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Re: Springfield 1898 Board of Ordnance

Posted by Dick Hosmer on Friday, 28 October 2011, at 11:40 a.m., in response to Springfield 1898 Board of Ordnance, posted by Sean Engman on Friday, 28 October 2011, at 11:15 a.m.

That would apparently be one of those rifles discussed in Brophy's book, which were shortened, for some reason by later users, such as American Legion, and VFW posts.

The genuine 100 Board of Ordnance & Fortification rifles are VERY scarce, but occur in a somewhat higher range than yours. The lowest one known (which has not been independently verified, but COULD be the prototype) is 385120. The bulk of them are in the 387xxx to 389xxx range. I own 388786, and 389182, and have the numbers of 19 others - including that of another member here.

It is strange that the 100 numbers are so widely scattered, but I just recently thought of a possible reason. There is very little published data available, but in a couple of places, the word "converted" appears. I'm now thinking that perhaps standard (30") rifles WERE pulled from storage, and - even though the stocks were unquestionably new-made - reworked. I'll bet your stock has a walnut plug at the front, where the lightening channel had to be filled?

As a comparison, the M1888 "positive cam" trapdoors, also made in quantity of just 100, have almost consecutive numbers - the contrast being that THEY have a physical receiver difference, which would have dictated a special machining setup. The 26" Krags simply had their barrels chopped, which could have been done on the regular line, without disturbing the tooling.


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