During World War I, the M1903 Air Service rifle was a custom-designed version of the M1903 bolt-action.30-06 U.S. military rifle created for plane-to-plane combat; however, the project was dropped after the war.
The M1903 Air Service rifle is a unique variant of the M1903 bolt-action .30-06 U.S. service rifle with a mysterious history. Only a few were produced, and they were never issued beyond testing. The rifle was stripped down, modified with a big 25-round magazine, and simplified for use in airplane warfare. There are three popular theories about its use: as a weapon for balloon observers, as a pilot survival rifle, and for plane-to-plane fighting. Recently uncovered documents reveal that the rifles were actually created for backup use in two-seater airplanes, in case the machine guns jammed or were unable to hit an enemy below the tail of the aircraft. The rifles were ultimately deemed unnecessary and faded into obscurity after the end of World War I.