Indian Wars US Cavalry M1873 Entrenching Tool made by Springfield Armory, original leather-covered brass scabbard. Excellent condition, considering the age. VERY rare this nice and complete.
The M1873 tool was an awkward tool/knife designed to be used by the US Cavalry AND was intended for digging shallow trenches/scraping up small protective mounds during skirmishes. The sharp edge could be utilized for cutting and slicing. It’s considered to be the first personal edged weapon manufactured by the Springfield Armory, aside from the “long” weapons. The M1873 wasn’t popular with the mounted troops – it was just too small of a digging tool and too awkward and impractical as a knife. In a couple of years it was replaced by the more successful M1880 military Hunting Knife. A lot of M1873s were simply discarded; the rest were used as intended. Finding a specimen in practically unused condition is quite difficult these days. Only a couple of thousands of these entrenching tools were manufactured, making it one of the most scarce and though-after Americana collectibles.
This Entrenching Tool is about is 12-7/8” / 32.8 cm overall; the blade is about 8-1/4” / 21.2 cm long and 3-1/2” / 9 cm wide; cutting edge is pretty sharp still; a couple of minor spots of light pitting on the blade are noted for accuracy. The blade has not been cleaned or re-polished and has an attractive original light-gray patina throughout. Lathe-turned wood handle is solid with zero movement; the handle is stamped US at the base. No chips or big cracks on the the wood – VERY rare this nice. This M1873 tool is in great overall shape, considering its age; a couple of contact marks on the handle’s butt are noted for accuracy.
Original US-stamped scabbard is excellent, considering the age; a few minor abrasion spots on the leather along the ridges. Leather over brass interior construction; the stitching is intact – the leather is in much better than average condition for the type. Brass throat with copper rivets is near-excellent without the typical dings or nicks; the front side is stamped with letters US and L1 arsenal acceptance mark near the throat. This is an early type with the leather belt loop instead of the later metal saddle ring; belt loop is a bit dry but intact and still soft & supple – rare this nice and complete. Overall, this M1873 set is well-above the average condition for this type. The M1873 was the first American standard entrenching equipment to be issued to the American troops – a classic Americana and early US militaria collectible. Don’t miss your chance to add this great-looking specimen to your collection!
This original Indian Wars US Cavalry M1873 Entrenching Tool has not been cleaned or tampered with in any way, it is in 100% original “as is” condition; these are the actual photos. I have several American Civil War era fighting knives and daggers, as well as some scarce WW1 and WW2 fighting daggers and trench knives available for sale – please take a look in our Militaria section.
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