atm-logoWhat is the purpose of a saddle ring?

Judy Sims
Crane, Texas

Saddle rings were used on military carbines beginning with the dragoons, the forerunners to the U.S. cavalry. A large snap on the carbine sling hooked into the saddle ring, providing support for the carbine while the trooper was mounted. To keep the weapon from flopping around, the barrel went through a leather ring called a socket, which was mounted on the saddle rigging. “Military carbines had their saddle rings attached to a long bar that was inlet into the stock,” Firearms Editor Phil Spangenberger says, “whereas civilian arms, like the Winchester, simply had a ring and a staple-type bar.”

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His latest book is Wyatt Earp: Showdown at Tombstone. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at

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