US Model 1840 Heavy Cavalry Saber
The "Old Wristbreaker"
(Dated 1848)




Union soldier with M1840 Saber
 

The Model 1840 Heavy Cavalry Saber, known as the "old wristbreaker," was one of the tried and true edged weapons used by mounted troops during the Mexican War, Civil War, and Indian Wars. Produced by the Ames Manufacturing Company in Massachusetts, this saber was delivered to the US Ordnance Department in 1848. The massive steel blade is curved, has a flat wide back, and is single-edged with just a slight false edge. The sword measures 35 7/8" long with an integral wide fuller 26 " long and a narrow fuller some 18 1/8" long.

The blade is marked "N. P. AMES/CABOTVILLE /1848." The other side is stamped "US" over "WD." (The arsenal proof stamp of government inspector William Dickinson.) The sword is accompanied by an original Ames scabbard with rings, mounts, throat, and drag.