POTD: Springfield Armory U.S. Chaffee-Reese Rifle – Big Bore Oops!
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have a rifle that sounded great in theory, but was actually awful in practice. This is the Chaffee-Reese designed by Ruben Chaffee and General James Reese. These two men had the wonderful idea of making a tube-fed rifle in which the nose of the bullet would not be able to contact the primer. This is an excellent idea in the early 1880s because the world really did not have reliable big bore repeating rifles. Their tube-fed mechanism was a rear internal stock style of tube magazine. Think a Spencer rifle or Remington Nylon 66. The unique mechanism inside the magazine tube that separated the rounds just enough so that they would not touch was prone to getting dirty, fouled up, and would very quickly stop working. Besides that the mechanism was hard to work and fragile. The US military would very quickly decide to sell off what it had in terms of these rifles as surplus.
“One of only 753 made.”
Lot 2384: Springfield Armory U.S. Chaffee-Reese Rifle 45-70. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved February 3, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/1026/2384/springfield-armory-us-chaffeereese-rifle-4570.