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Springfield Armory 50/70 horse pistol
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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

 
Posts: 11789 | Location: Bakersfield CA. USA | Registered: 30 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Wow - what a cannon! Must have been a challenge reloading it on a running horse!


"Pick out two!" - Moe Howard
 
Posts: 293 | Location: ARKANSAS - Ouachita mtns. | Registered: 19 January 2006Reply With Quote
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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
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"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

 
Posts: 14445 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: 08 June 2000Reply With Quote
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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?
 
Posts: 12567 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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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.
 
Posts: 799 | Location: East Texas | Registered: 03 November 2007Reply With Quote
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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.
 
Posts: 12567 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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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.
 
Posts: 12867 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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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.

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Posts: 1173 | Location: Camp Verde, AZ | Registered: 13 December 2005Reply With Quote
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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.
 
Posts: 12567 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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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)
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Posts: 1173 | Location: Camp Verde, AZ | Registered: 13 December 2005Reply With Quote
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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.
 
Posts: 12567 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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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.


I love dogs so much more than people.
 
Posts: 13220 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With Quote
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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.
 
Posts: 243 | Location: Montana | Registered: 17 January 2018Reply With Quote
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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?
 
Posts: 12567 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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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

 
Posts: 14445 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: 08 June 2000Reply With Quote
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That "wooden bullet" is called a forager round. It was used for hunting small game. Google is your friend.
 
Posts: 36760 | Location: Crosby and Barksdale, Texas | Registered: 18 September 2006Reply With Quote
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