Springfield Armory Model 1873 Entrenching Tool in rare undamaged/not cleaned/repaired condition; Indian Wars era. Original leather-over-metal scabbard with an early and intact leather belt loop is included – VERY rare this nice and complete.
This awkward tool/knife was intended for digging shallow trenches/scraping up small protective mounds during skirmishes; a sharp edge could be utilized for cutting and slicing. M1873 was designed to be used by the US Cavalry, hence the large scabbard ring for the saddle mount. 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 13-1/4” / 33.6 cm overall; the blade is about 8-1/4” / 21 cm long and 3-1/2” / 9.2 cm wide; cutting edge is very sharp still; a small area near the tip with a couple of edge nicks is 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 cracks on the the wood – VERY rare this nice. This M1873 tool is in great overall shape, considering its age; a few minor surface rust spots on the blade are noted for accuracy.
Original US-stamped scabbard is excellent, considering the age; a few abrasion spots on the leather along the ridges – pretty typical for the type. Leather over brass interior construction; the stitching is intact. Brass throat with copper rivets is near-excellent without the typical dings or nicks; the front side is stamped with letters US and 4S 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. All in all 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 Springfield Armory 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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