U.S. Peabody M1866/1867 Switzerland Contract

For Sale from: Whidbey Caliber
( FFL) |
Positive feedback: 100% View |
| 3 Completed Sales

U.S. Peabody M1866/1867 Switzerland Contract

For Sale from: Whidbey Caliber |
Positive feedback: 100% View |
| 3 Completed Sales

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This gun is in very good condition, especially considering that it is close to 150 years in age. The wood stock has the lovely brown red color of aged walnut, though it does have some dents and wear, as expected on an old service rifle. The metalwork has a lovely gray patina, with few spots of peppering. The rifle is complete.  The action functions well, and is tight and mechanically sound.

History of the Peabody Rifle:

The name Henry O. Peabody ought to be well known by all fans of military firearms- but it isn't. As has been the case with so many inventive geniuses over the ages, Peabody's name and work have been overshadowed by others who took what he designed, changed it, and attached their own monikers to it. As with writers/artists, the lot of the inventor/designer is not always an easy one.

In 1862 Peabody patented a breech-loading rifle but was unable to perfect it in time to play a major role in the American Civil War (1). His basic design was based upon a pivoting breechblock, the front of which pivoted down on a transverse pin fixed through both the upper rear of the breechblock and the upper rear of the box-like receiver. As the breechblock was lowered, it exposed the barrel chamber and permitted the insertion of a cartridge. The rifle was fired by means of a musket-style outside hammer whose lockwork was inletted into the buttstock behind the receiver.

In operation, the hammer was set on halfcock, and the loading lever/trigger guard was pulled down to expose the chamber so that a cartridge could be slid down the grooved top of the breechblock into the chamber. As the lever was pulled up, an upward extension of the lever pushed the breechblock into battery and acted as a prop to keep it closed. When pulled down, the prop engaged a hooked portion of the block's undersurface and lowered it. As the breechblock was lowered, it activated an extractor that pulled the spent cartridge case from the chamber, throwing it clear of the receiver.

All in all, it was a strong, simple, rugged, and foolproof design eminently suited for military service.

When the American Civil War erupted, the Providence Tool Company obtained a contract to manufacture rifled muskets for the U.S. Army and eventually delivered 60,000 units. During the war, the company purchased Peabody's patents, and while samples of a carbine were submitted to the U.S. Army, no decision was made before the war ended. However, the basic soundness of the design led the company to promote it.

In 1865 the company entered the Peabody rifles and carbines in Army trials, and after extensive tests of durability, accuracy, weather resistance, and serviceability, the board declared the Peabody the winner. Unfortunately, with postwar financial constraints, the Army decided to adopt a rifle and carbine developed at Springfield Arsenal that had the advantage of being produced by modifying the vast number of rifled muskets already on hand.

The company continued to promote the Peabody in the U.S., and while it was unable to interest the U.S. Army, It was able to interest various different foreign governments, which is why they were manufactured in calibers such as .43 Spanish and 10.4mm Swiss Rimfire. The majority of Peabody's production was for foreign contracts, they were adopted by the militaries of Canada (3,000 pieces), Switzerland (15,000), France (33,000) Romania, Mexico and Spain during the later 1860s. In the United States, Connecticut purchased c. 1871–72, 2,000 Spanish Model rifles, Massachusetts 2,941 rifles and South Carolina purchased c. 1877 350 carbines.

Condition: Used
Brand: Providence Tool Company
Model: Peabody M1866/1867
Item #: 944203851
Location: WA

Trades Accepted: No

Barrel Length: 33.00
Capacity: 1
Grip: Wood
Frame: Blued

Shipping Notes: We ship Mon-Wed. We take great pride in our packaging. Rifle will come bubble wrapped, in a softcase, in a custom-heavy duty box, filled with packing material. We charge a flat rate $75 shipping fee.

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SELLER: Whidbey Caliber (FFL Dealer)
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