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Re: Article in Man At Arms

Posted by Dick Hosmer on Thursday, 25 August 2011, at 12:37 p.m., in response to Re: Article in Man At Arms, posted by Larry Weinbrenner on Wednesday, 24 August 2011, at 3:38 p.m.

Sorry, but I have to take issue with the statement regarding 8874 being from the "1st production period." Following is an excerpt from my working ms for as-yet unpublished "Book 2" (Copyright R. A. Hosmer, 2011)

"There have been carbines observed and recorded from nearly every thousand-number increment, but the sharp-eyed reader will note that there are definite concentrations of similar numbers, as well as some areas where very few, or no carbines have been recorded. There is, of course, no way to verify the uniformity of the sampling rate, and it is certainly possible that the presence of either scanty OR plentiful data from any given increment may be misleading.

As an illustration of the potential pitfalls which may be encountered when playing with numbers, 12221 (which does not occur in a "well-populated" range) happens to have been a verified 7th Cavalry carbine! The past tense applies here, because that receiver (which is known to have had an "intermediate life" on a cadet rifle) exists today as a "reconstructed" carbine.

But, even with this small (approximately 5%) sampling, it is clear that there were three main groups, or clusters, of the early carbine numbers. The author has, roughly and subjectively, broken them down below; this is by NO means an exact process, and other interpretations are certainly possible:

Group number one: From 1 to roughly 4500. These are the 4,064 carbines produced during the 4th quarter of 1873, and the 1st quarter of 1874. Given the large gap in recorded numbers before the next concentrated group, it seems likely that they were made in one continuous run.)

Group number two: From roughly 14,500 to 23,500, with distinct peaks around 16,500 and 21,500 These would correspond to the 8749 carbines recorded as being produced during the 2nd and 4th quarters of 1874. This, due to the non-consecutive quarters represented, may be the lot most affected by the sampling level, as there are definite ‘low points’ at both ends of the range.

Group number three: From 32,000 to 48,500 with a modest peak noted at 33,500 These numbers include the 7211 carbines produced during the 1st quarter of 1875. The larger span indicates either an anomaly in survival rate of recorded data, or the fact that rifle and carbine production were "intermixed" to a greater extent than during the former runs.

Within the first two groups, nearly all numbers should have been carbines; but this is not true of the third group, This is important knowledge to have because, sadly, these arms have been widely faked over the years, so, collectors need to be much more alert for possible chicanery in the final group. Some such fakes are very crude, yet others are masterpieces of deception, able to pass all but the most stringent of inspections. The numbers, when graphed, do not suggest any other pronounced groupings. And, it is also important to note that NO further carbines were recorded as produced after March 31, 1875, until the new model, with improved stock, was introduced in the 2nd quarter of 1877.

There are no absolutes, and the author is NOT saying that carbines outside of the three groups above are not genuine, but a serial number far from one of the peaks, especially one from an increment with NO recorded carbines, should throw up an immediate red flag. This is because nearly 30,000 rifles (including a few cadet models) were ALSO produced during the same overall period." (Copyright R. A. Hosmer, 2011)


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