Original U.S.N. Springfield Model 1870 Type II Remington Rolling Block Rifle in .50-70
Original Item: Only One Available. The Springfield rolling-block U.S. Navy rifle was a shipboard small arm for use by the United States Navy, employing the Remington Arms Company rolling-block design, and manufactured under a royalty agreement with Remington. The example we have is in good condition, with the expected wear from age. Much of the finish is intact, though there is evidence of past pitting. Right side of the receiver is marked with the maker and model number:
The tang of the receiver is marked with the patent licensing information:
PAT. MAY3D NOV 15TH APRIL 17TH 1868
The barrel bands are marked with "U" and the butt plate with "U.S.", as standard with Springfield Armory produced weapons. There is a little remaining of the inspection cartouche on the butt stock, just behind the receiver on the left side. Wood stock is solid, though it has been sanded down in areas to remove dents over the years. As these were shipboard weapons, they were more exposed to harmful chloride corrosion, which is evident to some extent throughout the rifle, including the bore, which is mostly dark.
History of the Springfield M.1870 Remington—Navy
During the U.S. Civil War, Joseph Rider experimented with several breech loading weapon designs. In 1865, he was issued the first patent for what would evolve into the Remington rolling block action. The Remingtons continued to invest in Rider's work, and met with Ordnance Department officials in the hope of interesting them in this new design. The U.S. Navy Ordnance Department became interested in the design, and purchased several different models of rifles from 1867 through 1869. Field trials of these various rifles yielded mostly positive results.
In 1869, the Navy Bureau of Ordnance tested many different weapons, and settled on the .50 caliber Remington rolling block for use by both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marines. Navy rifles were to be produced with bright barrels, and Marine barrels were to be browned.
Ten thousand were produced at Springfield Arsenal under contract, but subsequently were ALL rejected because the rear sight was too close to the chamber, and were deemed unsafe to fire. Fortunately these 10,000 units were immediately purchased by old to Poultney and Trimble of Baltimore, who exported them to France for use in the Franco/Prussian War.
The sale of the defective rifles enabled enough funds to be recovered that the Navy Ordnance Department later ordered 12,000 model 1870 Type II rifles, which were just a minor improvement to the model 1870 and included changes such as the correction of the location of the rear sight
Our example of from the second production and comes fully marked and is in nicely matured condition and is still in fine working order. Survivors are hard to find today, ready to display.
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