POTD: Take Your Pick! – Providence Tool Company Peabody Rifle
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have the famous Providence Tool Company Peabody Rifle! These were introduced right in the middle of the Civil War (the one in the picture is a later Swiss model) and were more or less a get-rich-quick idea by Mr. Peabody. During the American Civil War, folks like Spencer and Sharps were made very wealthy due to the government’s rather frivolous adoption, purchasing, and fielding random small arms. As a result, it was a logistics nightmare due to all the different metallic cartridges. This particular Peabody Rifle is a Swiss contract one that was obviously heavily used because it had a barrel swap in its life. The way to tell this is because of the “Model 1867/77” designation. these particular ones were retrofitted with left over Vetterli barrels after the Peabody ones were worn out.
“Manufactured from 1866 to 1871 just a little too late for use in the American Civil War, many Peabody rifles and carbines were exported for foreign military use during the decade that followed it. This example was one of the rifles rebarrelled by the Swiss. The barrel has a bayonet stud/blade front sight, an adjustable notch rear sight, distinctive 3 1/8 inch knoxform, “1017” and a “+/M” proofmark on the upper left flat and a “Z” proofmark on the left flat. The left side of the action has the five line Peabody’s patent and Providence Tool Co. address marking. Many of the components have small “E” markings. The nearly full length walnut forearm and straight wrist stock have several markings including “+/M” stamp on the right side of the butt and “1017” near the lower tang and breech. It also has “5a/17″ painted on the right side of the butt.”
Lot 1178: Providence Tool Company Peabody Rifle 41 swiss – Providence Tool Company Peabody Swiss Model 1867/77 Military Rifle. (n.d.). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved July 14, 2022, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/65/1178/providence-tool-company-peabody.