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Re: trial rifles

Posted by Al Frasca on Friday, 29 October 2010, at 11:27 p.m., in response to Re: trial rifles, posted by Dick Hosmer on Friday, 29 October 2010, at 9:43 p.m.

The first thing that you check is the ski slope on the stock. Bannermans were normally made using the M68 stocks that do not have the ski slope. The M70 rifles were produced with new stocks and with musket stocks and the musket stocks were reworked to have the ski slope. Simply look for the spoon pin hole in the stock to determine if it was made to be a musket stock. The stock has to have the correct firing proof. If it is a musket stock, the the cartouche is forward of the two CW cartouches. If it is a new stock, then there is only one cartouche in the rear of the stock flat.

All the M70 stocks have been inletted for the long M68 receiver. That certainly is an interesting characteristic, but not explainable unless all the M70 stocks were made from M68 stocks in various stages of production, and the used musket stocks were already inletted for M68 replacements or production. Remember, the M68 rifle was still being used and updated clear into the 1890s!!!

The modification of the rod was evidently rapid. I have not seen an M70 Type II with a M68 rod. There is not enough data to make accurate predictions and the lack of serial numbers really makes the assessment very difficult. Remember, seeing one gun with one particular variation is not sufficient to make absolute decisions as to when something happend, especially without something like a serial number help determine a time frame. My question is, What happened to all the M70 rifles??? There are a lot more M86 experimental carbines found than M70 rifle and they made only 1000 M86 carbine and about 10,000 M70 rifles. M70 rifles are not on the roster of arms sent to the F-P War. In fact, I could not find them on any roster of arms at Springfield. However, I did find most of them when they were procured by states for their home guard. See page 323 of the Newletters. Between 1873 and 1878 the states purchased 7500 new M70 rifles and 1125 cleaned and repaired M70 rifles. So these rifles were essentially never issued in any quantity to the Army. Guns once acquired by the states could be used or bartered for other guns they preferred. Michigan is a great example of this when they swapped there trapdoor rifles to (I believe)get Sharps rifles. The trapdoors were in turn sold to the public or to places like Bannerman's. Evidently most of these rifles were parted out since so few are still in existence.


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