A monthly artifact highlight from Grant-Kohrs Ranch.

Leather rifle scabbard.
Scabbard, leather. William H. McMonies & Company, Portland, Oregon. ca.1916.

NPS Photo

This rifle scabbard belonged to Jack Peters, a ranch hand that worked on the ranch during the time of Con Warren. While scabbards were certainly used to hold rifles during the open range era, those scabbards often held the gun known as the, "Everyman's Gun," the Winchester Model 1873. This particular scabbard was made much later - sometime just prior to or during the First World War. Interestingly enough, the military scabbards used during the Indian Wars and those used up to and after World War I had something in common: the McClellan saddle. The saddle was designed by George B. McClellan, a career officer in the U.S. Army, in 1859. The McClellan saddle was used by cavalrymen for many years, and while the rifle those troopers carried changed, their riding equipment remained much the same (in fact, the saddle is used to this day by the U.S. Army!)
This rifle scabbard was known as the M1904, or Model 1904, and would have been paired with the M1904 incarnation of the McClellan saddle. The scabbard was designed the carry the Springfield M1903 rifle, the standard issue American rifle used during World War I. Near the mouth of the scabbard is a brass pin with the crossed sabers of the cavalry, as well as a "14 A 72," marking. These markings designate the scabbard had been issued to Troop A, 14th Cavalry, Trooper 72. On the reverse of the scabbard is imprinted, "WHMcMCo," which stands for William H. McMonies & Company, one of the many contractors who produced leather items (such as holsters and scabbards,) for the U.S. government prior to and during World War I. It is unknown how Jack Peters came to be in possession of this item, but there were many of these scabbards produced and many of them sold as surplus items.

Last updated: March 5, 2016

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