MODEL 1866 SPRINGFIELD RIFLE COMBINATION TOOL:
An early Indian War Period US Army Model 1866
Combination Tool issued to the troops to maintain and
service the Model 1866 Springfield Trapdoor .50/70
caliber Rifle. As documented on page 164 of Gun
Tools, Their History and Identification, by Shaffer,
Rutledge, and Dorsey, these tools were modified from the
Model 1855 Rifled Musket Tool by milling the cone wrench
into the unique two-pronged spanner wrench to
accommodate the spanner nut on one end of the hinge pin
screw and the spanner nut retaining the spring loaded
firing pin on the Model 1866 Rifle.
The Model 1866 “2nd Allin Conversion” Rifle
served the frontier troops very well at such famous
actions as the Wagon Box Fight, the Hayfield and
Beecher’s Island. The Model 1866 Combination Tool was
not produced in great numbers to begin with and as the
Model 1868 Rifle was adopted, many of the Model 1866
tools were modified further by removing the two-pronged
screw driver blade as it was no longer required.
Further, the prongs on the spanner wrench are often
found broken on these tools as the wrench was improperly
used in attempting to remove the special rear sight
screw – a task this tool was never intended for.
The survival rate of the standard Model 1866 Tool is
relatively low, particularly in this condition, and this
specimen would make a key addition to your Indian War
Collection. This Model 1866 Tool shows no use, much of
the original arsenal blue is present, and the spanner
wrench prongs are intact.