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Late 1880s Cavalryman's rig

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hello all


thought it could be nice showing finally what I had in my mind since much time, just yesterday I've assembled a US Cavalryman's original rig made up of a Pattern 1885 'Cavalry' cartridge belt, + holster Mod. 1881 (Pattern #3), + S&W revolver 'Schofield' 'Second Model'.

** Revolver itself was the toughest item to get, yes it has been re-blued at some point but it's in perfect condition and mechanically a gem - the most I could do in getting a US-contracted martial revolver. In this instance a Second Model specimen, contracted a total of 3,000 on March 15th 1875. Left-hand grip has '1876', also there are the two cartouches w/ initials of both inspectors C. Woodman and J. Rockwell Jr.


** Cartridge belt is the so-called Cavalry's Pattern 1885, a Mills-type, integrally woven belt w/ 13 eyelets placed at intervals longitudinally at mid-width. Here one of the 20,000 from the Third Contract of very late 1887, and produced from late January to August 1888. This subvariant sports 45 loops (not 50) for 45/70 ammos.


** Holster Model 1881 Pattern #3, one of about 4,500 made from January 1883 to summer 1885. In very good shape very sound and w/ perfect stitchings all over, just leather's finish is a bit crazed but overall quite good - made from the new with this larger loop for the cavalryman's belt (not modified from Patterns #1 or #2). Can accept both the Schofield or the Colt SAA 1873, in the case of the S&W revolver it uses the left-placed closure hole in the flap - the other hole is meant for securing the Colt that does have a slightly smaller frame.

Not a few efforts, and much awaiting as well, but the display isn't so bad. THX for watching.



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The rear belt loop of #3 variation of Model 1881 holster yes does allow this Mills-type belt (ALL those belts in their variations were 3" wide) to pass through, but only if loops are empty. In this instance it means to sacrifice at least 6 cartridges out of 45 - belt slides barely through the loop with some effort, and loops flatten of course.

Only with the arrival of #4 variation of Model 1881 holster (from June 1890) loops was large enough to pass over a cartridge 100% full with ammos.



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Revolver does work perfectly, with zero tolerances. Snapping of the cylinder backwards, after ejecting cases by means of its star-shaped extractor, is impressive and virtually all does happen in 0.3 - 0.4 seconds.



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As a interesting detail: when Model 1881 holster was designed and first made, it had been conceived expressely for the Schofield revolver - proof is, the first 500 made in April 1881 had just one closure hole punched in the front flap on a precise and convenient spot as to serve comfortably only this revolver. Those are super-rare today, by logics it should be that extremely few are survived.


After wich, 3,500 more of the #1 had two holes punched, total = 4,000 of variation #1. Later 4,500 of the #2 variation were made, then about 10,500 of #3 variation (mine is that variant), and eventually 12,800 of variation #4.



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That’s truly fantastic. Beautiful, congratulations your patience paid off beautifully. That’s the first complete rig I’ve seen not counting books. You should be well pleased. My compliments. Mike


too kind indeed, glad you like them. Thanx very much !!


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Very nice rig, nice schofield , here is a pic of my schofield and rig, second model martial marked, old nickel finish, probably renickeled after military service



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CW_Guy great-looking setup, nickelled Schofield is awesome. That Mod. 1880 Knife I'm still missing, hope someday I''l be able getting one.

Thanx for the pics!! Franco.

Thanks Franco

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hi again,

the very last effort to somehow upgrade the display, further material is not in my plans - but it's OK this way. The 'sacrifice' of a part of loose material in my aeronautical collection has allowed me in getting a couple of needed items.


A specimen of the more correct Pattern 1885 Carbine sling (simplified and lightened from the older Pattern 1861) in used but still good condition, has joined the other pieces. Also, I've greeted a pair of civilian-made gauntlets in the style of the classic Model 1884 (or, Model 1889 virtually identical to the 1884), possibly made well into the 1890s but this should not to detract from the correct timeframe - it's the blouse that does 'lead' the thing, being of the (First Variation) Pattern 1890.

Both items not easy to find and get but I was after them at least since late 2017, more keenly about the sling and somehow less about the gloves. Here some pics, hope they will give justice to the display - nor surprisingly, taking photos at whatever made of dark blue wool isn't granted having decent results.



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