Original 19th Century U.S. Springfield Trapdoor Model 1873 Trowel Bayonet
Original Item: Only One Available. Designed to fit a 45/70 Trapdoor Springfield Rifle, these are very rarely seen in any condition, much less good used condition such as this. These will fit any M-1873 Springfield trapdoor rifle that uses a regular ram rod. The rear portion of the socket rotates to allow it to be locked onto the barrel.
An ingenious bayonet in the shape of a gardening trowel that when fitted to the muzzle of the rifle can double as an entrenching tool to dig in, or as a bayonet as the trowels edges are sharp as is the point. The trowel bayonet was conceived to provide soldiers with a dual-purpose bayonet and entrenching tool. Following the U.S. Civil War, the conventional wisdom in the Army was that the bayonet was largely unnecessary and that soldiers should be individually-equipped to rapidly entrench without the need to bring entrenching tools forward by wagon. This was developed during the same period of American "multi-use" military experimentation that produced the Springfield Trapdoor ramrod and M1888 Entrenching Tool Knife.
The trowel blade is 10-inch long and 3 3/8 inches wide, with a reinforced spine. The hilt portion of the Trowel/Bayonet still bears its heavily blued finish, though it is faded. The blade is still partly bright, but there is definitely some staining and light pitting and wear. Latching hinge in the socket is fully functional. Unfortunately the wooden haft that could be inserted to increase digging leverage is not included.
The Lightly knurled grip section is in excellent shape, with a patent marking on the right side above the hole for the front sight: PAT APR 16TH 72.
In very nice condition ready to display!
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