Capt. Charles E. Bendire's Sporting Rifle .
Al. Finally got the pictures of the Sporting Carbine that Capt Charles E.
Bendire ordered from Springfield Armory on Sept. 4, 1874, and rec'd at
Jefferson Barracks, St Louis, Mo on Sept 30, 1874,
before he departed to the west from his stint on recruiting duty at
Jefferson Barracks. This pre officer's model sporting carbine is
mentioned on pages 116, 124, and 184 of Book II, The 45-70
Springfield 1865-1893. This carbine was purchased from a garage sale
picker that turned it up in late November in Seattle, Washington.
Capt. Bendire came from Germany and entered
the lst US Dragoons, and then as an Infantry Officer during the Civil War,
and then moved back over to his old unit, the lst US Cavalry, in 1864 and
served with it until he was discharged
in 1886. Brevetted for gallantry in 1890 for his service during the Indian Wars
in the Nez Perce Campaign in Montana in 1877. Capt Bendire was a life time
naturalist and ornithologist
and upon his discharge, became the head of the Ornithology Department at
Smithsonia where he donated and organized his 8,000 bird eggs and nests
he gathered when serving throughout
the west during his military career. In 1896 Smithsonia published his
definite two volume set of books on Bird Game of North America. He passed away
in 1897. Many of his bird articles
are still in print 116 years after his death. A remarkable trapdoor that
belonged to a remarkable US Dragoon and US Cavalry officer. Hayes Otoupalik Collection.
Here are some of the rifle's details:
The wood is bural and checkered on the wrist and forearm.
There is no cartouche and no circled P on the stock.
There is no saddle ring bar and ring.
The barrel is 26-inches long.
The screws are slotted in the sight base.
Standard slider on the 73 carbine rear sight.
There is no serial number on the receiver as it is floral engraved.
It is not a set trigger system
Very Early M73 Breech Blocks
This early modification was first noticed by Richard Hosmer.
The following photo illustrates the difference in the two blocks. Notice the difference
in the vertical mill cut to the right side of the block. In the top photograph it is
identical to that of the
M68, M69, and M70 blocks. On the later M73 blocks, the mill cut is significantly higher.
We believe the change to the taller cut occurred around SN30000, but that is yet to be determined.
Any help you can give to clarify this transition would be helpful.
Chicago City Police M66 Rifles
INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY Bruce Green at email@example.com
CHICAGO POLICE TRAPDOORS
In 1874 a group of industrialists, professionals, and social activists formed the Citizens. Association of Chicago to correct conditions in that city that had been highlighted by the disastrous fire of 1871. Following initial successes, this association formed separate committees for the Fire Department, Police Department, sewers, water supply, architecture, etc. as an adjunct to the elected municipal government.
In John Flinn.s 1887 .History of the Chicago Police., page 130, he describes the police loss in this 1871 fire, among other equipment, ..muskets to the number of 620, $8,680;.six brass cannon... On page 208, documenting conditions within the police department in 1877, he states:
.There was in possession of the department this year a quantity of arms, purchased by the Citizens. Association, consisting of four twelve-pound and two six-pound guns . one ten barrel Gatling gun . 296 Springfield breech-loading rifles, and 60,000 rounds of ammunition. These arms, equipments and ammunition were held by the department with the understanding that they were to be returned to the association at the demand of the executive committee. The department had also at this time 102 Springfield rifles of its own, which had been purchased by citizens and presented to the police..
During the 1870.s, the Chicago police were formally known as the Chicago City Police, .C C P., note enclosed tintype of a Chicago police officer with the well known .C C P. belt buckle.
In the December, 2001 issue of the Gun Report, noted authority Mike Carrick, Staff Editor, posed his own question concerning an 1866 Model Allin conversion, lock plate dated 1862, 2 band, 32 ½. barrel, 18 5/8. between bands, front sight 1 ¼. back from muzzle, hinge strap stamped .C A. and on the receiver in place of a later serial number .C C P.. The number .111. was stamped on the top of the comb forward of the butt plate. The slot for the middle band retaining spring was filled-in, professionally done so as to be barely visible. After correspondence and phone calls, I purchased Mike.s trapdoor and began researching same, uncovering the history of the Citizens. Association of Chicago.
In the February, 2011 catalog of a recognized, national firearms auction company, a similar Model 1866 Allin conversion with 2 bands and a 31 1/8. barrel was advertised with .C C P. stamped on the receiver but no .C A. on the hinge plate. This rifle was stamped with the number .76. on the top of the comb ahead of the butt plate. The photo that accompanied this auction item seems to indicate that the middle band was intact with the muzzle area not in the photo.
I also have in my collection another Model 1866 Allin conversion, lock plate dated 1864 (the .4. is very shallow), barrel shortened to 31., with middle band intact and the front band removed (and altered stock professionally shortened). The receiver is stamped .C C P. in place of later serial numbers but no .C A. on the hinge plate. It has the number .7. stamped on the top of the comb forward of the butt plate. It also has what appears to be .W 101. stamped on the right side of the butt. It has been nickel plated, probably for later parade or honor guard use.
This should explain .C C P. stampings on the receivers of approximately 400 Model 1866 shortened conversions as long as the stock numbers fall within the recorded inventory totals of 296 provided by the Citizens. Association (.C A.) and the 102 previously in the police. hands (no .C A.).
State Arsenal Holdings and Requests for Sp-Am War Arms
INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY CHARLES PATE at firstname.lastname@example.org
Records related to the Spanish-American War (3 inches)
Letters and telegrams from state AGs in response to call for troops for the Spanish-American War
and COO inquiry regarding the status of the states, arms and equipment. Most contained request
uniforms and equipment and many did not give details on their arms. Notable documents:
SC-- Had 2047 Springfield rifles (Trapdoors)
ND-- Had 350 Springfields and wanted 300 more
WI-- Had 4000 Springfields and 100 .38 caliber Colts
FL-- Needed 220 Springfields and 75 more Colt .45 revolvers
MS-- Had only 300 serviceable Springfields
AR-- Had 700 Springfields
IA-- Asked for 1500 Springfields
TN-- Had 1050 Springfields
MO-- Had 1080 Springfields (models 73 and 84) and 23 Colt .45 revolvers
KY-- Had 800 Springfields, wanted 3000 more and 200 Krag carbines and pistols
PA-- Had 7500 Springfield rifles and 360 carbines
MN-- Had 1790 Springfield rifles and wanted 1810 more
CO-- Had 1058 Springfield rifles, 140 carbines and 140 Colt .38 revolvers. Wanted another 58
LA-- Had 1500 Springfields
Capt. James Rockwell, Jr. was Chief Ordnance Officer, 1st Army Corp at Chickamauga. A Chief of
Ordnance letter to him referred to a telegram from General Brooke dated 6/17/98 that had stated
the condition of the volunteer regiment's arms was very poor and that 14189 of them were
doubtful. The COO stated it would be impossible to replace all of them and cautioned Rockwell
about condemning arms.
NY State Vol. for Sp-Am War
1st NY Vol. Infantry Hawaiian Islands May 1898 . Feb 1899
2nd NY Vol. Infantry USA May 1898 . Nov.1898
3rd NY Vol. Infantry USA May 1898 . Dec 189
8th NY Vol. Infantry USA May 1898 . Nov 1898
9th NY Vol. Infantry USA May 1898 . Nov 1898
12th NY Vol. Infantry Cuba May 1898 . April 1899
14th NY Vol. Infantry USA May 1898 . Oct 1898
22nd NY Vol. Infantry USA May 1898 . Nov 1898
47th NY Vol. Infantry Puerto Rico May1898 . March 1899
65th NY Vol. Infantry USA 1898 . 1898
69th NY Vol. Infantry USA May 1898 . Jan 1899
71st NY Vol. Infantry Cuba May 1898 . Nov1898
201st NY Vol. Infantry USA July 1898 . April 1899
202nd NY Vol. Infantry Cuba July 1898 . April 1899
203rd NY Vol. Infantry Usa July 1898 . March 1899
Troop A NY Vol. Cavalry Puerto Rico May 1898 . Nov 1899
Troop C NY Vol. Cavalry Puerto Rico May 1898 . Nov 1899
4th Light Battery NY Vol. Art. USA July 1898 . Oct 1898
5th Light Battery NY Vol. Art. USA July 1898 . Oct 1898
7th Light Battery NY Vol. Art. USA July 1898 . Nov 1898
Model 1868 Rifles Issued to the
From Charlie Pate: Al, for the last few years I've been going through the
Chief of Ordnance
records page-by-page. I'm getting into 1871 now for the registers and saw
the following. Thought you might be interested. The Navy not only had some
Trapdoors, they had them on a pretty famous ship.
12/9/1871 - RG156, E20, #5337: Commodore Case, USN Bureau of
Ordnance, asked for 12, Allyn Breech Loading Rifles be supplied the Navy
for the gunnery practice ship, Constellation.
Early M75 Rifles
The early Officer's Model have the following features that I had not
previously recorded. (1) The number on the inside of the trigger bow matches
numbers on the inside of the trigger plate and internal parts. (2) The 50
yard mark is on the early M75 rifles, but on the right side with the other
range markings, (3) The trigger plate does not have the fine engraved line
on the edge. (4) The engraving on the trigger bow is not quite what you
expect compared to later ones. (5)The number on the inside of the trigger
bow is the same as the number on the inside of the trigger plate and the
set trigger main spring. Some of the smaller parts have only the last
stamped on them. All are the same font. (6) You can tell the early ones
modified Sharps tang sight and the barrel is void of stamps or it only has
the small v/p/eagle
stamping. The last p is missing.
Texas Ranger Trapdoor
The following list of carbines put into service between September 1,
1876 and 1878 are listed below. This list comes from the article,
RANGER TRAPDOORS, Co.F Frontier Battalion, 1876 Issue Records and
by Don Jones. The article was published in the Fall issue of the Texas
30568 ------ 39783
32325 ------ 41168
34126 ------ 41321
35351 ------ 41351
35360 ------ 41368
35388 ------ 41541
35390 ------ 41544
35397 ------ 41568
35444 ------ 41832
35474 ------ 43208
35520 ------ 43451
35540 ------ 70880(8)
35560 ------ 80238
35572 ------ 80244
35574 ------ 80259
35609 ------ 80297
38029 ------ 81240
Look carefully at the number sequences and it is clear that these carbines
are from partial shipping crates indicating the clustered SNs were
received at the
same time. Email Don Jones at DJNJPI@aol.com
Unfinished and Damaged Springfield
The three receivers shown consist of a damaged M73 with an "ear" broken
off and an unfinished M68 and M73 receiver. The two unfinished receivers
have a deep stamped C somewhere on the exterior. Neither unfinished
receiver has been threaded for the breech screw or the barrel. Also,
the ejector stud mount has not been finished.
The two front bands for the M73 rifle have not been finished. Their
surface is rough and on the edges there are some spurs from the forging
process. The holes have not been drilled for the sling or stacking
Non-Springfield M75 Set Trigger Systems
The three set trigger systems are thought to have been made by the same
Pennsylvania maker. He has died recently and the systems were recently
accumulated. Two belong to Ed Knisely and I own one. Look carefully at
the trigger plates, two are M64s and one M63. One is drilled for
Bannerman screws. The engraving is much too shallow and too fancy and
with too much fine detail. Two of the trigger bows are homemade from
rifle bows. The center one may be a carbine bow. The variation and
crudeness of the mechanism is something noticeable. Also, the size and
length of the bolt through the plate is questionable. Also, one and
possibly two of the plates have been welded together.
Unfinished Carbine Barrel circa 1878
The following unfinished barrel was just recently purchased by Bill Hatch.
The barrel has a number of interesting features associated with its
exterior and stampings.
FIRST, the "CCC" evidently indicates the barrel has been condemned.
SECOND, The barrel had been test fired twice and passed both burst
as indicated by the "P P" stamping on the underside. This stamping was
used from about SN65000 to SN160000 or from the period 1876, to
THIRD, The "V/P/Eagle head" is on the barrel. OM22 indicates this
stamping was not done until the front sight and the exterior of the white
barrel were found to be satisfactory. Hmmm???
FOURTH, the barrel is about 0.004" too large in diameter indicating that
surface filing was needed. There are several slag pits in the surface of
the barrel that are deep enough to not be removed in the finishing
FIFTH, the threads on the barrel are for screwing the barrel into the gang
firing fixture for the burst testing.
SIXTH, the front sight stud has not been drilled or cut for the front
sight blade. The top of the sight base has a small shoulder on the sides
parallel to the barrel. These could have been used with a retainig tool
to align the sight with the barrel.
SEVENTH, the bore is exactly 0.450, but there is quite a bit of rough
surface in the bore that appears to be very deep.
See Book II pages 384-385
Another M68 Rifle made in
George Sears has just purchased an M68 Rifle made in 1868. It has the
following specifications: SN96 (barrel and receiver), 1868 dated breech
block (all numbers hand stamped), 2 visible cartouches (musket
cartouches in rear of stock flat), and it does have a
lined barrel (the braze is visible at the muzzle). The gun is all
minus the cleaning rod. This rifle, like he others found, was made for
testing and not for issue. See the Trapdoor Newsletter, page
346, for more information and photographs of these rare rifles.
U.S. Grant's Cadet Rifle:
Peter Nelson forwarded to me the following information that Charlie Pate
located in the National Archives. The original copy was pretty thin, so
did not try to reproduce it.
".......Headquarters Army of the United
Washington, April 13 1868
(Bvt. Maj Gen. A.B. Dyer,
Chief of Ordnance U.S.A.)
I have the honor respectfully to request permission to purchase of
your Department for my own use One Cadet Rifle and five-hundred rounds of
ammunition for the same.
Your obed't. Servant,
Charlie also went on to note that General Grant's Chief of Staff requested
a second Cadet Rifle (which I am assuming, due to the 1868 date of the
request letter and the Production Schedule Table (on Page 48 in BOOK II)
for the "Cadet Model 1866 Rifle", was most likely a Model 1866 (since
production of the new Model 1869/Type I Cadet Rifle did not start until
the July-December period of 1869, and only 2 are being shown as having
been produced in that period).
Benecia Arsenal Powder
Tom Trevor submitted the following images of an 1883 Benecia
Powder measure and was curious if any were made earlier? the FA ones
have a steel hopper and this is brass. The small "T" wrench goes into
the powder drop and
by turning it clockwise or counterclockwise the powder charge can be
adjusted to the charge desired, 55 carbine, 70 rifle or any othercharge
they might want to experiment with.
The tool has small scribe lines on it that would correspond to charges.
This may have gone out shortly after the reloading sets were issued to
make charging more uniform than the small scoop issued with the reloading
Both the scoop and the measure were designed and a patent issued to O. E.
Michaelis, Ordnance Dept., on Feb. 13, 1883.
See the POWDER FLASK book by Ray Rilling page 140.
also see Ordnance Notes 114, 231 and 322.
NEWSLETTER ERROR, Page 369
The listing of 1877 produced carbines either has an error in recording
SN87964, or the gun has had parts interchanged. SN87964 has the cartouche
with the closed 8 and serifs on the top and bottom of the 1. Also, there
is a faint cartouche in front of the sling bar. There is no circled P,
but the stock inspector's initial is very clear and the cartouche is deep
and sharp. I am beginning to wonder if Springfield sold off all the
partially completed narrow receivered guns and some company bought them
and assembled guns using their own cartouche. Remember the circled R and
the RGS cartouches look pretty much like Springfield work. Hmmm????
STEEL PISTOL GRIPS:
The following dimensions for the S&S Firearms repro pistol grips were
supplied by Peter Nelson.
LENGTH: (Along the centerline where the Grip rests on the Trigger
WIDTH: (Measured at the widest point using a 6.00-inch dial caliper):
HEIGHT: (measured at the highest point):
DIAMETER OF THROUGH-HOLE FOR SCREW:
[A 15/64" (0.2343") diameter twist drill just fit
DIAMETER AT TOP OF COUNTERSUNK HOLE FOR SCREW HEAD: 0.392"
CHECKERED PAD AREA: 1.125" Long x 1.050" wide.
STEEL PISTOL GRIPS:
The following photos were supplied by Tom Trevor . On the left is the
Springfield metal pistol grip and on the right is the Dixie Gun Works
or S&S Firearms pistol
grip. These repro grips have been around for at least 15 years. Note the
crudeness of the casting. The original armory grips were forged.
STEEL PISTOL GRIPS:
I recently bought and sold a most unusual pistol grip. The new
owner, Kees Punt, has sent me images of both the standard pistol grip and
that of the unusual one.
The grip on the right is the standard one and the one on the left is the
unusual one. Note, the hole for the retaining screw is not large enough
to pass the standard trigger plate screw. It is not clear if this was to
be a replacement for the wood Officer's Model pistol grip or if it is one
of the prototype grips that Kelton requested around 1878. If you have
additional information about this unusual grip, please contact me.
The dimensions for the two grips are given below.
The Standard Grip:
height: 1.41 inch
width: 1.77 inch
hole for screw: 0.22 inch
area for screw head: 0.331 inch
Checkering: width 1.09 inch and length 1.13 inch
length: 2.24 inch
height: 1.37 inch
width: 1.75 inch
hole for screw: 0.165 inch
area for screw head: 0.307 inch
Checkering: width 1.02 inch and length 0.972 inch
Tom: The mystery grip looks like the one Navy arms cast in the late
after they got the remaining H-R stock. They put out some carbines with
the H-R OM tang sight and a metal grip. The parts all seemed to be H-R
rejects as these were the ones that often opened on firing.
Also TD Galore sells a repro grip. Just a thought.
Al: Tom, the pistol grip does not look to be cast, but forged. Does
anyone have the Navy Arms rifle that Tom mentioned???