light artillery

Model 1840 Light Artillery Saber

The Model 1840 Light Artillery Sabre was a sabre of about 38 inches in length with a curved, single-edged blade and iron scabbard.


The U.S. Model 1840 light artillery saber has a brass hilt and knuckle-bow of about 6 inches in length, the grip wrapped in leather and bound with brass wire, and a blade of 36 inches in length. Unlike the Model 1840 Heavy Cavalry Sabre the artillery model has no basket. As a personal sidearm, it was intended for use by all mounted members of the field artillery, including musicians, of the United States Army and was in regulation use between 1840 and 1851, continuing through the United States civil war.

This model was one of the many weapons produced by the Ames Manufacturing Co. of Springfield (later Chicopee), Massachusetts. The design appears to be a copy of the French sabre style of 1829. The mounted artillery units accompanied dragoons to provide them with more firepower. The primary weapon of the mounted artillery were their cannons. The sabre was more a traditional accoutrement than a combat weapon. The fact that Ames manufactured far fewer 1840 light artillery sabres that the number of soldiers in the artillery branch attests to this.

Distinguishing Features

This sabre has a flat, brass handle, black leather grip wrapped in brass wire, and steel scabbard. Its slightly shorter but more steeply curved blade and single brass knuckle-bow distinguish this sabre from similar cavalry designs. French versions can be distinguished from American versions by the presence of French manufacturers' marks and the lack of U.S. markings.

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