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Model 1878 Trapdoor Arms
Posted by John Wootton on Tuesday, 2 February 2010, at 10:52 p.m.
In reading the FAOs, there was one section relating to 1878 model Trapdoors. Some years ago I read an article about the guns stamped 1878. It seems the army was conducting tests to replace the 45-70 cal Springfield Trapdoor. Several calibers and manufacturers submitted guns to the army armory for consideration. In the end, the armory stuck with the Springfield Trapdoor. All of the existing 1873s in the armory warehouse were re-stamped with an "8" over the "3" in the existing serial numbers. Therefore 1873s became "1878s".
If you look carefully at the "8" on an 1878 model, you can see where the "3" is overstamped with an "8". I have looked for the article I read some years ago stating the above but have not been able to locate it. I assume the article was accurate and it seems to me the article was from Springfield or the armory. Anyway, it makes sense.
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