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Thread: Another M1872 Cavalry Saber Question

  1. #1
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    Another M1872 Cavalry Saber Question

    In 1872 the Army adopted a new, lighter cavalry officer’s saber, the M1872. Although adopted in 1872, Springfield did not really begin production until 1876 in which year the Armory produced 102 of the total 106 M1872 sabers made. These were made available for direct sale to Army officers. The primary customers for swords produced at Springfield were regular Army officers; militia officers usually obtained their swords through private purchase from commercial outlets.

    In 1880 the M1872 was replaced by a slightly lighter saber, the M1872/80 field officer and cavalry saber. It was intended for use not only by cavalry officers, but by all mounted officers other than light artillery. The most obvious visual difference between the two models is that the M1872 had a stopped fuller, whereas the M1872/80 had an unstopped fuller. Here are photos, the M1872 above, the M1872/80 below.

    Name:  M1872 Cav Springfield 1 comp.jpg
Views: 80
Size:  20.6 KBName:  M1872 Cav Springfield 2 comp.jpg
Views: 85
Size:  44.0 KB
    Name:  m1872 1880 Springfield Cav 1.jpg
Views: 83
Size:  28.1 KBName:  m1872 1880 Springfield Cav Hilt comp.jpg
Views: 83
Size:  48.7 KB

    My question is, did Ames, Horstmann, or any other private commercial firm produce M1872 cavalry sabers? One would expect private makers would have quickly entered the market, but although commercially-made M1872/80 field officer and cavalry sabers are very common, I don’t believe I have ever seen the heavier M1872 variant made by anyone other than Springfield. If commercial firms did not make M1872s,however,, what sword did militia cavalry officers use in the 1870s? Some may have obtained Springfield swords, but with a total production of only 106 total sabers, this obviously was not enough to supply not only regular Army cavalry officers, but also all the cavalry officers in the various State militias. This would seem to suggest that militia cavalry officers continued to carry the old M1860 sabers into the 1880s when commercial versions of the new M1872/80 became available.

    What do you all think? Has anyone seen a non-Springfield M1872 heavy variant? What did militia cavalry officers wear in the 1870s?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Another M1872 Cavalry Saber Question

    In 1872 the Army adopted a new, lighter cavalry officer’s saber, the M1872. Although adopted in 1872, Springfield did not really begin production until 1876 in which year the Armory produced 102 of the total 106 M1872 sabers made. These were made available for direct sale to Army officers. The primary customers for swords produced at Springfield were regular Army officers; militia officers usually obtained their swords through private purchase from commercial outlets.

    In 1880 the M1872 was replaced by a slightly lighter saber, the M1872/80 field officer and cavalry saber. It was intended for use not only by cavalry officers, but by all mounted officers other than light artillery. The most obvious visual difference between the two models is that the M1872 had a stopped fuller, whereas the M1872/80 had an unstopped fuller. Here are photos, the M1872 above, the M1872/80 below.

    Name:  M1872 Cav Springfield 1c comp.jpg
Views: 82
Size:  47.3 KB Name:  M1872 Cav Springfield 2 comp.jpg
Views: 85
Size:  44.0 KB
    Name:  m1872 1880 Springfield Cav 1.jpg
Views: 83
Size:  28.1 KBName:  m1872 1880 Springfield Cav Hilt comp.jpg
Views: 83
Size:  48.7 KB

    My question is, did Ames, Horstmann, or any other private commercial firm produce M1872 cavalry sabers? One would expect private makers would have quickly entered the market, but although commercially-made M1872/80 field officer and cavalry sabers are very common, I don’t believe I have ever seen the heavier M1872 variant made by anyone other than Springfield. If commercial firms did not make M1872s,however,, what sword did militia cavalry officers use in the 1870s? Some may have obtained Springfield swords, but with a total production of only 106 total sabers, this obviously was not enough to supply not only regular Army cavalry officers, but also all the cavalry officers in the various State militias. This would seem to suggest that militia cavalry officers continued to carry the old M1860 sabers into the 1880s when commercial versions of the new M1872/80 became available.

    What do you all think? Has anyone seen a non-Springfield M1872 heavy variant? What did militia cavalry officers wear in the 1870s?

  3. #3
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    I seem to be having problems with the edit function. I tried to edit the below thread to make the first sword photo larger, but instead when saved I got a duplicate post which included the new photo but not the other three from the original post. No idea what I did wrong. Sorry.

  4. #4
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    Maybe a moderator can consolidate your efforts.

  5. #5
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    I merged these two threads previously but that was seemingly undone. Perhaps the merged topics went away with the missing threads.

    At any rate, they are now merged once again. I have no idea where the missing threads went.

    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...ber-Threads-Go
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  6. #6
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    Horstmann produced a saber that I think was a commercial attempt at the M1872. It's uncommon, but not really rare. It combines the Horstmann short M1840 Cavalry Officer's blade with the M1872 furniture. And I say "M1872" furniture because it is slightly larger than the SA M1880 furniture and has the "fat rim" on the pommel of the SA M1872 furniture...
    Motivated buyer of US Cavalry sabers.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Scott View Post
    Horstmann produced a saber that I think was a commercial attempt at the M1872. It's uncommon, but not really rare. It combines the Horstmann short M1840 Cavalry Officer's blade with the M1872 furniture. And I say "M1872" furniture because it is slightly larger than the SA M1880 furniture and has the "fat rim" on the pommel of the SA M1872 furniture...
    Sean, thanks for the input. I am not familiar with the Horstmann saber to which you're referring. Do you have a photo or a link to a photo of one? I'd really like to see it.

    Dick

  8. #8
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    Motivated buyer of US Cavalry sabers.

  9. #9
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    Sean, thanks. I think I may have seen photos of these before. At the time I dismissed them as composites, with M1880 hilts mated to surplus Horstmann M1840 blades. Rethinking it now, however, you may well be right, especially if the hilts are, as you note,1872-size, not the smaller M1880-size. No one would have had extra M1872 hilts to use to build composites.

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