M1867 & M1867/77 Swiss Peabody

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GENERALLY:  The Swiss M1867 Peabody, manufactured by Providence Tool Company in Providence, Rhode Island, was adopted by Switzerland in 1867 during Switzerland’s transition from muzzle loaders, through the interim Milbank-Amsler conversions, while awaiting refinement and adoption of the Swiss Vetterli magazine rifle.   This rifle is an otherwise standard Peabody similar to other Peabodys of the time such as the M1866 Canadian Peabody, fitted with external hammer striking the firing pin which is located in a groove along the right side of the pivoting breach block.  In 1875 the rifles were modified by altering the extractor. In 1877 the Peabodys were re-barreled with Swiss made barrels distinguished by a distinctive eight centimeter octagonal knoxform at the breach end, the breech blocks and firing pins were replaced and the forestock was replaced and/or stamped with a Swiss serial number.  These refurbished rifles are sometimes referred to as M1867/77 Swiss Peabodys.

PHOTO:   The rifle shown above is a M1867/77 Swiss Peabody, with Suiss barrel, Swiss breech block and Swiss serialized forestock.

DISTINGUISHING CHARECTERISTICS:  Peabody military rifles are not always easy to distinguish.  Please check the Peabody and Peabody-Martini page for detailed distinguishing information.  The M1867 Peabody rifle is chambered in .41 Swiss rimfire.  The left side of the receiver carries the Providence Tool Company markings and it, along with the barrel, carry Swiss proof and acceptance marks.  The distinctions between the original M1867 Swiss Peabody and the Swiss converted M1867/77 Swiss Peabody are discussed and can be seen in the pictures below referencing distinguishing M1867 and M1867/77 Swiss Peabody's.

MISC NOTES:  The Peabody was designed by Henry Peabody of Boston, MA, who originally designed and patented the rear-hinged pivoting breach block operated by a trigger guard lever.

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Left side of the Swiss M1867 receiver showing Providence Tool Company markings

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Distinctive eight centimeter octagonal knoxform with Swiss proof, acceptance
marks and Swiss Serial number on the re-barreled M1867/77 Swiss Peabody.
See link below for more details.

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.41 cal M1867/77 Swiss Peabody, top;
.50 cal M1866 Canadian Peabody, bottom.

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Swiss acceptance marks on Swiss sight and Swiss re-barreling (Now known as M1867/77)

M1867 & M1867/77 Swiss Peabody distinguishing characteristics

The rifles are both chambered in .41 Swiss rimfire and both are receiver marked the same.   The most readily apparent distinction between the original M1867 Swiss Peabody and the Swiss converted M1867/77 Swiss Peabody is the re-barreling with a new Swiss made barrel which has distinctive proofs, acceptance marks and serial numbers on the eight centimeter octagonal knoxform at the breach end of the barrel.  This is seen in the following photo:

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In 1875 the rifles were modified by altering the breech block, extractor and firing pin.  These differences are illustrated in the page below from Rudolf Schmidt's Die Handfeuerwaffen, (1875, 1968), table 63.   The newer Swiss model extractor is also shown in the photo below the illustration.

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New M1867/77 extractor, to compliment the new replacement barrel,
breech block and firing pin.

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For comparison's sake, above top:  M1868 Roumanian breech block and firing pin as manufactured by Providence Tool Company. Above bottom:  The M1867/77 Swiss manufactured breech block and firing pin.

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Focus on firing pins:  above top:  M1868 Romanian firing pin as manufactured by Providence Tool Company. Above bottom:  The M1867/77 Swiss manufactured firing pin.

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Above left:  M1868 Romanian breech block manufactured by Providence Tool Company. Above right:  The M1867/77 Swiss manufactured breech block.  Providence Tool Company did not apply serial numbers to their breech blocks.

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Above top:  M1868 Romanian forestock.
Above bottom:  The M1867/77 Swiss serialized and cartouched forestock.

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Above right:  M1868 Romanian muzzle crown and front sight as manufactured
by Providence Tool Company. Above left:  The M1867/77 Swiss manufactured barrel muzzle crown and front sight

Page Revised:  March 29, 1998
Revised September 21, 1999
Revised January 6, 2001
Revised December 30, 2001

Updated: Nov 11, 2021