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Re: Serial number question

Posted by Pete Nelson on Wednesday, 3 February 2010, at 4:27 p.m., in response to Serial number question, posted by OXX on Tuesday, 2 February 2010, at 7:00 p.m.

Hello OXX,

I checked all (4) Volumes of the Springfield Research Service "SERIAL NUMBERS OF U.S. MARTIAL ARMS" Handbooks (including the 1999 Edition of Volume-4) for your Serial Number 253438 (and you really hadn't given us any additional specific information about the gun), but I did not get a "hit".

However, there were just a few groups of guns listed as being in the 253000 series: (18) in Volume-1; (7) in Volume-2; (4) in Volume-3; and (1) in Volume-4] which is not much of a statistical population to work with.

In Volume-1 the (18) guns ranged from S/N 253005 through 253970 of which 6) were listed as "84R" (Service Rifles) and the remaining (12) as "84A" (Cadet Rifles). The dates-of-record were a pretty mixed-bag, and most of the "84A" guns were associated with Texas A&M University, the remaining (3) with MICHIGAN MILITARY ACADEMY (a short-lived but very prestigious Military School which boasted as one of its graduate cadets Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of the character TARZAN.

In Volume-2 there were (7) 253000-series guns listed, ranging from 253000 through 253976 of which (1) [S/N 253468] was a Model 1884 Carbine ["84C") amd the remaining (6) were "84R". Carbine S/N 253468 was listed as having been used at the Springfield Armory for "Weekly Accuracy Tests" ["Targeted"] with a date-of-record of 041587 (April 15, 1887).

Volume-3 listed (4)guns in the 253000 sequence ranging from 253468 [also listed in Volume-2 as a Model 1884 Carbine and also as being used for "Weekly Accuracy Tests" at Springfield Armory] through 253952. 253475 was listed as a Model 1879 Carbine associated with "Troop-A of the 8th Cavalry.

In Volume-4 the single 253000-series entry was S/N 253534 and was listed as an "84R" (Model 1884 Service Rifle) and was associated with "CO. F 3rd GA VOL INF" (Company-F, 3rd Georgia Volunteer Infantry).

In summary, it would appear that S/N 253462 was probably the closest to your 253438, and is one of the "84A" Cadet Rifles issued to Michigan Military Academy. But as Dick Hosmer will caution you, "BEING CLOSE" gets you nothing in the game of "TRAPDOOR SERIAL NUMBERS", so there is nothing to be inferred by being even one digit over, or one under, a specific S/N.


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