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Re: M88 rifle w/1888 cartouch and 84 bayonet

Posted by Dick Hosmer on Sunday, 25 January 2015, at 4:23 p.m., in response to M88 rifle w/1888 cartouch and 84 bayonet, posted by Ralph Hunt on Sunday, 25 January 2015, at 1:50 p.m.


I think you basically have an 1888 with some earlier parts. The late 1873 blocks and 1884 blocks are absolutely 100% identical, and could be interchanged without any problems. Regimental markings are very common on 1888s.

There are two known aberrations to the normal 500000 and up range for the 1888. The first is the low 300000 area, which we know to be rebuilt 1884 experimentals. The second are those guns having any number over 96300, which were assembled from parts at close of production. That is what I believe you have.

But, that fails to address two points you made. A proper rod-bayonet stock would not normally be dated prior to 1890, so, something requires further research there.

You have lost me on the "3 groove ogive" comment. That (the tip) is NOT the distinguishing feature between the 1884 and 1888 rod-bayonets. The difference lies in the grooves, those of the 1884 are shallow and conical, while those of the 1888 are deep and cylindrical. The latches look similar but act entirely differently. There is rumored to be some sort of hybrid intermediate setup (which I have never observed) but which MIGHT represent a transition - of course, this MIGHT also affect the stock date situation. This will not be resolved here on the forum - it will take some good clear photographs, or better yet, a hands-on inspection.

You MIGHT have something really good, or, as you say, it could also just be a "Bannerman".


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