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    An important and rare carbine with a superb history.

    Historically Important U.S. M1873 .45-70 Cavalry Carbine, #20042, Manufactured in 1874. This number is in the same range, between, and only a few numbers away, from five known examples of this carbine with specific attribution to 10th U.S. Cavalry soldiers stationed at Ft. Concho, Texas, as cited in contemporary records dated May 17, 1876.

    At the time Ft. Concho was headquarters of the "Buffalo Soldiers" of Companies A, D, F, G, I, and L of the all-Black 10th US Cavalry. A year later, in the summer of 1877, Company A was decimated in the infamous "Lost Expedition to the Llano Estacado" of west Texas, under Captain Nicholas Nolan. In 1880, Companies A, F, G, and I participated in the famous campaign against the Apache War chief Victoria and his band. This historic carbine could well have seen service in either or both of those campaigns, as well as many other lesser known actions against hostile Indians.

    As is typical of these early unaltered carbines they were, in the western vernacular, "rode hard and put up wet," and the gun clearly displays its years of hard service. Correct and original as an unaltered 1st model in every detail. The three click tumbler lock dated 1873 and Model/ 1873/ eaglehead and crossed arrows/ US on the high arch breech door. All metal generally smooth and dark gray with just a few small spots of light pitting. Mechanically fine, fair bore. Wood very good with some scattered dents/ scratches commensurate with use. ESA inspector's mark weak but fully legible. There is some roughness/ deterioration, obviously due to moisture at the buttplate, primarily on the obverse. The unique buttplate, while marked with the US, is the very rare accessory attachment designed by E. C. Meachem Arms Co. of St. Louis, Missouri, that allowed for the stowage of three loaded cartridges in the butt stock, accessible through a sliding brass door. Absolutely of the period and it is unknown if is this modification was, in fact, a trial project under the auspices of the U.S. War Department. The butt plate does display some heavier pitting along the edges, commensurate with the condition of the butt stock in this area.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2009
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 829

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