Indian Wars era Springfield M1880 Hunting Knife, Watervliet Arsenal scabbard; rare type in great condition


Rare Indian Wars era Springfield M1880 Hunting Knife brass guard type with original WATERVLIET ARSENAL scabbard included. Springfield Arsenal manufactured only about 11,000, this type is VERY hard to find in decent condition nowadays.

1 in stock


Indian Wars era Springfield M1880 Hunting Knife, brass guard type with original WATERVLIET ARSENAL scabbard included. Springfield Arsenal manufactured only about 11,000 of these knives, this type is VERY hard to find in decent condition nowadays.

This somewhat awkward knife was designed as “all-in-one” tool for skinning game, digging shallow trenches, clearing brush and, when everything else failed, as the last-resort self-defense weapon. The knife had a large cumbersome blade but its sharp edge could be utilized as a traditional hunting companion – dressing big game, as well as cutting and slicing. The M1880 was issued with the M1881 and the M1888 Rod Bayonet Rifles which were also manufactured at the Springfield Armory. The first group of 1,002 serial-numbered M1880s knives was manufactured in 1881. This 1st-issue type had iron guards; brass was used in later issues which were serial-numbered as well. All-in-all just about 11,000 (records vary) were made from 1881 to 1885. The M1880 was used heavily during the Indian Wars and in the Western Frontier outposts. M1880 blades are usually pitted, re-sharpened and corroded; original turned wood handles were prone to damage in the field and were frequently replaced. The survival rate of these cumbersome knives is not that great; only a fraction of the original-issue knives survived to the present day.

This brass-guard model specimen is in better-than-usual condition for the type as most of M1880 knives were used in the field as intended. Original turned wood handle is intact with no typical chips, cracks, or damage to the pommel. No damage to the blade, the brass guard is intact as well; it’s stamped U.S. / SPRINGFIELD on one side, serial number 2617 on the other. The stamps are sharp and are fully readable – rare as such.

The knife is about s 13-1/2” / 34.2 cm overall; the blade is about 8-3/8” / 21.2 cm long and 2” / 5 cm wide. This knife had seen some use in the field; the edge has been re-sharpened; a couple of small edge nicks are noted for accuracy. No chop marks or dings on the blade spine; the tip is intact. Original “type 2” scabbard with a belt hook was manufactured by WATERVLIET ARSENAL. The scabbard is in decent shape overall; all parts are intact. Brass throat and the belt hook haven’t been cleaned; nice original golden-honey patina throughout. Overall, only about 11,000 M1880s of all types were made, making it a very scarce and though-after Americana collectible. This Springfield M1880 Hunting Knife and its original scabbard are in excellent overall condition. This type is VERY hard-to-find this nice; don’t miss your chance to add it to your collection!

This original Springfield M1880 Hunting Knife 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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International shipping for this item will be $75 and up to most countries on our “ship-to” list.

Additional information

Weight 3.1 lbs

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