Early M1870 Springfield Rifle

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 1880s.

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.




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