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Re: 1873 Springfield Carbine or cut down rifle?

Posted by John on Saturday, 22 January 2011, at 8:56 p.m., in response to Re: 1873 Springfield Carbine or cut down rifle?, posted by John Cortese on Saturday, 22 January 2011, at 1:48 p.m.

50-75 years ago (heck, even 20 years ago), people liked carbines because they are lighter, handier to carry in the field, and just plain look cooler. Lots of people want a trapdoor for hunting or plinking for fun. There have always been a lot of less than pristine trapdoors on the market, and back then they were cheap, and many people did not really consider them to be collectible. (Until Frasca and Hill published there excellent book, and another Trapdoor book appeared at about the same time, igniting collector interest.)

A surplus dealer, gunsmith, or even an individual could buy a cheap trapdoor and with a couple hours of work chop the stock, fill the ramrod groove, and chop the barrel, recrown it and mount a new front sight. The resale value was usually enhanced enough that it was profitable to do so, just for the shooter or reenactor market, with no intent to deceive.

Of course, there has been a cottage industry faking rare collector guns for decades (or even centuries!) but the fakers are a different breed from the other folks.

Of course now, some sellers have an old cut down trapdoor, so they innocently and ignorantly, or knowingly and wrongly (or with malice aforethought) try to sell it as a carbine.

Caveat emptor. If you don't know your diamonds, you better know your jeweler.


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