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"Experimental" 50-70s

Posted by Todd Smith on Sunday, 1 December 2013, at 6:40 p.m.

My name is Todd Smith and I am researching the Battle of Blanco Canyon that involved the 4th US Cavalry and a band of Comanches that occurred in October 1871. I had a couple of questions and was hoping someone might be able to assist me or know someone who might.

I know from Ordinance reports obtained at the National Archives that as of the end of the 3rd quarter (Sept) 1871, the 4th Cavalry possessed Spencer rifles and there in a new, handwritten column for “Experimental” rifles that were assigned to one company. These are .50 caliber Springfields, Sharps and Remingtons. This column was not present on the quarter prior to this. I can email this entry on the reports if needed.

Company K possessed 20+ of each and I was wondering what this meant. Are there three completely different rifles? Did they fire the same cartridge or were there differences in the ammo used? We have found several 50-70 casings and cartridges in the field that were the standard centerfire with internal primer but have also found a couple of what appear to be Martin primed 50-70 casings.

This may not be enough info. Please advise if you have any questions.


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