Original U.S. Indian Wars M1875 Hotchkiss Two-Pounder Mountain Gun - Dated 1891
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an incredible M1875 Hotchkiss Two-Pounder Mountain Gun dated 1891 offered in excellent condition. We test fired it and it functioned perfectly watch the video below.Hotchkiss mountain guns were first tested by the U.S. Army in 1881, having been purchased from the famous Hotchkiss Company in Paris. The guns were ideal for use in rugged terrain, such as the West, since the entire weapon weighed only 362 pounds, and could be broken down into parts so that a gun and its ammunition could be transported on three mules. The gun could fire quite rapidly since it was used fixed (but separately primed) ammunition. In fact, this was the first U.S. artillery piece to utilize fixed metallic-cartridge type ammunition. Two basic types of ammunition were issued, explosive shells with impact fuzes, and canister. The former was effective to 3500 yards, and the latter to a few hundred, against personnel or animals.
Four Hotchkiss mountain guns made history on December 29, 1891, at Wounded Knee Creek, Dakota Territory. They had been positioned on a hill near where U.S. Troops were disarming Sioux Indians when firing broke out in the Indian camp. The battery began firing to support the troops. The Sioux lost over 150 of their number, and were so badly beaten that they never fought again.
Hotchkiss two-pounders were also used in the Spanish-American war. This particular example made in 1891 was one of only 57 guns purchased by the U.S. Government.
This excellent condition example is serial number 170. The tube measures 46″ with a 1.65″ rifled bore. This particular gun is mounted on carriage ready for shooting as this gun was recently successfully live fired (see video). Incredibly this gun, unlike almost all known examples was NEVER converted to centerfire, meaning it retains the original breech mechanism and uses a friction primer to function. The barrel bear original ordnance paint and is nicely marked:
This is fine barrel is mounted on the original field carriage with the original wheels all offered in wonderful condition. The carriage retains its original brass data plate that reads:
Also included are two custom made brass shells. Of particular note are two similar guns which were later converted (less desirable) that went through a major auction house $38,350 and $46,000 respectively they can be seen along with their sale prices at this links: $38,350 and $46,000. Those prices make this unconverted cannon in its original friction primed configuration an incredible value for the investment collector!
The M1875 mountain gun was used by the United States Army during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. A Hotchkiss design from the French arms firm, Hotchkiss & Company founded by Benjamin B. Hotchkiss, (1826–1885), "it was the first original breech-loading gun in the U.S. Army". It replaced the earlier M1841 mountain howitzer used since about 1837, a decade before the Mexican–American War of 1846–1848 in U.S. Army service. It served with cavalry units during the late American Indian Wars, including the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre, and was also used during the 1898 Spanish–American War in Cuba and Philippine–American War (Philippines Insurrection) of 1899–1902 in the Philippine Islands.
An 1878 Ordnance Report from Brigadier-General Steven Vincent Benet, narrates part of the history of this gun, stating,
Early in 1876, Colonel Miles, Fifth Infantry, suggested that a light field-gun weighing less than 500 pounds be provided for service on the plains, to replace the obsolete mountain howitzer. The subject was submitted to the Ordnance Board for consideration, with the remark 'that a rifled gun, probably a breech-loader, that can travel with cavalry, and has an effective shell range beyond that of rifled small arms, not less than 1,500 yards, would probably meet the requirements of the service'. While under consideration, Mr. B. B. Hotchkiss presented for examination and trial a light breech-loading rifle that gave promise of efficient service on the frontier, and fulfill the conditions of mobility, range, and accuracy. One was procured, and issued to the Department of Dakota in 1877, and was used in the field that summer. It weighs 116lbs, and its caliber is 1.65 inches. It uses a charge of 6 ounces of powder, and a percussion shell weighing 2 pounds. While many defects in its mechanism, and in the carriage and ammunition, have been pointed out after the experience of a campaign, showing that modifications are desirable to add to its effectiveness, it did excellent work. I am informed that Colonel Miles expressed himself satisfied that it had rendered efficient service, and was a valuable weapon. With all its defects, others have been called for, and the five now in possession of the department will be issued to the troops.
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