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Springfield Armory 50/70 horse pistol

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05 October 2018, 04:57
Fjold
Springfield Armory 50/70 horse pistol
A good friend of mine recently showed me his "Prize".

A 50/70 Springfield Armory horse pistol submitted to the US Calvary for trials right after the civil war to assist in taming the west. It's one of 4 authenticated survivors of the US Calvary trials and is engraved with the name of the officer it was presented to. It is currently on loan for display at the Springfield Armory museum.

I got to play with it and the photos are of me holding it in front of my buddy's shop.





Frank



"I don't know what there is about buffalo that frightens me so.....He looks like he hates you personally. He looks like you owe him money."
- Robert Ruark, Horn of the Hunter, 1953

NRA Life, SAF Life, CRPA Life, DRSS lite

07 October 2018, 01:30
just say moe
Wow - what a cannon! Must have been a challenge reloading it on a running horse!


"Pick out two!" - Moe Howard
15 September 2019, 05:21
MacD37
quote:
Originally posted by just say moe:
Wow - what a cannon! Must have been a challenge reloading it on a running horse!



Probably more of challenge to get your hand working again after firing it with only one hand on the pistol, and the other on the rains of the horse after firing it beside the nags head!

…………………………………………………. BOOM jumping


....Mac >>>===(x)===> MacD37, ...and DUGABOY1
DRSS Charter member
"If I die today, I've had a life well spent, for I've been to see the Elephant, and smelled the smoke of Africa!"~ME 1982

Hands of Old Elmer Keith

15 September 2019, 05:43
dpcd
Nice pistol;
Normally a presentation piece of that period would be hand engraved; not hand stamped with modern sans serif stamps, and not aligned. They usually say, "Presented To". "By Order Of", means that, that officer ordered something to happen.
Just an observation, and certainly not any impugnment of the provenance of that pistol. The owner knows best about it. I'm sure.
Is there a letter with it?
17 September 2019, 20:10
sharpsguy
Somebody's got to say it. Looks fake to me. Not only is the lettering in the presentation all wrong, the patina on the blued tang doesn't even come close to matching the action. That, and the brass inlaid strip on the stock has obviously been artificially aged and colored. Brass doesn't patina in that manner. Somebody has altered the piece in a major way.
24 October 2019, 22:54
dpcd
I was trying to be nice; it is a fake. The stamping, not the pistol.
The tang color might be ok, because the block and frame were CCH and the tang was blue. And the brass back strap is there for reinforcement; they all have that. Which is why I asked if there is any period documentation; it says it is "Authenticated". So, how? My Great Grandfather got it from General Jone's Aid's nephew's cousin?. Doesn't count.
Again, the owner knows best; I would never disparage someone else's gun. My opinion only.
27 October 2019, 08:40
NormanConquest
Indeed. I have a friend that sent me what looked like an early Colt prototype in 38 something. Upon closer inspection it seems the only original Colt part was the marked barrel. but there was a brief moment of giddiness upon thinking a treasure had been found.


Never mistake motion for action.
25 December 2019, 01:10
Rolland
That is a very interesting pistol, I would love to see the paper work on it. and why the army thought it would be better then the current revolvers.
On that note, I have a friend that owns a gun shop and mostly deals in liquidating collections of military and civil war from time to tie I help him with research.
It is amazing the amount of fakes that are showing up, mostly civil war guns with some really good paper work. Had an 1860 engraved personalized Colt come in the guy paid $12k for turned out a modern replica. So any more I am a real skeptic often times if it is too good to be true it isn't.


Never rode a bull, but have shot some.

NRA life member
NRA LEO firearms instructor (retired)
NRA Golden Eagles member
25 December 2019, 02:43
dpcd
Because a revolver will not kill a horse, was the rationale.
The pistol is quite real; the engraving is, not.
Anyone who is fooled by a Uberti replica being passed off as original needs more research; They differ in some critical dimensions, for that reason.
25 December 2019, 03:08
Rolland
I am not doubting the gun is real would just be interested in the history of why.I was always told the "horse pistol" nomenclature was that it was too large to carry on person and was carried in saddle holsters on the horse thus horse pistols. But then I have been misinformed before. Big Grin


Never rode a bull, but have shot some.

NRA life member
NRA LEO firearms instructor (retired)
NRA Golden Eagles member
25 December 2019, 03:47
dpcd
You are right or course; they were carried in holsters on the horse; not on the soldier. And was not a totally well thought idea to have a 50-70 or 45-70 pistol. Realize that our only enemy was Indians at the time, all mounted on horses; we were two or three decades behind all of Europe who were planning to fight conventional Armies. But the Army is full of less than great ideas and I worked in Army Weapons Systems Management for a few years so I saw some of it. Problem with Small Arms is that everyone is an expert. Which is why I was in Abrams Tank Armament; (in TACOM) fewer experts and most of them are real.
28 December 2019, 19:16
Bill/Oregon
Whatever its provenance, it is a wonderful relic of our firearms history. I am sure the Springfield Armory Museum is showing it all due respect!
Thanks for sharing, Frank, and happy New Year.


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
30 December 2019, 06:26
ismith
quote:
Originally posted by dpcd:
I was trying to be nice; it is a fake. The stamping, not the pistol.
The tang color might be ok, because the block and frame were CCH and the tang was blue. And the brass back strap is there for reinforcement; they all have that. Which is why I asked if there is any period documentation; it says it is "Authenticated". So, how? My Great Grandfather got it from General Jone's Aid's nephew's cousin?. Doesn't count.
Again, the owner knows best; I would never disparage someone else's gun. My opinion only.


I’m curious what makes you think the stamping is fake? I’d say there’s a very high probability that it isn’t, and I can support that opinion.


What force or guile could not subdue,
Thro' many warlike ages,
Is wrought now by a coward few,
For hireling traitor's wages.
30 December 2019, 20:00
dpcd
As I said, it is my opinion only; the font is modern, sans serif, and not aligned at all. Period presentation pieces usually are hand engraved. Of course, I have no way of being sure, without original provenance and documentation, as with all historical artifacts. I see lots of old things in here that are purported to have been "Used by my Great Grandfather in the Civil War (etc)" that turn out to be 36 caliber squirrel rifles. Just my opinion which means nothing.
And the "By order of" phrase is inappropriate for a presentation.
What is your alternate analysis and rationale for it?
27 April 2020, 05:30
MacD37
quote:
Originally posted by dpcd:
You are right or course; they were carried in holsters on the horse; not on the soldier. And was not a totally well thought idea to have a 50-70 or 45-70 pistol. Realize that our only enemy was Indians at the time, all mounted on horses;


I happen to have a 45-70 cartridge in my cartridge collection that was made for just such a pistol. The pistol was carried in a holster strapped to the saddle horn. The cartridge has a wooden bullet that is hollow and filled with lead shot. The rifling of the pistol was made to break up the wooden bullet(container)so close combat on horseback with Indians. When the bullet was split it released a face full of lead shot in the face of the close by opponent.

These bullets were used for another purpose as well. They could make the 45-70 rifles become a shotgun for securing birds for the pot when supplies ran low in the field.
…...………….. oldMacD37


....Mac >>>===(x)===> MacD37, ...and DUGABOY1
DRSS Charter member
"If I die today, I've had a life well spent, for I've been to see the Elephant, and smelled the smoke of Africa!"~ME 1982

Hands of Old Elmer Keith

28 June 2020, 05:18
JTEX
That "wooden bullet" is called a forager round. It was used for hunting small game. Google is your friend.
17 January 2021, 06:44
MacD37
quote:
Originally posted by JTEX:
That "wooden bullet" is called a forager round. It was used for hunting small game. Google is your friend.


You are correct JTex, I had forgotten the name of this round. "FORAGER" is the correct term. I have had this FORAGER cartridge since I was six years old, and I am now 84 years old. This was given to me by a 70 year old friend of my grand father who was a gun collector back then. This man was the first man I ever knew who had hunted Africa and he also introduced me to double rifles as well.

................................................. oldMacD37


....Mac >>>===(x)===> MacD37, ...and DUGABOY1
DRSS Charter member
"If I die today, I've had a life well spent, for I've been to see the Elephant, and smelled the smoke of Africa!"~ME 1982

Hands of Old Elmer Keith

20 January 2021, 04:19
Buglemintoday
What an awesome firearm / piece of history!
20 January 2021, 06:12
LHeym500
quote:
Originally posted by MacD37:
quote:
Originally posted by JTEX:
That "wooden bullet" is called a forager round. It was used for hunting small game. Google is your friend.


You are correct JTex, I had forgotten the name of this round. "FORAGER" is the correct term. I have had this FORAGER cartridge since I was six years old, and I am now 84 years old. This was given to me by a 70 year old friend of my grand father who was a gun collector back then. This man was the first man I ever knew who had hunted Africa and he also introduced me to double rifles as well.

................................................. oldMacD37




The YS Army had a complete forager Springfield gun. This is a single shot, Springfield action, shotgun. I have only seen one.