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Posted by Robert on Thursday, 8 October 2009, at 6:18 p.m.

Douglas, check out the lock plate and see if there is a year stamped on it. If it does have a 1883, it could be a "Bannerman" serviceable rifle. These were assembled out of surplus Springfield Armory and contract manufacturers parts bins, along with parts salvaged from "unserviceable" surplus rifles. In general, as shooters, there is nothing wrong with them provided they are still in "serviceable" shape. The 3-groove barrel is consistant with a Springfield Armory barrel, whereas the 5 groove was both used for "long range" and some NOS replacements had them. I would take some fine (000) steel wool with generous gobs of Armadillo Blue Wonder and work off the surface rust on the barrel. It will not take off either the patina or bluing. Look for a couple of filled in holes where the rear sight should've been mounted, my guess is they have been filled. Also, is there two screw heads on the upper tang? That would indicate that a vernier sight might have been mounted there. Currently most people do not see the Bannerman's as collectors, but since they are more rare than original Trapdoors, who knows...they might become all the rage.


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