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MODEL 1885 CARBINE SLING – ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL  – EXCELLENT SPECIMEN:  This is a particularly nice example, having survived in excellent condition, retains the arsenal stamp.  As described in Ordnance Memoranda no. 29, these Model 1885 Carbine Slings succumbed to a variety of forces that resulted in decent specimens being fairly scarce on today’s market.  Manufactured in far fewer numbers than the preceding Model 1855 Carbine Slings, a higher percentage of the Model 1885 Slings that were produced were issued, and eventually used to destruction.   

The sling leather, narrower than that used on the Civil War carbine slings, was more susceptible to use, wear and exposure on the frontier, evidenced by so many of the Model 1885 slings that do survive presenting in poor condition.  And too, the Model 1885 Slings not only saw use with the frontier army in the final years of the Indian Wars, but were continued in service in the tropics of Cuba and the Philippine Islands where the climate accelerated the rate of consumption.  Finally, once they passed into the surplus market and into the hands of companies such as Bannerman’s, many of the surviving specimens fell victim to the demand for metal during both World Wars, and the brass buckles and tips were removed and the leather discarded.    

This Model 1885 Carbine Sling fortunately escaped all of the forces aligned against it and has survived in excellent condition – literally one of the better specimens of this sling that I have seen on the market in some time.   

Full length with the original brass buckle and tip intact, the leather surface has an overall excellent bright, shiny finish with only some minor flexing in isolated points, but no crazing or flaking.  Immediately adjacent to the sling tip is the fully legible “ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL” stamp.  The original brass tip and buckle have a nice, even color and are full form.  The snap swivel is fully functional, has a smooth, bright surface, and bears no markings as is correct.   

This is a particularly nice example to display with your cavalry accoutrement and carbine grouping, and one that would never need to be, nor likely could be, upgraded.  (0468) $1475



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