U.S. 1870 PATTERN RIFLE SLING, WATERVLIET ARSENAL

$275.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 2020-1189

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This is a good condition 1870 pattern U.S. rifle sling for the army’s .45-70 trapdoor rifles of the Indian Wars. These rifles were shorter than Civil War rifle muskets but used swivels on the triggerguard and upper band, necessitating a longer sling for actual field use. The initial solution was to join together two Civil War gun slings, but that supply eventually ran out and new single-piece slings like this were ordered.

This one is regulation, measures 66-inches overall (including the hook,) and bears a faint Watervliet Arsenal stamp. On one end a brass wire hook is secured by small studs and folded over leather stitched down along the side. A standing loop is stitched to the other end, through which the hook was fed to engage holes in the sling for adjustment. The two sliding loops are missing, but still show up on the loose occasionally.

The sling is solid, but does show crackling, some spots of wear and some finish loss from use and flexing. A couple of the holes are slightly out of round, showing the hook was in them and the sling was actually mounted on a rifle at some point. This is a good example of the regulation U.S. army sling used in the Indian Wars until the 1886 and 1887 patterns were introduced and would complete a .45-70 Springfield rifle as used by the army in the west.  [jet]

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