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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was stuck around the house doing chores and running errands around town today. There were two gunshows close by and I wasn't able to hit either one.
Anyway, I thought I would show an Army marksmanship award that I found in an antique store last year. This one is massive and very high quality.
I think these awards date to the 1880's - 1890's with the larger medals (like this one) being the earlier ones.

Too bad this one isn't named.

Thanks for looking!

Kim





 

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What an interesting old Medal!

Bronze I suppose.


Is the Rifle - or, Carbine - Percussion? Or, a 'Trapdoor' Springfield?
 

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Trapdoor - the side hammer is plainly visible & I magnified it 600% & there seems a little lump where the trap hinge is. Now we need to figure out whether it's a .50-70 or .45-70. Maybe an expert on uniform helmets, etc., can figure out a possible date range.

My G-father's local militia company was armed with the .50-70 during the Spanish American war in Fayette Co., Texas. Must have been a well organized patriotic outfit. He was in late '30s, Justice of the Peace at the time, formerly Deputy Sheriff, and was quartermaster of the militia company. They did local field activities, said his rifle was accurate enuf he shot bird's heads off to avoid ruining the meat. (a bird here in OK is a quail, might have been a dove in So. Tx). My uncle at the same time, local militia here in Carter Co, OK, was armed with a Bannerman .45-70 Springfield, which I inherited. A 'Bannerman' is a gun that Bannerman's assembled from their huge supplies of surplus gov't parts but with lockplates without markings - whether unfinished or Bannerman-made is debate-able. I've heard that local militias were common during the SA war, un-official in so far as the U.S. gov't was concerned, maybe state sponsored, maybe local, but how funded I dunno.

Uncle's .45-70 came to me with bayonet, loop type cartridge belt about half full of ammo dated 1890, and a full length canvas sheath or scabbard for the gun, nothing actual GI as far as I know. He died in 1932 when I was 8 years old & I remember his showing it all to me & my aunt gave it to me when I was about 15. I tried shooting the old ammo & it fired OK but half a case followed a bullet up the barrel half way and got stuck there. Bannerman's had a tool for 50 cents, gov't surplus that fit in the barrel, machined to fit out into the three lands, screwed on the end of the ramrod. I still couldn't get the case out. Later 1960s at Long Island Antique Gn Collector's Assn. someone brought in a case of 24 .45-70 new replacement barrels found after long storage, selling them for $20 apiece. I bought one and had a new gun again. Eventually I sold the gun for $600 and later the removed barrel for $75 with the case still in it.

Sorry if my diatribe is over-klll as a reply in this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
rhmc24, I enjoyed your story very much and thanks for your comments!

I do think the image on the medal is a Springfield 45-70. The dress and helmet looks similar to what was worn by our Army for a brief period of time in the 1880's.
Out of a perceived concern about soldier marksmanship in general, I believe the Army set up more formal and Army sanctioned shooting contests in the 1880's in an effort to drive better marksmanship among its soldiers. Awards or prizes such as this is an example of what was given to some the top shooters. I think they also gave out medals in silver and maybe gold for the top shooters. I also think they awarded rifles as prizes too.

Kim
 
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