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Ramrod Bayonet Rifle

Posted by Haskell on Tuesday, 10 September 2013, at 3:43 a.m.

Fellow trapdoor owners,

I have inherited a ramrod bayonet trapdoor serial # 306060. It has the round knurled rod with the three blade "Phillips Head" tip and US Model 1884 in fine print on the trap. The stock cartouche reads SWP 1891 with the stylized P just aft of the trigger strap. The stock also has a large rack #1 16 on the cartouche side and an similar 8 in the wood on top just in front of the butt plate screw. The bore is clean with good rifling but some light pitting (cleaned it as recommended in Spence and Pat Wolf's book.... hard work!). The barrel is marked with a VP, eagles head then a second P and on top of the barrel is an A. It slugs 0.450" minor and 0.461" major. It has a Buffington sight marked with the "R" and no front sight hood. The lock works well (three position) and the trap locks down with no free play (disassembled, cleaned and lubed all moving parts with no broken wood but I did find some preexisting poor screwdriver choices and tried to think of it as additional patina). As far as I know/could tell it is "as built" by the armory.

I am an active re-loader and would like to follow Spence and Pat Wolf's excellent guidance to correctly "bring the old worrier to life" using black powder with the Lee cast 405 grain carbine/rifle round and later the NEI cast 500 grain round.

My question for you is... It appears the SN and cartouche year are not in agreement unless this is one of the "low 300k" SN's that were involved with the 1885/86 experimental ramrod bayonet builds. If so, is it likely this rifle was stuffed in a box i.e. not given furniture or field tested and later (apparently 91') used in the final build of around 65,000 rifles with the same bayonet type. Is there any information on how many, if any, made this or a similar journey of expedience/cost savings and other than being a generally good condition trapdoor, is there any additional value in the early build ramrod bayonet provenance that would preclude shooting it "correctly/as designed"?

Thanks Haskell


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