Model 1870

Model 1870 Rifles and Carbines

Model 1870 Carbine

Fall 2013

Model 1870
NRA Very Good =$1,200
NRA Excellent = $2,500
Model 1870
NRA Very Good = $5,000
NRA Excellent = $13,000

Model 1870 Rifle

Overall Length52"
Barrel Length (in bore)32.6"
Cleaning Rod Length35 9/16",no cannelures
Muzzle Diameter.774"
Rifling3 Lands and Grooves
Caliber.50 CF .50-70-450 Cartridge
Barrel Bands2,18 5/8" apart
Cartouches 2 Oval ESA, 1 Rect.
Breech Block 1870 or Model 1870/Eagle/Arrows/U.S.
Firing ProofBoxed Script L
Lock PlateDated 1862-1864
V/P/Eagle/p stampNone
Serial NumberNone
Rear SightM70, Shallow V
Front Sight1 1/4" from muzzle, 5/16" long

Model 1870 rifles were produced at two different periods of time. The first production run of 1,000 rifles was from October 1870, to March 1871. These arms feature the Model 1870 short receiver with the rear sight nearly against the receiver. Also, these arms have Model 1868 ramrods and improved rear sights.

The second group of arms (about 10,000) were produced between October 1871, and June 1872. These arms have their rear sight about 1/2" from the receiver and feature a double shouldered ramrod. All Model 1870 arms from the second production run have breech blocks which are designated "Model 1870" and have a long and high arch on the underside. Rifles from the first production run of 1,000 have breech blocks which are thick at the hinge, missing the word "Model" in the stamping and have the shorter arch like the Model 1868.

All Model 1870 rifles have a thumb piece which is rounded on the back corner.

Model 1870 Carbine

Model 1870 Carbine production was limited to 341 guns which were made between April and June 1871. Possibly another twenty carbines were made between October and December 1871.

All Model 1870 carbines have breech blocks that are thinned at the hinge and have high and long arches on the underside. The first 341 carbine breech blocks are not stamped with the word "Model." However, the last 20 produced have the word "Model" on the breech block. Carbines and rifles are chambered for the .50-70-450 cartridge. The front sight of the carbine is brass and held with a pin to the base. The carbine stocks were made new and only have one cartouche,"ESA." The firing proof is a script "L" in a small rectangle at the base of the trigger guard plate. Model 1870 carbines were not serial numbered. Possibly a set of numbers on the underside near the barrel/receiver interface may exist. To see them will require removing the action from the stock. The two identical numbers are stamped along the junction.

For additional photographs, descriptions and specifications see:
The .45-70 Springfield-Book II-1865-1893.

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