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M88 rifle w/1888 cartouch and 84 bayonet

Posted by Ralph Hunt on Sunday, 25 January 2015, at 1:50 p.m.

Years ago I purchased a trapdoor rifle with an interesting combination of parts. The barrel assembly is 1888 but with an 1880 serial number,1246?2.I believe the 5th digit is a 5 but the top is obscured with a little pitting so could be a 3. The breech block is 1879, stock dated 188? (bottom half obscured by a tiny ding but top half looks much like another 8) and the bayonet has the 3 groove ogive of the 1884 and the catch recesses of the 1888. The right side of the buttstock is stamped with a 71 over a 284 which I suppose are regimental and rack markings and the comb is marked just in front of the buttplate with a D over what I think to be a 0 4. The 0 is marred by a ding but I believe it can be nothing else. These comb markings have traces of white paint in and around them. With the 84 & 88 features of the bayonet and the possible 88 cartouch the thought crossed my mind it could be 1 of the 3 prototypes made in 88. The rifle was not sold with any suggestion but I saw these things and you know how the mind works. The book by Waite and Ernst stated that experimentals were often assembled with mos nix parts which could explain the 1879 block and older Number.I know it's more likely to be a Bannerman than a 1 of 3 but can I find out? This is my first attempt at anything like this so please bear with me. Thank you gentlemen. Ralph


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