VERY RARE BULLARD SOLID FRAME MILITARY STYLE SINGLE SHOT SRC.
James Herbert Bullard (1842-1914) patented a wide range of inventions. His first repeating rifle patent was granted Aug. 16, 1881. Bullard Repeating Arms Company produced an estimated 10,000-12,000 rifles 1883-1891. These include large & small frame repeaters & both solid frame & takedown interchangeable single shots. The solid frame single shots appeared in 1885. Single shot production was w/in S# range 3570-4076. Most of the first 175 were solid frames. Only a few solid frames were built w/ higher S#’s after the detachable interchangeable bbl. models were introduced in 1887. The majority of single shot solid frame models were in target rifle or gallery configuration.
As early as 1885, the Bullard company sought to secure military orders that would stabilize it’s production. The 1887 catalog lists military models as being available. “Bullard Firearms” by G. Scott Jamieson states “Letters to museums around the world have failed to turn up evidence of a military sale, but if they did secure one it must have been an insignificant one, thus marking Bullard military examples the rarest Bullards of all, with the possible exception of engraved models”. It is known that several experimental military models were produced. These include 2 Hindley pattern repeating muskets that were submitted to the US Ordnance Department in 1888, 1 of these is known to be S# 2529. Also identified is S# 2521, a military style repeating SRC. This carbine has the same buttplate w/ movable lid to expose the cleaning rod holes as found on the single shot carbine in this description. It is further known that single shot solid frame muskets & solid frame carbines were produced. Identified single shots include: S# 3527, a musket w/ non factory cut down forend; S# 3575, a musket w/ 32″ bbl. & S# 3528 a carbine w/ 26″ bbl., cal. 45-70. All of these have the round top receiver that were primarily reserved for military use. This carbine S# 3745 was only recently discovered, this rare carbine is new to the market.
DESCRIPTION: Bbl. 24″ rnd. carbine style w/ blade front sight & graduated leaf military rear sight. Bottom of bbl has matching serial number & cal. marking, last 3 digits of S# appear to be stamped over an earlier marking. The solid frame rounded top lever operated action has the martial style hammer w/ a saddle ring & bar on left side. The front receiver ring has caliber marking “45/70” followed by “BULLARD REPEATING ARMS COMPANY / SPRINGFIELD, MASS. U.S.A. PAT. JULY 6, 1886”. Case colored hammer & lever. Many parts including the lever are interchangeable w/ the large frame Bullard repeating rifles. The 3/4 length walnut carbine forearm measures 18″ & inserts over a 1″ cylindrical hangar in front of the receiver & is held by a single iron band. Straight grip walnut stock. LOP: 12 7/16″ over a unique checkered steel buttplate w/ sliding brass lid. When opened, the lid reveals 4 holes containing the 4 piece brass tipped cleaning rod. Inside toe of buttplate has assembly # “7”.