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Model 1873 Springfield Carbine
Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

Model 1873 Springfield Carbine

Catalog #: 60178M    Accession #: 225158
Credit: Division of Military History & Diplomacy, National Museum of American History


Springfield Armory (Manufacturer)

From 1794 to 1968 the Springfield Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts was a center for manufacturing United States small arms for the military. The armory provided many important technological advances in the art of weaponry. The site of the armory was selected by President George Washington. He chose the site as the most strategic place to build because of its position atop the area's tallest hill. Intruders could be seen from miles away.

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 7.5" H x 45" W x 2.75" D

Physical Description

United States Springfield Carbine M1873, .45 caliber.

General History

The Model 1873 "Trapdoor" is the classic Cavalry carbine of the Old West. The breech block on top of the carbine opened up and flipped forward to load the powerful .45-90-caliber government cartridge. The legendary 7th Cavalry received the first shipment in June 1874 to replace the old Civil War Sharps and Spencer carbines. By 25 June 1876 most of General George Custer’s troops were armed with the Springfield M1873 when they were overrun at the Little Bighorn.


Country: United States
State: Montana
War: Battle of Little Bighorn
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