The U.S. Model 1871 Ward-Burton was the first bolt action centerfire rifle used by the U.S. Military. 1,011 of these rifles were manufactured at Springfield Armory with intent for troop field trials to compare against the Trapdoor and Rolling Block rifles. Most of the Ward-Burton rifles were sent West for testing against the elements and harsh nature of the battles during the Indian War era. They were not enthusiastically received by troops due to general unfamiliarity with the bolt action system, issues with dirt finding its way into the bolt lugs, and suffering from many breakages, making these a scarce item for the collector. After trials, the Allin Trapdoor design was ultimately chosen, and the Ward-Burton rifles and carbines were removed from service. Marked with an eagle and "U.S./SPRINGFIELD 1871." on the left side of the receiver. A bannered script "JWK" (John W. Keene) inspection cartouche is marked ahead of an oval script "ESA" (Erskine S. Allin) inspection cartouche on the left of the stock below the receiver. "US" marked buttplate tang. "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes US socket bayonet and period leather sling. Provenance: The George Moller Collection
Very good with a mostly bright barrel with scattered light pitting and 30% original oil quenched casehardened finish on the receiver flaking to a gray patina. Stock is fine as lightly sanded and re-oiled with some light dents and handling marks, and visible cartouches. Mechanically excellent. Included bayonet is fine with some patches of mild spotting and otherwise sharp edges and markings, and sling is very good with some light aging.
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