Springfield Model 1870 Remington-Navy

Springfield Model 1870 Remington-Navy

Springfield Model 1870
Type Military Rifle
Place of origin  USA
Service history
Used by  USA
Production history
Designer Originally from Remington Arms Company
Manufacturer Springfield Armory
Produced 1870
Number built 10000
Caliber .50/70 Government
Action Rolling Block, Breechloading

The Springfield Rolling Block U.S. Navy Rifle was a shipboard small arm for use by the United States Navy, employing the Remington Arms Company rolling block design, and manufactured under a royalty agreement with Remington.


During the U.S. Civil War, Joseph Rider experimented with several breech loading weapon designs. In 1865, he was issued the first patent for what would evolve into the Remington rolling block action.[1] The Remingtons continued to invest in Rider's work, and met with Ordnance Department officials in the hope of interesting them in this new design. The U.S. Navy Ordnance Department became interested in the design, and purchased several different models of rifles from 1867 through 1869. Field trials of these various rifles yielded mostly positive results.[2][3]

In 1869, the Navy Bureau of Ordnance tested many different weapons, and settled on the .50 caliber Remington Rolling Block for use by both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marines. Navy rifles were to be produced with bright barrels, and Marine barrels were to be browned.[4]


The U.S. Navy decided to order 10,000 rolling block rifles. These were to be manufactured at Springfield Armory. After lengthy discussions, it was decided that Springfield Armory would make the complete rifle, and would pay Remington and Sons a $1.00 royalty for all rifles produced.[5]

After the rifles were produced, Navy inspectors realized that the rear sights had been positioned incorrectly, and were dangerously close to the chamber, making the weapon unsafe for use. All 10,000 rifles were rejected, and were subsequently sold to Poultney and Trimble of Baltimore. These weapons were then exported to France for use during the Franco-Prussian War.[6]

The sale of the defective rifles enabled enough funds to be recovered that the Navy Ordnance Department later ordered 12,000 Model 1870 Type II rifles, which were just a minor improvement to the Model 1870 and included changes such as the correction of the location of the rear sight.

See also