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Posted by Dick Hosmer on Sunday, 30 May 2010, at 10:05 a.m., in response to rifle, posted by JAMES HARVEY on Sunday, 30 May 2010, at 8:34 a.m.
Almost certainly is a .50-70; don't know where your production figures came from, but they are incorrect - SA made over 35,000 rifles in 1870. Nearly all were of Model 1868 pattern, which has a double serial number, on left side, just above the wood. If yours has no numbers there, it must be a Model 1870.
The date alone is not enough to ID the model, as both types appear with that date. Neither was a conversion, though they did utilize many parts from the muzzle-loading muskets. The barrel length puzzles me, should be 36" from muzzle to tang joint, or 32-5/8" inside the bore. Too bad about the stock. Does the rear sight base almost touch the receiver, or is it about 7/16" ahead of it?
You can see examples of both models, plus a great deal more, at wwwDOTpicturetrailDOTcomSLASHsa4570af
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