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Re: Early 1868 Trapdoors

Posted by Al Frasca on Saturday, 25 September 2010, at 4:56 p.m., in response to Re: Early 1868 Trapdoors, posted by Dick Hosmer on Saturday, 25 September 2010, at 12:30 p.m.

The M68 dated 1868 blocks that I have seen (around 12) are all hand stamped with individual numbers and letters, indicating they were for testing. It is hard to say how many of the original blocks are still with their original receivers after this much time, but the ones I have seen have serial number sets less than 100. Don't confuse these serial number sets with the serial number sets of small font numbers found on some M70 models. The barrels on these early M68 rifles are solid and not sleeved. Possibly they were made-up and sent to Frankford Arsenal for ballistics testing since this is the first barrel/receiver system that Springfield made in a trapdoor configuration. These early ones are found without the full set of four cartouches which means they were not to be issued to troops.

At Springfield:

Assession # 2420 M68 on barrel M/1868/No/1. Breech block has Eagle Head/ arrows/Aug/1868. No cartouches on the stock.

Assession # 428(?) M68 SN 8, on block: 1868/eaglehead/arrows/U.S.( the U.S. is very ornate). Only two CW cartouches on the atock.

Assession #2427 M68 SN 10, hand stamped 1868/eaglehead/arrows/1868. The stampings are not aligned properly. No cartouches on the stock.

Assession #2416 M68 SN 12. Hand stamped breech block with alignment problems.

Assession # 2422, SN 20. Two CW cartouches on stock.

Assession # 1249 M68 SN 101 1869 dated block.


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