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Posted by John on Wednesday, 16 October 2013, at 12:48 p.m., in response to Carbine, posted by Jim Nebel on Wednesday, 16 October 2013, at 5:21 a.m.
Although data is limited in the range near 380212, here is some info on listings in SRS for about 2,000 number either side: Up to and including 378587 there is a long string of rifles. Beginning with 382459 there is a long string of rifles.
Between those two numbers there are only 15 numbers listed, 13 of which are carbines. One is the "duplicate" entry for 380859, listed as one of seven carbines targeted during weekly tests at Springfield. These weekly tests on listed carbines were dated April 1st, April 9th, and April 28th, 1887. On May 6th the weekly test was for RIFLE 382549, the start for a long run of rifle numbers. Thus it appears that Springfield was making a lot of carbines in April 1887.
The only rifle entry in that 15 number window (other than the duplicate number 380859 noted above) is 380782 which is listed as a M1884 rifle in Springfield Armory Museum. There is little doubt that is indeed a rifle.
The "duplicate" 380859 rifle is noted as being with Company M of the 1st Tennessee Volunteer Infantry in 1898. This is almost certainly a typo or transcription error, but it is hard to tell exactly what the actual number might have been. There are a total of 92 M1884 rifles listed in SRS with Company M of the 1st Tennessee. These range from 126981 to 502730. There is a cluster of 15 numbers in the 409xxx range, but the rest are pretty widely scattered. This is a good example of why is is very dangerous to make assumptions about where an unlisted number may have been used based on data for nearby numbers.
However, even with the non-sequential assembly used at Springfield, there is a much higher chance of nearby numbers being the same type of arm, even if they were ultimately dispersed to many different units.
Bottom line- I think that the odds are heavily in favor of 380211 being a genuine carbine. However, a check by an expert would still be a good idea.
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