Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Peabody action was developed by Henry O. Peabody from Boston, Massachusetts, and was first patented on July 22, 1862 and tested in 1864.

While the Peabody was not perfected in time for the American Civil War, a few were entered in the trials of 1864 with favorable reports. Peabody carbines and rifles were made by the Providence Tool Company, Providence, Rhode Island from 1866–1871. 

Rifles and carbines entered production after the end of the war. The total production was, 112,000 for all models.

The majority of Peabody's production was for foreign contracts, they were adopted by the militaries of Canada, Switzerland, France, Romania, Mexico and Spain during the later 1860s. In the US some state militia purchased the weapon, Connecticut 2000 rifles, Massachusetts 2,941 rifles and South Carolina 350 carbines

Available calibers were: .45 Peabody rimfire; .45-70 Government; .50 rimfire; 50-70; .433 Spanish; 10.4 mm rimfire Swiss.
Barrel length carbine 20", rifle 33". Finish: Receiver case hardened, barrel blued, iron mountings, walnut stock.

His basic design was based upon a pivoting breechblock, the front of which pivoted down on a transverse pin fixed through both the upper rear of the breechblock and the upper rear of the box-like receiver. As the breechblock was lowered, it exposed the barrel chamber and permitted the insertion of a cartridge. The rifle was fired by means of a musket-style outside hammer whose lockwork was inletted into the buttstock behind the receiver.

In operation, the hammer was set on halfcock, and the loading lever/trigger guard was pulled down to expose the chamber so that a cartridge could be slid down the grooved top of the breechblock into the chamber. As the lever was pulled up, an upward extension of the lever pushed the breechblock into battery and acted as a prop to keep it closed. After firing when the breechblock was lowered, it activated an extractor that pulled the spent cartridge case from the chamber, throwing it clear of the receiver.

All in all, it was a strong, simple, rugged, and foolproof design well suited for military service. 

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