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Scarce Springfield Model 1896 Krag Cavalry Carbine c. 1897

Product Description

Scarce Springfield Model 1896 Krag Cavalry Carbine, c. 1897

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This is a rare, excellent and original Springfield Armory Model 1896 Carbine that was manufactured in September 1897.

The Springfield Model 1896 Carbine began as the Prototype Model 1892 Carbine. The 1892 Prototype was initially submitted to the Cavalry Drill Regulations Board at Fort Riley, Kansas on June 14, 1894. Based upon feedback from various sources, not least of whom was Chief of Ordnance General Flagler, Springfield Armory submitted two model carbines in May 1895 for evaluation. The first model was identical to the 1892 Prototype with the long forend stock. The second carbine incorporated most of General Flagler’s original comments along with some breech mechanism improvements. The difference in weight between the two models was also significant with the older 1892 version weighing 8.5 pounds and the new model weighing in at 7.7 pounds. This new carbine was eventually approved for general production and issue and would become the Model 1896 Carbine.

Tooling up at Springfield Armory for the new Model 1896 Carbine began in June 1895. All carbines produced through the end of December 1895 were marked on the receiver “1895,” and all carbines manufactured in January and early February 1896 were marked “1896.” Thereafter, all carbines produced were stamped “MODEL 1896,” pursuant to an order by Chief of Ordnance General Flagler in February 1896.

Initially, all Model 1896 Carbines produced were just placed in inventory and it was not until March 1896 that they began issuing the carbines to Cavalry units. The transition from the .45-70 Trapdoor Carbines to the new Krag Carbines was done quickly with all Cavalry troops having made the switch by May 1896. After this initial production run of 1896 Carbines, Springfield Armory would devote the beginning of each Fiscal Year to carbine production with the balance taken up with rifle production. The earliest Model 1896 Carbine known, which is found in Joe Poyer’s book “The American Krag Rifle and Carbine,” is serial number 24,709.

The principal variations of the Model 1896 Carbine are primarily the receiver markings, with are “1895,” “1896,” or “Model 1896” like this carbine. The Model 1896 was made famous during the Spanish American War and the Philippine Insurrection when it was carried by such storied units as the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment (Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders), the Indian Scouts at Fort Huachuca and several other regular U.S. Cavalry and even infantry units. Springfield ultimately recommended that the Model 1896 Carbine be withdrawn from active service in July 1901. Only 19,133 Model 1896 Carbines were manufactured at Springfield and many were configured after the Spanish American War with different rear sights and handguards, so surviving examples in their original configuration are now quite rare.

This particular Model 1896 Carbine is serial number 73610, and is marked on the left side of the receiver “MODEL 1896,” so it bears the last marking type. This carbine was manufactured in September 1897. The Model 1896 Carbine was manufactured in three serial number groups. The first group was 21,500 through 39,500. The second group was 61,000 through 75,000, which is the group from which this particular carbine came. The third and last group was 82,472 through 87,498.

The Receiver Side Plate is worn and exhibits a pewter patina throughout. The exposed portion of the Receiver has a mixed blue and pewter patina with the majority of the original blue finish remaining on the protected, lower portion of the receiver. The Receiver is marked on the left side “MODEL 1896,” followed by “U.S./SPRINGFIELD,” followed by the serial number “73610.” On the right front nose of the receiver and adjacent nose of the gate are numerous serif letter and number stamps.

The Magazine Gate exhibits a generally worn pewter patina and it still has a strong spring. The Follower and Carrier are in excellent condition and still shows the high polish from when it was originally manufactured. The Trigger is the correct and original Type 2 Trigger that now has a plum patina towards the bottom with the majority of the original blued finish remaining towards the top. The Magazine Cutoff is the correct Type 3 with five grooves.

The Trigger Guard exhibits a mixed plum and pewter patina. Both original Trigger Guard Screws are present and both now exhibit a pewter patina.

The original Carbine Barrel is the correct Type 1 Carbine Barrel with rounded muzzle crown. The barrel exhibits a mixed plum and pewter patina with small areas of old surface corrosion. The bore is still shiny with strong rifling. The breech of the barrel has a partial inspection number “76” which can be seen from the interior of the receiver.

The original Krag Front Sight Stud is brazed to the barrel and it retains considerable original finish. The Butt Plate is the correct 2nd Type with curved toe and butt trap door. The trap door has the original assembly numbers “21” stamped on the inside. Overall, the butt plate is generally a pewter finish. Both original butt plate screws are present.

The Bolt is the original condition Type 3 with gas hole. The bolt face is generally a pewter patina. The Cocking Piece is the correct Type 3 with locking notch on top and beveled lug on the bottom. The Cocking Piece still retains considerable original finish on the barrel portion. The Firing Pin Spring has 35 coils and remains in the white. The striker still has traces of the original bluing in the recess and is correctly in the white on the outside. The Type 4 Bolt Sleeve has a mottled, pewter patina. The Extractor shows some original oil tempered “fire” blued finish on top and on the extractor end. The Type 2 Safety is also exhibits a plum patina and it works correctly in the safe and ready positions.

The Rear Sight is a very rare and original Model 1896 Carbine Type 1 Adjustable Rear Sight. The sight is graduated on the left side of the base to 600 yards. The base itself exhibits largely a pewter and plum patina. The base is still tightly secured to the barrel. The right side of the base has the serif “C” stamp, for carbine, and has 50 yard distance striations. The Elevation Leaf is marked on the face for ranges up to 2,000 yards and has the serif “C” stamp above the 1,900 mark for carbine. The original elevation slide is present with center notch. The slide screw is the original convex type with unmarred single slot. The right side of the Slide has the original and early small diameter .35” binding screw.

The Stock is a scarce and original Model 1896 2nd Type Carbine Stock with the short forearm, long nose, flared bolt handle recess and carbine sling swivel inlet on the left side. The Stock has only slight dings and scratches. There are two period “MV” hand carvings on either side of the butt, which are probably the initials of the soldier to which this carbine was issued. The butt compartment has the correct oiler channel, which was introduced in carbine production around serial number 69,000.

The left side stock flat has the original clipped-box “JSA/1897” cartouche, which would be correct for this Carbine as issued, although it is very faded. The “JSA” initials are for J. S. Adams, who was an inspector at Springfield Armory at the time. The bottom of the stock wrist also has a faint but observable circle, script “P” proof mark. The original Cavalry Sling Swivel and Ring are present and the sling swivel plate is now generally in the white.

This carbine has the original Model 1896 Carbine Handguard present. The handguard retains its original oil finish and has the correct recessed rivets. The original Carbine Lower Band, Model 1896, Type 2, with the raised sight protector and deep sight groove is present and exhibits a mixed pewter and plum patina throughout with a few dings and evidence of old corrosion in several places. The original Barrel Band Spring is also present and shows the majority of its original muted blued finish.

This Model 1896 Carbine would have undoubtedly been issued to a cavalry unit forming in 1898 for shipment to Cuba at the beginning of the Spanish American War. It is also entirely possible that this carbine was later sent to the Philippines during the fight against the Moros and other insurrectionists. In fact, this carbine serial number is in the range of those issued to the 12th United States Cavalry Regiment, which was issued Model 1896 Carbines in 1901 prior to their service in the Philippines, and it is also in the serial number grouping of those issued just before the 74,000 range carbines issued to the famous Rough Riders, the 1st United States Voluntary Cavalry Regiment under Teddy Roosevelt.

This Model 1896 Carbine is an antique and it functions perfectly.

This carbine is an antique and can be shipped to anyone and will come shipped in a new Plano rifle hard case. The carbine will also come with an historic writeup and a CD containing all of the photos in the listing. I accept Visa and MasterCard and charge NO FEES. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like additional photos posted.


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