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Re: High Arch, High Comb breech blocks in 1873 models

Posted by John Shonafelt on Sunday, 13 December 2015, at 5:30 p.m., in response to Re: High Arch, High Comb breech blocks in 1873 models, posted by Dick Hosmer on Sunday, 13 December 2015, at 12:53 p.m.

Hi Dick, In reading the Ordnance Note 48 (ON48) one can imagine that the issue of the out-of-battery ignition must have been become very political. Problems appear to have surfaced early. There were investigations as early as the spring of 1874. As well as the review board that was formed in 1875 to investigate damaged arms resulting in ON48. Almost looks like a follow up investigation with the report being problem solved!

Two redesigns of the firing pin guard on the thumb latch, and a significant change to the block to incorporate the high comb. Changes appear to have been incorporated immediately, and replacement performed on arms still in store but, apparently, No general recall or attempt to correct issue arms.

They were just deploying these arms. How embarrassing to do a recall. Doesn't look like they even sent out replacement parts to field armors (probably a hit and miss proposition in those days). I wonder if there was resistance from Allin to questions about his design. Of course a general recall did eventually occur but not until after Allin was gone and a significant redesign of block and receiver was accomplished.

Clearly it looks like there was some vulnerability in the original design. The LBH battle and the questions that arose about the arms must have weighed heavily on Allin.

I am looking forward to see what Book II has on this and other topics... John


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