in .50-70 Govt.
This is a pretty nice rifle.
These are getting scarce as not many were made before being
replaced with the newer 1873s in .45-70. Many of these were
sold off as surplus and used by buffalo hunters in the
This one was probably restored many
years ago. The wood on this one is in good
condition for its age with the usual dents and dings. It has
one small split just behind the lock. There is a very well done wrist repair.
The wrist was not broken but looks like a chunk of wood was
knocked out and later replaced. It was done
a long time ago and is very solid. There are no other
repairs to the wood and the stock is all one piece, no splice in the
forend. The inspectors mark and "P" proof mark are very
clear and correct. I believe these have been restamped
when the gun was repaired. There is a "ghost" of a previous
"P" stamp. Both stamps are way too clear to be original.
The metal parts have turned grey. There
is no evidence of any previous rust on the underside of the
barrel or inside of the lock. The bore is very good with a
shine and good rifling but has
a few spots of minor pitting,
about 7/10 . The barrel bands are original and correct but
do not have the same age as the rest of the metal so may be
later replacements. The lock is dated 1863 and the internals
are all original. Typical 2 notch tumbler. It has the
original cleaning rod.
Model 1870 rifles were produced at two
different periods of time. The first production run of 1,000
rifles was from October 1870, to March 1871. These arms
feature the Model 1870 short receiver with the rear sight
nearly against the receiver. Also, these arms have Model
1868 ramrods and improved rear sights.
The second group
of arms (about 10,000) were produced between October 1871,
and June 1872. These arms have their rear sight about 1/2"
from the receiver and feature a double shouldered ramrod.
All Model 1870 arms from the second production run have
breech blocks which are designated "Model 1870" and have a
long and high arch on the underside. Rifles from the first
production run of 1,000 have breech blocks which are thick
at the hinge, missing the word "Model" in the stamping and
have the shorter arch like the Model 1868.
This one does
not have the word "MODEL" and is the short arch. It may be
from the first run.
I think it can still be a good shooter.
Overall a very nice collectable rifle that
would be an excellent addition to any collection.