SCARCE WHITNEY-PHOENIX BREECH LOADING SHOTGUN WITH “ROSEBUD INDIAN AGENCY”, “US INDIAN POLICE” STAMPINGS AND PERIOD TACK DECORATION.
inv # 01-19762
Cal. 12 Ga.
It is estimated that fewer than 5,000 Phoenix shotguns were made and they were produced in all gauges down to 22 and with barrels up to 32″ in length. Barrels shorter than 26″ are known. This example with carbine length 22″ barrel is marked with patent dates & “PHOENIX CAL 12” on top of barrel. Usual pivoting block action has deep filed in sighting groove through top of receiver ring, and is unmarked except for serial number on bottom tang. These guns were produced between 1867 and 1881.
This example has correct period “US” and Indian police stamps and is tack decorated in a pattern observed on other Indian police issued firearms. Left side of buttstock with double line of tacks around steel buttplate has tacked cross at center. It is stamped with a distinctive US mark with a star between initials in front of cross. Behind cross is stamped “U. S.” in diamond, “ROSEBUD INDIAN AGENCY”, “ARMS-AXXX”, “1889”(?) in small cartouche and large rectangular stamp seen on other similar weapons “UNITED STATES” “INDIAN POLICE” “1889”. Right side of stock continues double row of tacks at rear and has large stamp in center “ROSEBUD” “INDIAN AGENCY”. A line of tacks are also on each side of original forend. The Indian agencies were very poorly funded and acquired weapons and equipment wherever they could. There was no “official” issue of weapons. Other known agency guns include percussion muzzle loaders and South African “Zulu” carbines.