This is one of those firearms with a lot of speculation and little firm documentation that I can find. For sure they came from the Springfield Armory around 1869 but from there you will have to draw your own conclusions. The following are some excerpts I have run across.
"Right after the Civil War Springfield Armory made eight (8) single shot 50/70 trapdoor pistols for US Cavalry officers for use in the Indian Wars. These guns were originally cavalry carbines that the factory modified the stocks, barrel, sights, etc and turned them into pistols.”
“Brainchild of Commanding General of the Army William Tecumseh Sherman 1869”.
From James Julia Auctions;
“EXTREMELY RARE MODEL 1869 SPRINGFIELD BREECH LOADING PISTOL. Cal. 50-70. Extraordinarily rare with less than 50 having been produced at Springfield Armory in 1869. These pistols were produced at the direction of the Ordnance Board to develop a large war pistol for the Cavalry. Springfield Armory built these pistols on Model 1868 Trapdoor actions with 9″ tapered rnd bbls and barleycorn shaped front sights. They utilized standard breech blocks which were stamped with a small “69” and standard “1863” dated lockplates & hammers. A standard 2-pc carbine trigger guard was utilized with a bent tang and brass butt cap with integral brass back strap. The sgl bbl band is secured with a bottom mounted spring keeper. Pistol is mounted in a nicely figured 1-pc walnut stock with curved smooth grip and raised side panels. This exact pistol, identified by SN is pictured as the bottom plate on p. 257 of The Wm. M. Locke Collection book”.
From the Springfield museum
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