|NRA Very Good =$900
NRA Excellent = $2,200
|NRA Very Good = $18,000
NRA Excellent = $29,000
|Barrel Length (in bore)||32.6"|
|Cleaning Rod Length||35 5/8",no cannelures|
|Rifling||3 Lands and Grooves|
|Caliber||.50 CF .50-70-450 Cartridge|
|Barrel Bands||2 clamp type,18 5/8" apart|
|Cartouches||4, 2 Rectangular & 2 Oval ESA|
|Breech Block||1868 or 1869, or 1870/Eagle/Arrows/U.S.|
|Firing Proof||None, or Large L|
|Lock Plate||Dated 1862-1864|
|Serial Number||On Barrel and Receiver|
|Front sight||1 1/4" from muzzle, 5/16" long|
|Rear Sight||M68, deep V|
The M68 was Springfield's first attempt at using a separate receiver and in some cases new 32.6" barrels. The rifling is the same as that in the Model 1866 rifle, one turn in 42 inches with three equal width grooves and lands. The shorter length barrel eliminated the need for the middle band, so the sling swivel was attached to the upper band. The bands are retained by stock shoulders and band springs. The musket sight was replaced with a leaf sight having a maximum range of 900 yards. The ramrod shoulder is retained by a pin inserted in the ramrod groove.
The most noticeable feature of this rifle or carbine is the length of the receiver. No other trapdoor has such a long receiver. M68 breech blocks are dated with the year of production: 1868, 1869 or 1870. However, very few rifles were produced in 1868, so the 1868 breech block is extremely rare.
The receiver and barrel are stamped with matching serial numbers on the left side. All model 1868 rifles should have "V" shaped sighting notches in the rear sight and square cornered thumb pieces. These arms normally have four cartouches, two from CW production, and two from when it was altered to a breech loader.
A number of these arms were nickel plated before being issued to troops for trial. Occasionally these nickel plated arms are found and can be identified.
Some Model 1868 rifles have replacement breech blocks that are thinner at the hinge which allows them to rotate further forward when opened. These breech blocks come with an assortment of stampings other than the standard dated variety. The modification started in the 1870s.