Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1220: Indian War Era U.S. Springfield Model 1870 Saddle Ring Carbine

Auction Date: September 11, 2021

Exceptional and Very Scarce Indian War Era U.S. Springfield Model 1870 Saddle Ring Carbine

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $7,500 - $11,000

Exceptional and Very Scarce Indian War Era U.S. Springfield Model 1870 Saddle Ring Carbine

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: 1870
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 50-70 U.S. Govt
Barrel: 32 1/2 inch round
Finish: bright/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 956
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 172
Class: Antique

Only 341 of these Model 1870 carbines were manufactured in 1871. At the time, the U.S. Government was entering the Indian War period so it is amazing any of these carbines survived at all. The defining characteristics of this model include a high arch underneath the breech block measuring 2 3/16" across, the front receiver section measures 1 13/32" long (2 1/8" shorter than the Model 1868 before it), and no serial number. It has the standard blade and notch/folding ladder sights, an "1864" dated lock, "1870/eagle head/cross arrows/US" marked breechblock, "4" marked underneath the breechblock, saddle ring and bar on the left, "US" marked buttplate, and a circled script "ESA" (Erskine S. Allin) cartouche on the left stock flat. These Model 1870 rifles and carbines were the final trapdoors manufactured in .50-70 Government before the introduction of the .45-70 Government cartridge and the .45 caliber trapdoor rifles and carbines that were extensively used through the late 19th century Indian Wars and even on into the Philippine-American War in the early 20th century. "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes wood tampion. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Very fine, retaining 60% original oil-quenched casehardened finish on the receiver and breechblock, strongest in the protected areas. The barrel retains the "national armory bright" style polished finish with some minor dings and a few patches of light pitting. The lock retains 80% vivid original case colors with clear distinct markings. The stock is fine with its attractive dark oiled finish, some scattered dents and scratches, a 1 inch period chip visible below the lock, and a crisp oval "ESA" cartouche. Mechanically excellent. A highly attractive example of a rare Model 1870 Trapdoor carbine!

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