Originally featured in Points West magazine in Winter 2010
Rarity can be defined in terms of quantity or quality. Something found infrequently, or scarce numerically, is said to be rare. An object that is unusually fine is also said to be rare. This Springfield 1875 Officer’s Model Rifle is rare from both these perspectives. Only 477 of the model were made. This particular rifle is of a special type made in 1885; only a hundred of this model were produced.
Special features include excellent stock checkering; fancy scroll engraving on the lockplate, hammer, breechblock, receiver, barrel band, buttplate, and trigger guard; a single-set trigger; and special sights, with gold globe front and tang-mounted folding rear aperture sights.
The Officer’s Model Rifle was not issued, but was sold to U.S. Army officers for their personal sporting use. Outstanding hunting was one of the advantages of service in the American West, and this firearm provided the officers with a quality sporting rifle chambered for the standard military cartridge. This is a 125-year-old gun that is truly “rare” in every sense of the word.
Springfield 1875 Officer’s Model rifle. Gift of Olin Corporation, Winchester Arms Collection. 1988.8.1041