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Military Rifles in the Age of Transition
(Non-U.S.) Black Powder, Metallic Cartidge, Military Rifles
1865 to 1890
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M1870 Spanish Peabody (2nd Colonial Model)* (.43 Spanish)
(Fusil Peabody do Ejercito de Ultramer - Spanish Colonial Army)
*I have been unable to confirm this model designation, or that of what I refer to as the, M1868 Spanish Peabody. However, except for caliber and a caliber appropriate breech-block, this rifle is identical to the M1868 Spanish model, hence my inclusion of it here and my terminology for it. Additional information is not only welcome, but actively requested.
GENERALLY: (Like the reference information to the M1868 1st Model Spanish Peabody, my only written sources of information for these rifles are Edward A. Hull's Providence Tool Company Military Arms and John Walter's Rifles of the World.) This is the last model of military Peabody produced by Providence Tool Company (later rifles being all Peabody-Martini models, such as the Turkish Peabody-Martini and the Romanian Peabody-Martini). This rifle is chambered for the .43 Spanish centerfire cartridge and has a spring loaded striker. It is otherwise quite similar to the other Peabody military models. Walter suggests that "Most of the guns (of perhaps 25,000 Fusil Peabody do Ejercito de Ultramer produced) originally chambered the Spencer rimfire cartridge, though some supplied in 1870 are said to have handled the standard 11mm (.43) Spanish Remington cartridge. Hull indicates that there were some 50,000 of these rifles produced, and that 10,000 were delivered to Spain, 8,500 to Mexico and 33,000 of a 39,000 unit contract delivered to France. Like its stablemates, this model is a conventional back-action Peabody with conventional furniture. It is very similar to the other military model Peabodys, the M1866 Canadian, M1867 Swiss, M1868 Roumanian and the M1868 1st Model Spanish.
PHOTOS: The rifle shown is what I believe to be a M1870 Spanish Peabody (Fusil Peabody do Ejercito de Ultramer - Spanish Colonial Army model).
DISTINGUISHING CHARECTERISTICS: Walter states that the original model was chambered for the .56-50 Spencer Rimfire (13mmR) cartridge and that "... some supplied in 1870 are said to have handled the standard 11mm (.43) Spanish Remington cartridge." Hull refers to this rifle exclusively as the "Spanish Model." The above rifle is chambered in .43 Spanish, has a spring driven striker return and a late model rear sight. For more detail in distinguishing the various models of military Peabodys, be sure to see the Peabody and Peabody-Martinis page for substantial information of this and the other similar military Peabody rifles.
Business end of the .43 Spanish model Peabody.
The .43 Spanish model Peabody; like all military Peabodys from this view.
The .43 Spanish model Peabody is unique among non-US issued Peabodys in that, being chambered for the .43 cartridge, the dished cut-out of the top of the breech block is substantially longer and deeper than other military Peabodys to accomodate the length of the .43 cartridge. Although this feature was also shared by the US Militia Peabodys (such as the Connecticut and Massachusets models) which were also originally chamberd in .43 Spanish.
Also, with regard to the specific rifle shown above, the proof marks above the front of the receiver and matching on the barrel between receiver and sight, the "Crown over V" (consisiting of a V topped by a "Charlemagne" crown with rectanguloid panels with arched tops) is a German proof mark showing a weapon in storage at the time of the German adoption of its Proof Act, in 1891. The presence of this German mark on this particular Peabody suggests that it was one of those sent to France for the Franco-Prussian War, and that it subsequently was captured, surrendered, or confiscated by the victorious Prussian forces. (with thanks to Seymour Priestley for the update). For more detailed close-ups, see the detailed pics at the Peabodys and Peabody-Martinis page.
In the below photo, the top example is the M1868 Spanish model (?) in 13mm rimfire
and the lower photo is the .43 Spanish centerfire M1870 Spanish model.
page built February 18, 2000
Revised December 30, 2001
Updated: Nov 7, 2021