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Re: Non-Custer Carbines SN check

Posted by Pete Nelson on Tuesday, 9 November 2010, at 10:09 p.m., in response to Re: Non-Custer Carbines SN check, posted by JasonZ in MO on Tuesday, 9 November 2010, at 8:14 p.m.

One pretty universally-accepted fact when it comes to drawing inferences about TRAPDOOR serial numbers is that "CLOSE DOESN'T COUNT - - AND EVEN CONSECUTIVE NUMBERS HARDLY, IF EVER, COUNT...Here, for whatever it may be worth, are serial numbers of my (7) Springfield carbines, none of which (to the very best of my knowledge) have have any established historical provenance:

1. M1873 S/N 21029 Owned by the Pennsylvania State Police, one of some 420. (Reading, PA Troop-C). All original but with either a replacement or un-cartouched original stock with no "Circled-P" Firing Proof but which is stamped on the left comb "S.P.F. C 79" (State Police Force, Troop-C, Trooper Number 79).

2. M1879 S/N 175947* [Starred Receiver]. "SWP/1881" Cartouche with M1879 "Buckhorn Rear Sight".

3. Model 1877 with the "Improvements of 1890" (M1884 "Buffington" Rear Sight and the M1890 Rear Sight Protector Barrel Band. S/N 188521* (with "Starred Receiver"). Cartouche is "SWP/1882".

4. Model 1884 (earlier issue). S/N 412527 with the M1884 "Buffington" Rear Sight and the Model 1885 (?) Barrel Band with the transverse scallop to clear the binding gear housing of the "Buffington" Rear Sight. Cartouche is "SWP/1888".

5. Model 1884 (later issue). S/N 474943 with the M1884 "Buffington" Rear Sight and the M1890 Rear Sight Protector Barrel Band. Cartouche is "SWP/1889" and it has the stamped metal Front Sight Protector Cover with the elongated Front Sight Blade Retention Pin.

6. Model 1870 (with, of course, no serial number" but the "ESA" cartouche in the oval frame. The stock bears the Script-L Firing Proof. behind the Trigger Plate. The Rear Sight Base is close (only 1/16") to the forward edge of the Receiver, and the leaf is stamped "2/3/5/7". The breech block is stamped "1870/EAGLE-WITH-ARROWS/U.S." (but no word "MODEL"). The Lock Plate is stamped "1864" behind (to the left of) the Hammer and has the "War Eagle" and "U.S./SPRINGFIELD" stamped in front of (to the right of) the Hammer.

I didn't include my Model 1884 "shooter" carbine which has had the barrel bored and lined and re-rifled (by Bob Hoyt of Fairfield, Pennsylvania) and has a replacement Breech Block and new Lock components, as well as a Krag pivot-type sling swivel inletted underneath the forestock (the stock is not in at- all pristine condition, but I re-blued all of the metal) for a modern leather steady-sling. The serial number is 344622.

The only one of the group which has even a slim thread of "provenance" (simply by virtue of the closeness of serial numbers) is the M1873 S/N 21029 owned by the Pennsylvania State Police (they bought 220 in 1906 and another 200 in 1909 - - before switching to the Winchester Model 1894 .30-30 carbines in 1919). One of the acknowledged/verified "finds" on the Little Big Horn River Valley Battlefield was 21023. And that doesn't prove a thing.

Thanks for your postings, Jason.

With best regards,



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