Wild West

TAKING STOCK OF THE SPRINGFIELD

The U.S. Army’s adoption of the Model 1873 “Trapdoor” Springfield carbine as the standard cavalry firearm (based on the recommendation of an ordnance board presided over by Brigadier General Alfred H. Terry) was the culmination of its experiments with a variety of breechloading weapons since the Civil War. The single-shot carbine fired a .45-caliber, internally primed center-fire copper cartridge that could not be reloaded. A 55-grain black powder charge propelled the 405-grain lead bullet. The gun weighed just shy of 7 pounds.

Long before the controversy that followed the June 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn, the

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