No f Springfield Model Regulation

The policy of converting muzzle loaders was now in part abandoned and some entirely new barrels were made. There wei^ no radical changes in the appearance of the new gun, but there were many minor improvements. The length of the new arm, stamped " Model 1868," was reduced to about 4 feet 4 inches, and its weight to 9| pounds. The extracting device was considerably strengthened and simplified, and the latch was made more secure. The ammunition remained the same.

No picture. Cadet Size Model 1868. Regulation.

In all but size and weight similar to the service rifle.

No picture. Springfield Model 1870. Regulation.

Slight changes in barrel, breech block, and rear sight. Ammunition unchanged. Its picture would resemble that of Model 1868.

No. 7, Brown Rifle. Militia.

Made by the Brown Mfg. Co., Newbury port, Mass., 1871. J. H. Brown invented also the wire-wound gun (cannon).

No. 8, Evans Rifle 1871. Militia.

This 1871 pattern of Evans military rifle differs in forms of frame and moving parts from the sporting patterns of a few years later. Refer to Evans Sporting Rifle, Chapter III, and Plate 16.

No. 9, Ward-Burton Rifle 1872. Experimental.

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

No. 10, Phoenix Rifle 1872. Experimental.

This form of conversion was made and advocated by Eli Whitney. The action shown is the original of the later and better action extensively used on Phoenix sporting rifles.

No picture. Sharps Rifle, 1872. Militia.

The 1872 Sharps was the same in action as the 1874 sporting pattern (see Plate 15, No. 2), and differed from preceding Sharps in being adapted to metallic cartridges.

Springfield Model 1871

Plate 24

American Inventions of Breech Actions for Single Shot Metallic Cartridge Rifles Submitted to and Refused by the United States Ordnance Board of 1872.

The Springfield-Allin System used in U nited States military arms having been designed for the purpose of converting muzzle loading arms to breech loaders, Congress in June of 1872 enacted that a breech loading system for army and navy be adopted upon the recommendation of a Board of Officers to be appointed by the Secretary of War. This was in the hope of getting a system better than the Allin.

To the Board 99 American and 9 foreign designs were submitted. Some of them were merely wooden models; some were variants, great or small, on systems already in use. The designs shown by the illustrations, taken from U. S. " Ordnance Memoranda No. 15," are the ones of most ingenuity, oddity, or general interest. All of them both extract and eject.

Plate 24

No. 1, By John Broughton. To open: by throwing forward the guard lever, which is pivoted on the rear corner of the breech block, the locking device is released, the breech block is swung downward and backward, the lock is half cocked, and the extractor is operated.

No: 2f By John Broughton. To open, draw back the firing bolt until it cocks, press down the thumb piccc and swing the breech block sideways and forward until it is nearly parallel to the barrel.

No. J, By John Broughton. To open, cock; press forward the lever-catch, which slides the firing pin forward and disengages its rear end from the cavity in the receiver; swing the breech block upward and forward. Odd and interesting feature: — on closing, not only does the firing pin lock the bolt but also the nose of the hammer when down.

No. 4, By W. H. Elliot. To open, cock; the hammer operates a lever on the breech block pawl and alternately pushes and pulls against the lower arm of the breech block and opens and closes the breech. After opening, the hammer falls forward; to close, the hammer must again be cocked. The hammer cannot be let down slowly. The guard is hinged at the rear to permit inspecting and cleaning the mechanism.

No. 5, By James Lee. To open, shove forward the thumb piece of the hammer, which depresses the breech block. To close, insert a cartridge; its rim, moving back the extractor, permits the mainspring to act on the breech block and press it against the cam-shaped hinge pin; when the extractor is fully in its seat the spring throws up the block. The mainspring has two leaves, one of which operates the hammer and the other the breech block.

No. 6, By James Lee. To open, draw back the lever, which is also the thumb piece of the hammer;

Joslyn Army


Remington Keene Rifle

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Plate 25

Army Rifle Trials 1878

the pressure of its cam-shaped lower surface on the bottom of the receiver raises the rear end of the breech bolt so that it can be drawn back.

No. 7, . By Dexter. To open, half or full cock the hammer; then swing down the lever on the right side of the frame, which depresses the breech block. (In principle generally similar to the Rem-ington-Hepburn action.)

Plate 25

No. J, By E. S. Allin. The principal difference between this and the regular Springfield-Allin is the center hung hammer, the mainspring of which lies under the receiver. A similar device, which, however, preserved the Allin brcech block intact, was submitted by James Stillman, master stocker of the Springfield Armory.

No. 2y W. S. Smoot. To open, cock, then draw back thumb piece of cam-lever, which lowers the breech block. To load and close, insert a cartridge and strike the thumb piece forward with the palm of the hand. The breech block when closed is locked by a projection on the nose of the hammer passing under the rear end of the cam-lever.

No. 3, By I. M. Milbank. To open, raise and draw back the handle of the breech bolt. Individualities: this bolt action is cocked by pressing the bolt forward; ejection is accomplished by a spiral spring set in the face of the bolt; a safety lock pro jecting through the guard strap in rear of the trigger guard must be pressed upward before the gun can be fired.

No. 4, By Ira Merrill. To open, raise and drawback the handle of the breech bolt; this retracts the firing pin, cocks the hammer, and exposes the chamber. Individualities: a center hung hammer apart from the bolt (see also the Remington-Keene repeating rifle, page 182, for a similar device), and a movable ring surrounding the rear of the chamber, which rotates with the bolt, so that, in locking, the bolt face will not grind the head of the cartridge. A rifle submitted by S. F. Van Choate also had a bolt action with a separate hammer.

No. 5, By General B. S. Roberts. To open, raise the lever; this moves rearward and depresses the forward end of the breech block and exposes the chamber. To close, either depress the lever or cock the hammer.

No. 6, By Oscar Sncll. To open, cock the hammer by swinging its upright thumb piece downward to the right. As the hammer moves at right angles to the bore, when it is cocked the chamber is exposed and can be loaded from the rear of the frame. When the hammer is down it is bedded in a groove of the frame. The sliding extractor on top of the frame is moved by hand.

A7o. 7, By William Montstorm. To open, throw down the lever on the right side of the frame; the beginning of this movement lowers the breech block and the continuance of the movement rotates the block rearward and cocks the hammer.

No. 8} By B. F. Joslyn. To open, cock the hammer; in so doing the bolt is released, and, with the hammer and lock contained in it, is free to move back. The firing pin being linked to the hammer is withdrawn from the face of the bolt by the act of cocking.

No. 9} By William Morgenstern. To open, draw back the firing pin by its handle until the spiral mainspring is cocked. The breech block may then be thrown forward and upward until it strikes the receiver, in which position it is supported by a catch. An interesting individuality is a rotating extractor which by accelerated motion ejects an empty shell violently upward.

Among the 108 arms submitted to the Board of 1872 there were 10 magazine rifles, one of which, the Helm, was a revolving one, having as its only peculiar feature a movable butt plate which cocked the gun by pressure against the shoulder. The other 9 were: Winchester, forerunner of the Winchester Model 1873; Scott (see Triplett & Scott carbine of 1864); Ball (see Ball carbine of 1863); Stetson, which was a modification of the Winchester; Burgess (see Whitney-Burgess sporting rifle, page 124) ; Rumsey, which was in the wooden model stage and not easy to understand; Ward-Burton, with magazine below the barrel; Gardner, having a fixed chamber closed by a sliding barrel and magazine below the barrel; and an Evans (see Evans sporting rifle, page 124).

With the idea of adding a bit more speed to the fire of the Springfield service rifle several inventors submitted designs for grouping a number of cartridges close to the chamber of the rifle. Colonel J. G. Benton offered two designs; one was to put 5 cartridges in holes in a thickening of the stock at the left of the receiver, the cartridges to be in a row parallel to the barrel, with heads up, and the other was a bundle, of 6 cartridges in a detachable block hung against the lock plate. Mr. R. T. Hare's device was a cartridge box with a finger strap across the back so that the fingers of the left hand could grip it against the barrel while the gun was held at aim. Lieutenant Henry Metcalf offered a wooden container of 10 cartridges attachable by wire loops to studs set in the fore stock. General P. V. Hagner showed how 3 cartridges with heads to the rear could be held in a block under the breech. Mr. Ira Merrill showed a gun with the comb cut so as to hold 4 or 5 cartridges upright, covered, all except the front one, and fed forward by a spring. Mr. James Stillman offered a means similar to Mr. Merrill's, except that a swinging lid uncovered all the cartridges at once. The Board examined also a new type of cartridge box to be worn against the left breast; it was circular and about inches thick; 24 cartridges were set radially, staggered, and with their heads outward; they could be drawn out one by one through a notch in the periphery of the box.

After examination and trial of the arms and accoutrements submitted, and a contemporary exhaustive test of ammunition, the decision of the U. S. government was in favor of the service rifle then in use subject to slight modifications, and to a change in the weight of the bullet. The Model 1870, revised to meet these requirements, was named Springfield No. 99, or Model 1873.

American Inventions of Magazine Rifles Submitted to the Board of 1878

Name of rifle Franklin Ward-Burton v Sharps-Vetterli v Hunt

Lewis-Rice Buffington Hotchkiss v

Winchester Model, 1873 v Springfield-Miller Remington-Keene v m» •


Whitney-Burgess v Springfield-Clemmons Lee v Chaffee

Manufactured by

Colt Pat. Firearms Co.

Springfield Armory

Sharps Rifle Co.

Lewis, Rice & Lewis

Winchester Repeating Arms Co.

Winchester Repeating Arms Co.

E. Remington & Sons

Whitney Arms Co.

Whitney Arms Co.

G. F. Clemmons

James Paris Lee

In many cases several guns of the same patent, or inventor, were submitted, totaling 29. From the lot the Board selected one, the Hotchkiss, and recommended that the twenty thousand dollars appropriated for making and trying a magazine gun for the military service be expended upon it. Of the remaining twenty-eight, those marked v were afterwards manufactured for general sale, all but two of them, the Winchester Model 1873 and the Lee, having a small sale and being soon discontinued. Those not marked v or otherwise mentioned were model guns and never were offered commercially. The inventors of some of the model guns still had faith in them and continued experimental work 011 them; those guns, with revisions and improvements, were, four years later, submitted to another board.

Meantime, the Ordnance Department continued the manufacture and issue of the Springfield .45, single shot, making a change for the better at the very time the Board of '78 was considering an entire change of armament.

Plate 26

No. 1, Model 1873, also called Springfield No. 99. Regulation.

The calibre was reduced to .45, and the ammunition became 45-70-405. The shell was center fire and reloadable. Muzzle velocity was about 1350 f.s. The barrel was made of steel instead of iron, as formerly. There were 3 grooves, equal in width to the lands, .005 deep at the muzzle and progressing regularly in depth to .01 at the breech; the twist was uniform, 1 turn in 22 inches.

The shape of the ejector stud was modified, and a lining introduced into the receiver with the expecta-

Pl.ate 25—Continued tion of facilitating the introduction of ammunition. Cannelures were cut in the small end of the ramrod to permit a better grij with the fingers, A stacking swivel was added, anc the swivel of the guard bow was fastened with a screw instead of a rivet. The lock plate was made thinner and without a bevel around its outer edge. The hammer, and all screw heads, and that part of the stock around the lock plate, were rounded. The rear sight, changed to meet the new ballistics of the arm, was set further forward. All metal parts wTere finished in a dark color. The weight of the rifle was reduced to 8J pounds.

Three new types of bayonets, offered the Board of 1872, were issued with this rifle for trial. One was the Rice-Chillingworth, in which the shape of the trowel blade was the design of Lieutenant E. Rice and the combination of socket and handle wras by Mr. F. Chillingworth. The second, proposed by Colonel Clitz, a member of the Board,was more of a spade than a bayonet, and when used as the latter would give better results when used as a cutting wreapon, striking sideways, than as a thrusting weapon. The third wras the sword bayonet already in use modified with saw teeth cut along its upper edge. The two former of course wrere intended as entrenching tools, and the latter for the use of sappers and miners. The greater part of the Model 1873 rifles issued were, however, provided with a ramrod-bayonet, some triangular and some round in cross section.

No picture. Cadet Size Model 1873. Regulation.

The changes in the cadet rifle followed those in the service arm.

No. 2, Phoenix Rifle 1874. Militia.

In this arm the action, based on that of 1872, is more fully developed.

No. J, Lee Single Shot 1875. Experimental.

No. 4, Sharps-Borchardt 1876. Militia.

No. 5, Remington- Keene Repeater 1877. Militia.

No. 6, Springfield Model 1878. Regulation.

The pronounced feature of all the Model 1878 arms is the 3-click tumbler. Its use was continued in subsequent models. Used in the War with Spain.

No. 7, Springfield Universal Model 1878. Regulation.

With this arm the attempt was made to meet the requirements of all branches of the service with a single kind of gun. Length and weight were reduced. The triangular wiping rod served for a bayonet. The front swivel served both for a sling and for stacking. Used in the War with Spain.

No picture. Cadet Size Model 1878. Regulation.

A slightly reduced fac-simile of the Model 1878 service arm.

No. 8, Officers' Model 1878. Regulation.

Detachable pistol grip, checkering, simple engraving, half-stock with white-metal tip, peep and globe sights, stout wooden cleaning rod. Used service ammunition.

No picture. E. W. Potter Magazine Rifle, Calibre .45, 1878. Experimental.

No. 9y Lee Straight Pull Rifle. Regulation.

Calibre .236 (6 millimeters). Called also the Remington-Lee. James Paris Lee's patent of 1879. Adopted for the U. S. Navy. Used in our War with Spain. Operating the action by a straight pull of the bolt to the rear was the most interesting feature of this rifle, except, perhaps, its small calibre.

See Plate 14, No. 8. Buck Rifle. Experimental.

Single shot, calibre .45, using service ammunition. Made by H. A. Buck & Co., West Stafford, Conn. Submitted to the government and refused.

Throwing the trigger guard forward opens the breech, cocks, and ejects.

American Inventions of Magazine Rifles Submitted to the Board of 1882

Congress having once more had its attention called to the inadequacy of the single shot rifles with which our troops were equipped, appropriated fifty thousand dollars for magazine arms to be made and issued for trial, and the Ordnance Department thereupon convened a session of officers, called the Board of 1882. Forty guns were submitted to this board, by thirteen inventors, in almost every case there being several guns of a kind, more or less, generally less, modified in the hope that in one form or the other a mechanism would successfully pass inspection and trial.

name of gun submitted by

Remington-Keene v E. Remington & Sons, Ilion, N. Y. Boch Philip Boch, N. Y. City

Hol.chk.iss Winchester Repeating Arms Co., New Haven,


Chaffee-Reece Gen1) J N. Reece, Springfield, III. Lee James Paris Lee

Trabue Wm. Trabue, Louisville, Kentucky

Russell Lieut. A. H. Russell, Fort Union, New


Marl in v Marlin Firearms Co., New Haven, Conn.

Dean Chas. J. Dean, Ft. Walla Walla, Washington

Springfield-Jones J. Sheridan Jones, Merino, Dakota Eliot H. Eliot

The Board recommended the expenditure of the appropriation upon the Hotchkiss, Chaffee-Reece, and Lee rifles. Besides these three the two checked v were manufactured in considerable numbers, privately, in the expectation of sale to militia, or abroad. The remaining eight probably never got beyond the model stage.

The Hotchkiss, Chaffee-Reece, and Lee rifles, when issued for trial, did not fulfil the hopes of the Ordnance Board, and the Springfield .45 single shot continued, for ten years longer, to be the regulation military arm of our government.

Plate 27

No. /, Hotchkiss. Rifle 1882 Pattern. Regulation. Described under Winchester-Hotchkiss 1883 Sporting Rifle.

Springfield Jones Rifle


Plate 27

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  • Fnan
    How to load a sharps rifle?
    8 years ago
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    Did the military use the whitney firearms phonix rifle?
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