Author Topic: Infantry Equipment 1874: Ordnance Memoranda No. 19  (Read 952 times)

Offline LongWalker

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Infantry Equipment 1874: Ordnance Memoranda No. 19
« on: July 20, 2018, 08:29:54 pm »
Any of y'all seen this one?  I picked up a copy today because it has the best illustrations and explanation of the function of Metcalfe's cartridge block, rifle attachment, etc that I've ever encountered (a guy could go a fair distance towards re-creating one from the illustrations, though without more dimensional detail it wouldn't be correct). 

Delving through the book there is some interesting detail on alternative packs that were considered, cartridge belts and boxes, the apparent first official adoption of foot lockers, first issue of meat cans, and the pro- and con- arguments about the adoption of the trowel bayonet. 

Kinda neat. 

The seller had the next in the series, 1874 Cavalry, but I've never been a horseman so I passed.  Lots of books dealing with WWI and later, a few bayonet books, a few knife books.  Nothing else I wanted to read badly enough to buy!


The copy I picked up is almost certainly a reprint but not marked as such; the Calvary book was marked as a reprint. 

No luck finding books on the .50-70.
In my book a pioneer is a man who turned all the grass upside down, strung bob-wire over the dust that was left, poisoned the water, cut down the trees, killed the Indian who owned the land and called it progress.  Charles M. Russell

Offline Niederlander

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Re: Infantry Equipment 1874: Ordnance Memoranda No. 19
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2018, 09:10:35 pm »
What specifically are you looking for on the .50-70?  The "For Collectors Only" volume on the Springfield Armory .50 caliber rifles and carbines has a lot of really good information.  The Ordnance Memoranda sounds like a good reference source.
"There go those Nebraskans, and all hell couldn't stop them!"

Offline LongWalker

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Re: Infantry Equipment 1874: Ordnance Memoranda No. 19
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2018, 07:23:56 am »
There was so much going on in ammunition development between 1865-1885 that I just find fascinating.  I'd like to find a well-done reference on the military and civilian development of the .50-70 cartridge. I've also been trying to find more information on the trials that lead to the adoption of the Boxer primer over Berdan primers and systems like the Benet internal primer.  

This book is a good reference for accouterments and equipment of the soldier, but not so much on the ammo developments that interest me.  I just got it to read about the Metcalfe setup; I'd read a bit about it before but never gotten into the details.  It seems it would make the rifle less-easily managed, but it is an interesting development.  Many of the other cartridge carrying options considered by the Board are equally interesting, but I can see why they weren't trialed or adopted.  The part of me that grew up with muzzleloaders see them as logical outgrowths of that whole school of thought: from our perspective today, a thimble belt is a logical way to carry cartridges for a single shot rifle, but that wasn't so clear to folks who's whole world-view grew out of flintlock smoothbore muskets and percussion rifled muskets.

As for the rifles, one of these days I'll manage to swap into a .50-70 trapdoor parts gun that I can re--build into a sporter with a clear conscience.  I think it would make a great rifle for deer hunting in the river bottoms.  
« Last Edit: July 21, 2018, 07:30:32 am by LongWalker »
In my book a pioneer is a man who turned all the grass upside down, strung bob-wire over the dust that was left, poisoned the water, cut down the trees, killed the Indian who owned the land and called it progress.  Charles M. Russell

Online Drydock

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Re: Infantry Equipment 1874: Ordnance Memoranda No. 19
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2018, 09:44:26 am »
http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,60616.0.html

If you have not seen it, you might find this an entertaining read.  (Not so much the gun itself as the fun I've had with the .50-70)
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Online Drydock

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Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline Niederlander

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Re: Infantry Equipment 1874: Ordnance Memoranda No. 19
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2018, 08:41:23 pm »
That is an excellent book.  I refer to it all the time.
"There go those Nebraskans, and all hell couldn't stop them!"

Offline Pitspitr

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Re: Infantry Equipment 1874: Ordnance Memoranda No. 19
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2018, 07:07:28 am »
I have memo 19. I got it from S&S.  I agree, it is really good for that kind of info.
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Offline LongWalker

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Re: Infantry Equipment 1874: Ordnance Memoranda No. 19
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2018, 08:31:29 am »
Do you have this one?     http://www.oupress.com/ECommerce/Book/Detail/1185/the%20u%20s%20%20army%20in%20the%20west%20%201870%201880
I don't have that one--I remember seeing it, and thinking it looked like an excellent overview but lacked details on the areas I'm interested in.  My interests are in the changing technology in arms and ammunition development, and why different approaches were or were not adopted.  Clothing and other equipment, notsomuch. 
In my book a pioneer is a man who turned all the grass upside down, strung bob-wire over the dust that was left, poisoned the water, cut down the trees, killed the Indian who owned the land and called it progress.  Charles M. Russell

Offline Blair

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Re: Infantry Equipment 1874: Ordnance Memoranda No. 19
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2018, 09:26:18 am »
LongWalker,

"Round Ball to Rim Fire" by Dean S. Thomas, might help you.
A 3 Vol. set, part 2 is about Federal Breechloading Carbines and Rifles. While these are about Civil War Small Arms Ammo Development, they may very well set the stage for the time period you are interested in.
A Google search will help you find out more.
My best,
 Blair
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