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Re: Springfield Trapdoor Serial Number
Posted by Dick Hosmer on Tuesday, 17 February 2009, at 10:12 p.m., in response to Re: Springfield Trapdoor Serial Number, posted by Ernie Brandt on Tuesday, 17 February 2009, at 5:23 p.m.
Sometimes the gun is right and the book is wrong. Al's data takes into account the star issue. Waite/Ernst, which many people use because their table seems so neat and specific, is less accurate. From about 1881 to 1888 or so, some guns don't match the book, but it is not ALWAYS the gun that is at fault. That is when the ability to judge patina, and the handling of a LOT of pieces pays off. The "held back" case results in numbers LOWER than expected from the cartouche, and several groups are known - most notably M1888 RRBs in the 98xxx -130xxx range.
I think there are still PLENTY of decent TDs out there.
The 1884 (and 1883) plates are thought, IIRC, to be Whitney, not Bannerman (who was just the best-known surplus merchant). One thing for sure - they are NOT SA in that guise. Most, if not all, are probably thinned musket plates, salvaged to save the holes and profile. Grinding and restamping is (relatively) cheap and simple.
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