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Re: Springfield Trapdoor Serial Number

Posted by Pete Nelson on Saturday, 2 August 2008, at 4:43 p.m., in response to Re: Springfield Trapdoor Serial Number, posted by Bob Wick on Saturday, 2 August 2008, at 2:41 p.m.

Hello, Bob,

According to the "MODEL 1873 RIFLE PRODUCTION" table [on page 147 of Al Frasca's "THE .45-70 SPRINGFIEL;D, BOOK II (1865-1893)] your gun was produced sometime in 1882 (and if it still bears a readable cartouche it should say "SWP/1882" indicating inspection/acceptance by then-Master Armorer Samuel W. Porter). There were 27,898 Model 1873 Service Rifles; 1,021 Model 1873 Cadet Riufles; and NO ("0") NEW Model 1873 or Model 1877 Carbines produced at the Springfield Armory during Calendar Year 1882 - - although during that period there was a flurry of "ROA" (Repair Old Arms) activity going on - - which was when (1881-1992) many (most) of the so-called "Starred-Receiver Arms" were refurbished. The actual total production of NEW Model 1873 Service Rifles (unquestionably the Armory's "biggest seller") was 216,230 guns between 1873-1884, at which time production shift to the new Model 1884 with 6,020 produced in 1885.

By the way, I did check Volumes 1 through 4 of the Springfield Research Service, but your exact serial number was NOT listed, although there were several clusters of guns in the 1914XX range, many of which were listed as "84R" (i.e. "Model 1884 Service Rifles", most likely so-listed because they probably had had the M1879 "BUCKHORN" Rear Sights replaced with Model 1884 "BUFFINGTON" Rear Sights. Some of those who examined and then chronicled the Springfield arms believed that "...if the Sight is an M1884 'BUFFINGTON' it's gotta be a Model 1884 Rifle...").

I hope that this may be of some help to you.




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