.50-70 caliber, 28" round barrel, no barrel proofs, serial number 16574 on receiver and barrel. 1869 dated breechblock, '63 dated lockplate. The following work has been done by Springfield Armory to sporterize this model by thinning the hammer and centering it on the breechblock; sidelock screws have been rounded; stock with checkered wrist and fore end; well-detailed around lock mortise and on the reverse side; silver-plated fancy triggerguard and nose cap, double-set trigger, fly on tumbler; white metal tip poured in place and portholes on the inside of stock identical to that of later Springfield officer's rifles; rear band was modified with and eye and eyelet placed on bottom of stock between triggerguard and buttplate for sling. Remnants of three military cartouches on the left flat of stock. All internal lock parts are sub-inspected with a later gold shield behind tang with engraved initials TED.
This rifle was the subject of two investigations in the 1960s, one by the late Graham Burnside (1966); the other by the late Archer Jackson (1967). Mr. Burnside's (1966) article maintains that this rifle was found in Iowa, where Grenville Dodge retired. The Springfield records list a Sporting rifle ordered by General Dodge which cost $70.00 with a request to ship on 3-17-1870. Burnside believed this to be that sporting rifle that was ordered from Springfield Arsenal by General Dodge.
In Archer Jackson's talk to the American Society of Arms Collectors in the fall of 1967, he stated that he could not prove this was General Dodge's rifle. However he concluded that it was definitely a Springfield Sporter, since parts of this rifle were identical to Springfield Sporters in his collection. Dr. Vance Haynes has examined this rifle and agrees that it is identical to the few other existing special order Springfield Sporters made from 1866-1875 (personal communication to J. Lewis). Included with this lot is a copy of the Springfield Special Order Register.
Estate of Art Bedner
Condition: Barrel retains ca 90% of the original blue finish. Receiver and breech block have a nice mottled grey-to-brown look. Hammer has traces of case colors in the protected areas blending to a nice soft brown. Checkering is very sharp and crisp. Wood has a nice dark red feathered look with nice opened grain. This is an outstanding rifle.