Rare example of the 1000 knives purchased by the Ordnance Department from the Ames Manufacturing Co. in 1849 for issue to U.S. Regiment of Mounted Rifleman. The Model 1849 Rifleman’s Knife has the distinction of being the first knife officially designed and purchased by the U.S. Army. The massive knife is 18-inches long with an 11 7/8-inch spear point blade, cast brass cross guard and slab-sided walnut grips.
1849 AMES RIFLEMAN’S KNIFE
1849 AMES Rifleman’s knife. The first U.S. Military Knife purchased by the government. These knives were intended for issue to the Regiment of Mounted Rifleman organized in 1846. 1000 of these were produced for that contract. This particular knife was probably a presentation to someone important to Ames as all of its mountings are original silver plated with no final government inspection by James W. Ripley. I’ve owned a dozen Riflemansknives over the last 50 years and this is the only presentation plated (non- government inspected) example that I’ve ever seen or heard of . These knives are extremely rare and seldom encountered. We always say a ten percent survival rate on antique weapons is probably correct. That equates to about 100 knives remain in mostly hard used condition. At the time of production in 1849, Ames Manufacturing Co. was located in Cabotville Mass. The premier blade manufacturer in the U.S. in the 19th century. The blade is 12″ long by 1 5/8″ wide. Condition of blade is far superior to most encountered. Mountings retain 98% of their original silver plate. Scabbard leather is excellent with a few normal cracks. Wood handles are extremley good.