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Re: A quiz

Posted by Dick Hosmer on Tuesday, 24 July 2012, at 11:17 a.m., in response to Re: A quiz, posted by Ernie on Monday, 23 July 2012, at 10:59 a.m.

Probably - since I am also lazy - the easiest way to answer your question is to offer an excerpt from the book in progress:

". . . . . .But, even with this small (approximately 5% of production) 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; but this is by NO means an exact process, and other interpretations are certainly possible:

Group number one: From 1 to roughly 4500. These represent 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 fairly continuous run, though there are a few sporadic occurrences of rifles in the records for that group. Priority had been given to carbine production, in order to replace the mix of such weapons (Sharps, Spencer, Starr, and others) in the field, there having been no standard carbine adopted to that point. NO numbers associated with the 7th Cavalry occur in this first group!

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 proposed range.

Group number three: From roughly 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 unlikely (SA preferred to assemble like arms in sizable batches) possibility 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 being 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 very few recorded carbines, should throw up an immediate red flag for closer attention. This is because nearly 30,000 rifles (including a few cadet models) were ALSO produced during the same overall period, intermixed in the same sequence of numbers. . . . . . "


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