Indian Scouts Guns and Holster Rig
Custer Era 1876
This Custer Era Indian Scouts Guns and Holster Rig is a beautiful outfit showing use and carry, but still a 100% complete with no major damage or losses. This is exactly what an Indian Scout would have worn and used while in the employment of the U.S. Cavalry during the Indian Wars. Whoever owned this indian scouts guns and holster rig was very proud and took excellent care of it. It’s a beautiful grouping of Indian Scout fighting arms from the historical Wild West era.
An early Smith & Wesson Model 3, Russian First Model Single Action (also known as the Old, Old Model Russian) shipped about March 13, 1873, per factory letter – included. Serial #17128, 44 S & W Russian C.F. caliber, with 6” barrel. The gun is in overall good original condition with a lanyard ring on the butt and wood grips that are numbered to another gun but fit perfectly. The mechanics are good and the bore is good. The finish has turned to a dark brown patina overall with some case color showing on the hammer. All parts are original with the original steel front sight that has not been altered. It fits into the holster perfectly. This S&W handgun was a popular gun of the Old West and is only about 100 numbers off a documented Cole Younger gun.
The beaded holster is an original Northern Plains Indian “Scout” style. Its small beads are attached to the buckskin holster with sinew thread, showing American flags on the flap and Indian designs on the pouch. The entire buckskin holster has been overlaid onto a slab of rawhide. It was probably originally backed with trade cloth which was normal for the time. The overlay was most likely done in the early 1900’s when the trade cloth wore out or crumbled. A new belt strap, of the same rawhide, was also added and the entire holster was sewn with rawhide stitching. The overlay was excellently accomplished. The bead work shows no losses and the original buckskin shows darkening from age. The S & W Revolver fits perfectly. The holster flap is held down by rawhide thongs – new holes were punched for this at the time of the overlay restoration.
The bead work is beautifully accomplished and appears to be a Lakota Sioux style, although I am not an authority on Indian artifacts and my research found nothing identical to this piece. The overall condition of the holster and bead work, with its restoration, is very good to fine – considering its age. A great piece of antique gun leather not seen very often.
An early pattern 1876 Prairie Belt. The type issued to the U.S. Cavalry and referred to as a “scouting belt”. These belts would accommodate 45-70 rifle/carbine cartridges and had no provision for sabers or holsters. Most, as this one does, show typical field modifications of shortening at the buckle and tongue. The belt is 2 ½” wide x 36” long (size 32). It’s in good condition showing some crazing and fraying on the cartridge loops.
The rifle is a U.S. marked Springfield Model 1873 Trapdoor Rifle cut down to carbine size. Its serial number is 67836, indicating 1876 manufactory. Its Indian decorated and shows rough use, but in much better condition than most Indian guns. The condition is consistent with the rest of the outfit. The mechanics are good, markings good (a little light on the side plate) and the bore is fair, showing lots of use but no pitting. The front sight is crudely mounted to the barrel and the rear sight, although complete, shows some breakage and looseness. The wood shows minor damage from use, but is still solid. The cleaning rod slot has been filled with a piece of wood (good job) and shows many years of use. All the tacks are still present and the butt plate removed and replaced with a piece of leather tacked in its place. Indians typically removed these butt plates and used them as hide scrappers.
Clarks Antiques Firearms – Indian Scouts Guns and Holster Rig – Price $9,500.00
If you like this, you may also like our Historic Colorado Rangers Outfit