MODEL 1870 SPRINGFIELD TRIAL CARBINE: The
Model 1870 Springfield Carbine is the crown jewel of the
early Indian Wars Cavalry carbines, and is often missing
from all but the most advanced collections due to
limited production and a low survival rate. Produced
for the 1870 Trials, it is generally accepted that
approximately 341 of these scarce carbines were
manufactured, with the vast majority having been issued
to the regiments serving on the Western frontier and
subjected to heavy use.
Well pedigreed, this carbine was purchased years ago
from the Mike Yeck Collection, was then owned by R.
Stephen Dorsey and held in his personal collection, and
is the exact Model 1870 Carbine shown on page 164 of
Dorsey’s Guns of the Western Indian Wars.
This Model 1870 Springfield Carbine presents very well
and has all of the correct components.
The correct high arch
breech block is properly marked 1870 and US with the
eagle head and crossed arrows, and the lock plate is
dated 1863. All of these markings to include the eagle
and the “US SPRINGFIELD” on the lock plate are distinct
and fully legible.
The correct carbine rear
sight is present and still retains much of its original
black finish, and the front sight has the correct brass
The bore is excellent - overall
bright with very strong rifling and no pitting or
The breech block and
receiver have the proper black oil quenched finish. The
action of the lock and the function of the breech block
are both crisp and tight, functioning “like new”.
The metal surfaces of the
barrel, barrel band, butt plate and trigger group are
overall very smooth, and have the proper bright finish,
with a pleasing aged mottling. The only pitting notable
is a slight ring of pitting around the exterior of the
The overall smooth stock features a rich color, with
only minimal signs of wear and few handling marks. The
“ESA” cartouche is definitely present on the sling bar
flat, but is no longer completely legible. Likewise the
boxed “L” firing proof below the rear trigger guard tang
is present. There are no cracks or repairs, and other
than the few dings on the right butt stock flat that can
be seen in the photographs below, this stock is in very
nice condition – far better than is usually found on
these early frontier used carbines.
This is a very nice Model 1870 Trial Carbine that would
never have to be upgraded. It is a very attractive
specimen that retains all the unique features and one
that will be a significant addition to your Indian War