Research Help

This page is for researchers looking for assistance with their projects. If you have information that you feel is valuable to one of the authors on this page, please contact the person directly.

Authors, please forward your research requests to A. Frasca at

  1. Am seeking information concerning the number and placement of eyelets in early .45 caliber drab Mills belts especially those with coloured edges (red, blue, yellow). Would be glad to hear from anyone with an early Mills belt who would be willing to examine it and describe the number and position of eyelets. Contributors will be acknowledged in the work. Would also love to hear from anyone with a yellow edged example for sale. Dusan Farrington "

  2. I am interested in any information and/or photos of cartridge boxes, reloading tools and kits, tool kits for rifles, carbines and pistols or anything made at Frankford Arsenal in support of the US Military. Contact Jack Lewis Jr.

  3. In connection with my ongoing research I have come upon a group of interesting devices invented by Col. J.C. Kelton, Asst. Adj. Gen., USA, which, according to his own account in a report and Cavalry Journal article were intended to speed up and make safer carbine and revolver firing and relaoding on horseback. He describes specially adapted carbine slings to carry the carbine muzzle up and "locked"into this position, these carbine slings were adapted to carry revolver ammunition in a series of "pistol packs", whilst wooden "detachable magazines" or " packs" of ten cartridges were produced for attachment to the carbine or rifle "under the receiver...The locking device for attaching the magazines to the rifle and the belt is strong, effective, simple and economical ...It is probably not necessary to use more than two screws to fasten the locking-plate to the magazine...". All very fascinating but neither the report nor the article contain illustrations! Thus I have no idea what any of these devices looks like - and would very much like to know, with a view to including them in my work. I do know, from a precis of Annual Reports, that Appendix 1 of the Report of the Chief of Ordnance for FY 1888 reports fabrication of the following : "8 carbine slings "Kelton's Device", 24 metal bound packs "Kelton's", 24 paper bound packs "Kelton's", 200 pistol-pack boxes "Kelton's", but do not know if the Report, or any Springfield Armory documents contain illustrations and any further information pertaining to these interesting devices.
    Do you have any knowledge of the devices and could you direct me to a source of illustrations? I shall be most grateful for any help or suggestions you are able to provide and shall, of course, acknowledge the debt in published work. Contact Dusan Farrington at .

  4. I'm continuing to look for photos of armed individuals (military, civilian, Indian) in the trans-Mississippi west for another book Lou Garavaglia and I are writing on firearms in the American west. I'll pay for reproduction costs and certainly will give photo credit. We're particularly interested in scenes from the 1860s to the l890s involving weapons other than Colt SAAs and M1873 Winchesters--the lesser seen arms such as Peabody, Ballard, British Bulldogs,Merwin & Hulbert, and even S&W and Remington and foreign made guns. Collectors with frontier-associated firearms (even dugups from western sites) that they'd like to see illustrated can contact me with details. We're also gathering photos for a book on Civil War firearms and are seeking images of armed US or CS soldiers and sailors either individuals posed in a studio setting or scenes in the field. We also can use copoies of CW enlistment posters in which specific firearms are offered as incentives. Thanks! Chuck Worman (

  5. "Bill Chachula is doing a study on trapdoor carbines manufactured in 1877 and 1878. Estimated serial number range is between 74,000 and 105,000. If you have one of these carbines, or one within 1,000 or 2,000 numbers of this range, Bill would appreciate your contacting him at and he will email or send you a survey form. If you want to contact Bill by phone his number is 714-667-7837 evenings or weekends. Bill is located on the west coast in the Pacific Time Zone. Thank you for your help."

    Survey of Springfield Model 1877 "Trapdoor" Carbines Serial Number: ________________
    Cartouche: No _____ Yes _____ Date: _______
    Front Sight Blade: Steel: _____ Brass _____
    Rear Sight: Model 1873 with 1873 leaf & slide _____
    Model 1873 base with 1877 leaf & slide ____
    _ Model 1877 Type 1_____ 2_____ 3_____
    Model 1879 Type 1_____ 2_____ 3_____ 4_____ 5_____6_____
    Model 1884 _____
    "P" Proof in Front of the Receiver: Small Letter _____
    Large Letter _____
    Letter, front of receiver, barrel center: No _____
    Yes _____ Letter _____
    Receiver: Narrow _____ Wide _____
    Receiver Gas Ports: Shallow _____ Deep _____
    Breechblock: High Arch _____ Low Arch _____
    Breechblock Marking: With Eagle & Arrows _____
    W/out Eagle & Arrows _____
    Lock Plate: With 1873 Date _____ W/out 1873 Date _____
    Butt Plate: Keyhole Cut _____ Oval Cut _____
    Butt Plate Marking: Single U.S. _____
    Double U.S., 2nd strike above screw hole ____
    Center Cleaning Rod Hole: Shallow, 8 7/16 (8/4) inches _____
    Deep, 10 7/16 (10.4) inches _____
    Stock: Short Comb _____ Long Comb _____

    Please send the completed survey to: Wm Chachula 2423 N Poplar St. Santa Ana, CA 92706 Email to:

    References: "The .45-70 Springfield", Frasca & Hill "TrapCollectors Only, The .45-70 Springfield", Poyer & Riesch door Springfield", H.D. Waite & B.D. Ernst "For

  6. Dusan Farrington is writing a new book on the arms and accoutrements of the U.S. Cavalry - 1866-1902. He needs help procuring the following items: (1) First Model Winchester Hotchkiss US Martial Carbine. NRA very good or better condition preferred. Must have correct martial inspection markings and clear cartouche. (2) a M1872 Cavalry Officers Sabre made at Springfield, for comparison with other uniform supply house examples used in a study of officer arms and equipment, (3) a Krag M1899 carbine in NRA V.G. or better with correct sight/handguard and clear cartouche,(4) and because it is very difficult to find the guns, photographs of a M1892 Colt .38 D.A. and M1894 (both separately and together for comparison) and (5) finally any photographs of cavalry - particularly showing arms and accoutrements 1866- 1902. In the last two cases I would naturally pay all expenses incident in photographing, processing, reproducing and postage, proper credit will also be given anyone kind enough to undertake such work in the finished book. Contact:

  7. William K. Emerson is researching the history of US Army shooting awards. He is seeking photographs of rifles awarded by the Army between 1880 and 1902. This material is needed for a new book on the Army Shooting Program. If you have any related information, please contact Mr. Emerson at: William K. Emerson, 124 Kensington Drive, Madison, Alabama, 35758.

  8. Joseph Volpendesta is researching the history of Milan and Freeman Bull in order to publish an article about the marksmen. If you have any related materials, please contact Joe at 347-249-5362. Address: 3405 Eva Ave., Park City, IL 60085

  9. Navy & Marine Trapdoor Photographs. John McAulay is looking for photographs between 1870 and 1900 of U.S. Navy or U.S. Marines armed with trapdoor Springfield rifles. If anyone has photographs or knows of photographs that John can use, please contact him at: 6528 Riverridge Court, Post Office Box 1452 Caseville, MI 48725

  10. Dick Hosmer has been maintaining a trapdoor carbine registry. He wants data on carbines with serial numbers less than 50,000. He has recorded over 600 carbines and is always looking for more. Contact him through the collector listing in this web site. ( When submitting serial numbers, please give all the digits. Don't submit carbines with several numbers missing several last digits such as 237xx.

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