No Chaffee Reece Experimental

A few hundred were made at the Springfield Armory and issued to troops for trial in the field.

No. 4y Springfield Model 1884. Regulation.

The principal change from the preceding model lies in the cartridge, as explained further along.

Weight pounds. Length of barrel 32.6 inches. Twrist 1 turn in 22 inches. Three types of bayonets were provided: — triangular, with socket; spade or trowel with socket; cylindrical ramrod bayonet. The Buffmgton rear sight was our first military small arms sight to have automatic compensation for the drift of the bullet due to the spin given it by the rifling. The preceding models of Springfields were equipped with Bufftngtons as soon after 1884 as possible.

The change to a 500 grain bullet was due to the fact that the .45-70-405 cartridge did not burn all its powder. Rather than design a new shell and rechamber all the rifles on hand to fit it a sufficient weight was added to the bullet to delay its passage along the barrel until the full action of the powder could be exerted on it.

The .45-70-500 cartridge gave a muzzle velocity averaging about 1315 f.s. and an extreme range of about 3,500 yards. Shooting at 200 yards the bullet rose about 13 inches; at 500 yards about 8 feet; at 800 yards about 25 feet; at 1,000 yards about 44 feet.

The rifle and cartridge proved capable of averaging 5-inch 10-shot groups at 200 yards under favorable conditions. A particularly well made barrel and home loaded ammunition could do much better on a calm, moist day. To squelch a Doubting Thomas who was belittling this military rifle, the author fired three shots from the hilltop where both were standing to a huge tree in the offing, and all three bullets struck the trunk of the tree within a two-foot circle; the distance, carefully measured by triangulation with a theodolite, was found to be 1,123 yards. Of course accident played the important part in this feat; nevertheless the rifle did its part, and it squelched Thomas.

Model 1884 rifles were used in the War with Spain.

No picture. Springfield Model 1884 Sharpshooter Rifle. Regulation.

This rifle varied from the regulation service arm in being chambered for a longer cartridge, — .45-80-500 — and in having either special sights or a telescope sight.

No picture. Cadet Size Model 1884. Regulation.

Three inches shorter than the service arm; sling swivel omitted from the upper band; stacking swivel of revised form.

No. 5, Norwegian Krag. Foreign purchase.

This rifle was selected in 1892 by our Ordnance Department as the model to be copied, with very slight changes, for United States troops, and is shown as the prototype of the Springfield Model 1892 commonly called the Krag.

No. 6f Model 1892, Krag. Regulation.

This rifle is based upon the Krag-Jorgensen system, modified by U. S. Ordnance Officers in the attempt to improve it.

The magazine, holding 5 cartridges, calibre .30, is of the horizontal type, and is under the receiver and at the left side. There is a cut-off so that the rifle can be used as a single loader while the magazine is held in reserve. The weight of the rifle, empty and without bayonet, is about 9 and one-third pounds. The knife bayonet is a trifle over 11§ inches long and weighs 15| ounces, and with its scabbard weighs 7i- ounces more.

This is the first U. S. rifle to have the top of its barrel covered with wood for a hand guard. The twist is 1 turn in 10 inches. The cartridge shell is flanged; the bullet, of lead, rounded at the tip, with jacket of cupro-nickel, weighs 220 grains; the charge is 38 grains of smokeless powder. The muzzle velocity is about 2,000 f.s. The gun is accurate enough to hit infantry occasionally at 500 to 600 yards, and cavalry at 600 to 650 yards. The penetration of the bullet in dry oak at 3 feet from the muzzle averages about 2 feet. The trigger pull is 4£ pounds. The bolt is operated by a quarter turn to the left and a pull to the rear.

The Model 1892 Krag was considerably used by United States soldiers and sailors in the War with Spain in 1898. In the Philippines, against barbarous and semi-civilized peoples inadequately armed, it held its own. Used against the soldiers of Spain it was not accurate enough to have any cspecial influence, and its smokeless quality and its rapidity of fire were balanced by the same qualities in the rifles of the Spaniards. The Krag bullet, when it went sideways, did very well in the matter of execution. But for accuracy and for stopping power, the single shot .45-70-500 cartridge of the old Springfield was considerably ahead.

Model 1892 Krags were manufactured at the Springfield Armory.

No. 7, Winchester Model 1895. Regulation.

Has the unusual feature of a combination of lever action and box magazine. An arm, using service ammunition, much superior to the service arm made in the government shops. Much liked by those of the American forces who used it in the War with Spain.

No picture. Model 1896 Krag. Regulation.

Unsuitable material and defects in construction in the Model 1892 Rifle having become apparent, this model represents the attempted remedy.

The length and weight of the rifle, and the muzzle velocity of the bullet, all were slightly reduced. The thumb-piece of the cut-off is, in this model, made to cut off the magazine when it is down, instead of up, as with the preceding model. The long wiping rod beside the barrel of the 1892 model is in this one replaced with one in three sections carried in a recess in the butt reached through a trap door in the butt plate. The rear sight of the earlier pattern is replaced with one much better, giving a closer correction for drift up to 1,000 yards.

The Model 1896 was a considerable improvement upon the Model 1892, and was used at rifle ranges by expert shots with some degree of satisfaction. The ammunition was the same in appearance as for the preceding model but was improved slightly in proportion and workmanship. Since 1893 the powder charge had been 36 grains and the bullet weight 230 grains. But as a high power small bore military rifle embodying all known up-to-date improvements it nevertheless left much to be desired.

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