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I have recently come into possession of a custom made 1870 USN 50-70 carbine that apparently was fabricated on a 1870 USN rifle frame at Springfield Armory. On the bottom of the buttstock there is a brass plaque insert which reads,
"George" - From the Boys - Springfield Pattern Room - Jan 1, 1876.

I was wondering if anyone would have any information as to whether there was a George who worked in the Pattern Room at Remington or for some reason was awarded
this rifle back in 1876.

If necessary, I could forward photos if you like.


Marvin Rosser

Sat Feb 01, 2003 7:55 pm
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Marvin, that sounds like a very special carbine. I know little about them, or the Springfield Armory, however.

You're unlikely to get much help on this forum, I've been trying for several weeks to stir up some life here, and haven't gotten any responces. I'm tempted to try outtight flame trolling, even though that's not my style.
May I suggest that you write to American Rifleman Magazine? (NRA rag), their help column people are very knowledgable, and your Rolling block carbine sounds special enough to get some attention form them.
If you're not an NRA member, it sould give you incentive to join, they put out an excellent magazine.

You'll undoubtedly get more help there than you will here. :roll:

Thu Feb 06, 2003 5:32 pm
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Post Springfield Model 1870 carbine?
While the RSA doesn't specialize in Springfield Armory products, perhaps I can help because I am a cross-over collector. The plaque would seem to indicate that the carbine was made in the Spgfld Armory shops as a comemorative gift...highly unusual for a govt. facility. What are the EXACT markings on the frame: is it "USN" or just "US"?
If you could send a few photos to me I'll try to help:


Wed Jul 16, 2003 9:56 pm
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Post Reply to Marvin re: Springfield-Remington Carbine...
Dear Marvin:

You do, indeed, have a special carbine. As you may be aware, the National Armory at Springfield, Massachusetts manufactured 10,000 Remington pattern rolling block rifles in .50-70 Govt for the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance in 1870-71. It was stated that the rear sight was placed too near the breech and was "unsafe", so the entire lot of 10,000 new rifles were sold to the Baltimore firm of Poultney & Trimble (who fronted for E. Remington & Sons in arming the French during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-'71).

A bitter Board of Inquiry looked into this matter, stating that General A.B. Dyer, Chief of Ordnance, was in colusion with the Remingtons to supply firearms to France... a problem since the U.S. Government was supposed to be neutral during the conflict.

Poultney & Trimble paid the Ordnance Department enough for the 10,000 rifles for the Armory to make 14,000 new rolling block rifles (with the "correct" sight placement) for the U.S. Navy.

The Navy got 4,000 more rifles than they originally paid for, and General Dyer's workmen at Springfield got thousands of hours of work.

After this long-winded history.... a few words about your carbine. About ten years ago I had the honor of spending a week at the Springfield Armory examining and photographing the dozens of production and prototype rolling blocks in the collection (managed by the U.S. Park Service).

Among the arms were several carbines made from cut-down M1870 Navy rifles (such as yours). Some had the original rifle barrels shortened (the muzzle diameters were excessive) and others had new carbine profile barrels. The "carbines" at Springfield, and yours, are honest guns. Not gunsmith conversions.

The Pattern Room you mentioned was (as Ed Hull stated) at the National Armory in Springfield, not at E. Remington & Son's Armory in Ilion, New York. Remington licensed the U.S. Government to make these rifles... and 100% of the work was done in Springfield, with a royalty paid the Remingtons.

I would welcome photographs of the presentation plate. They sound appropriate for my upcoming book on "Remington Rolling Block Rifles, Carbines & Shotguns". Please send to me at:

Glad to help,

Roy Marcot
Remington Historian

Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:12 pm
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