EXCELLENT US MODEL 1873 ORDNANCE ENTRENCHING TOOL

$550.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 169-806

The “Ordnance Entrenching Tool,” or “Ordnance Infantry Entrenching Tool,” was intended to be a competitor with the trowel bayonet for adoption by the army, which was trying to adapt its equipment to different environments and to changing tactical doctrines as the age of the short-range muzzle-loader gave way to longer range and more rapid fire weapons, leading to the increased use of improvised field works and rifle pits. Although usually designated the Model 1873, design of the entrenching tool was not actually finalized until March 1874, when 10,000 were ordered to be produced at Springfield, and the design for the scabbard was not finally approved and adopted until March 1875.

This is an excellent example. The wide steel blade, with one edge turned at a right angle for scraping hard soil, has a good surface and edges, and retains its bright finish with just mild age toning. The iron socket and hardwood handle are likewise excellent, with the “US” stamp in the wood crisp and shape, the iron showing bright with some scattered thin gray spots, and the wood bright, with good finish, and no cracks or chips.

The scabbard, corrugated tin covered with russet leather, shows great finish and color, and has a sharp “US” stamp on the obverse at upper right. The brass throat is in place, as is the iron carrying ring, attached to the throat by an iron staple. The russet leather has tight seams, and shows only some minor, thin age stains with no substantial discoloring, and some marks on the reverse from the impression of the carrying ring, but no flaking, and just one, tiny wear spot on the very tip of obverse. The brass through has some minor age stains. The iron staple and ring show as gray.

This is a superior example. Most show up with substantially stained leather, darkened or sharpened blades, or damaged handles. The pattern outlasted the trowel bayonet, production of which ceased in 1874, and was only officially replaced by redesignation of the 1880 knife as an entrenching tool in the early 1890s, though it is reportedly still spotted in occasional, later photographs of some national guard troops, etc.  [sr] [ph:m]

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