Swiss Contract M1867/77 Peabody: The Peabody action is a breech-loaded action where the breechblock is tilted downwards across the bolt. The movement is utilized under the force of a lever that also serves as the trigger guard. Peabody rifles have external hammers and are single shot. The rifle design was developed by Henry O. Peabody of Boston, Massachusetts. The first patent was obtained on July 22, 1862. This rifle was made in mass production by the Providence Tool Company of Providence, Rhode Island. Rifles saw service all over the world. Peabody rifles were very popular in other nations and were adopted for use by militaries including Canada, Spain, Mexico, France, Romania, Switzerland, and both sides of the U.S. during the Civil War. Only 112,000 rifles were ever made (All models combined). This is quite a significant accomplishment because the barrels were broacher cut. This was a very lengthy and expensive process, especially during the time period. Peabody rifles were made in many calibers including .45 Peabody rimfire, 45-70 Government, .50 rimfire, 50-70, .433 Spanish, 10.4mm Rimfire Swiss. The Swiss Peabody was made by the Providence Tool Company under contract for the Swiss military. These rifles were adopted and used as a placeholder until the Swiss military later adopted their Vetterli rifles and used those. Swiss Peabodys are chambered in 10.4 Rimfire Swiss.
Condition: The condition of this Peabody is in very good condition. A majority of the original bluing finish is still intact and is full and even throughout the rifle. Due to the rifle’s age there is wear to be expected. The receiver has a very light layer of piting on it but it is very minimal and could be remedied with oils and a nylon brush. The very end of the barrel has some finish wear. The stock is in great condition and has just about all of its original finish still intact. There are no major blemishes just some small bumps near the grip and buttstock. The rifle has all matching serial numbers and was made by the Providence Tool Company in Providence Rhode Island before it was sent off to the Swiss military.
“Peabody Patent July 22, 1862”
“Man’f’d by Providence Tool Co. Prov R.I.”
+M – (Stock & Receiver) Major Mühlemann
+V – (Receiver) Major Vogelsang
What is interesting about the rifle having both the +V and +M marking is that it indicates the rifle was kept in the Swiss military under both Major’s command. This could be for a variety of reasons including reserves, and or as a research rifle for future Swiss military developments. The Peabody was a technological marvel for its time and it is no surprise the Swiss would want to hold on to some of these rifles even past their service life.