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rod bayonet questions

Posted by JasonZ in MO on Monday, 29 November 2010, at 5:20 p.m.

About a month ago at a gun show I ran into a gentleman selling a rod bayonet rifle. We were both heading out the door and he was catching a tram to his car so we didn't have much time to talk or inspect the rifle. We talked a few weeks ago and he returned my call last week with answers to some of my questions.

I could tell in the few minutes I had the rifle was in very nice shape. The barrel bluing was very nice, maybe too nice. It did have some surface rust spots but overall excellent. It looked like the same finish on a VERY nice bayonet I found. I didn't have time to look at the SN. However, he called me and just gave me the numbers... 14577 the cartouche is 1891 and a single "P" proof on the barrel... I asked if there could be another digit because this is a very low number. Nope, there are only 5 numbers. I had him look at the index mark and he said they line up perfectly and there was a letter "O" stamped there. I said it's probably a "D"... yep it's a "D". So I know he was looking at the right spot.

He said he bought the rifle from a dealer in Tulsa who carries a lot of trapdoors.

Now my questions:

I believe a ~/P is correct for 1891. I assume the rod-bayonet rifles had a unique barrel; is this correct? If so, the barrel matches the time period of the stock cartouche.

If he's correct about the indexing then there may be a 6th digit he just didn't see. Or the index isn't quite right and the barrel has a replacement receiver.

Could there be an arsenal built rod-bayonet with this low SN?


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