is named after JMB.
The arsenal had a museum at the turn of the century. A catalog of holdings was produced and pictures exist. In 1909 thereabouts they closed it. At that time the Smithsonian cherry picked the collection. What the Smithsonian didn't take was just kind of packed away. Off and on after that they assembled "collections" of various sorts but it was all pretty unofficial. Captured German cannon were set up after WW1 and it was, by all accounts, a stunning collection of those. At the start of WW2 the first thing the powers that be did was melt those....
In 1984/85 they set up the existing museum? At that point they indexed the weapons. So from 1909ish to 1984ish it wasn't "maintained" in a formal setting and they had to start from scratch. Flayderman's guide was used with the problems that induces....
The arms are a mix really. Some, like the 1903 (serial #1) are pristine and have a definite history. Others have no known history. Donations over the years, floor sweepings from the small arms people, etc. So a mixed bag really. So many interesting items and some have no history. Many of the Krags are obvious rebuilds. Segregating it would be complex.
The most significant collection, as I'm sure you noticed, is the "Indian Guns" rounded up for the study after LBH. Quite the collection. I'm really surprised the Smithsonian didn't snag those. The Krag carbine and other interesting items they have are all "interesting" but that collection of "Indian guns" is, IMHO, the only really historic significant collection. The rest are "cool guns" bit the Indian guns are real history.
Too bad they don't interest me.
There is a small museum located on the US Army Post at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen MD. Although they don't have alot of any specific guns, they DO have some very nice examples of Krags, Trapdoors, 03s, Garands, Mausers, Arisakas, Maxims, etc. The place is definitely worth a look if you are in the area.
As I recall, via Brophy, the #1 M1903 was located in France in 1918 and shipped back to the Museum. I had also heard it had been through a fire.
"We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst."