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Re: U.S. Norfolk 1863/1868
Posted by John on Monday, 26 April 2010, at 12:41 a.m., in response to U.S. Norfolk 1863/1868, posted by Adam Todd on Sunday, 25 April 2010, at 5:08 p.m.
Welch, Brown & Company of Norfolk, Connecticut made 18.000 Model 1861 .58 caliber muskets during the Civil War. Your lock pl;ate is from one of those muskets.
When the Model 1866, 1868 and 1870 .50-70 "trapdoor rifles" were made, Springfield was able to reduce the costs (in those post Civil War years when military appropriations were slashed to almost nothing) by salvaging many parts from the then obsolete muskets for use on the new rifles.
I believe that Springfield preferred to use their own products rather than contractor made muskets (there were hundreds of thousands of both on hand to choose from) but it is POSSIBLE that some contract made lockplates were used. However, it seems more likely that someone just changed out the lock at some point in the last 140 years, which is about a 2 minute job with a screwdriver as the contract parts are 100% interchangeable with Springfield parts.
For further identification as to what specific model your rifle is, please check the "model identification" section on the main page.
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