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Re: My 1888 trapdoor serial #525855

Posted by John S. on Tuesday, 11 October 2016, at 7:56 p.m., in response to Re: My 1888 trapdoor serial #525855, posted by Tom Trevor on Tuesday, 11 October 2016, at 6:15 p.m.

There is no data in SRS for 525855. There is not a single listing in SRS trapdoors for any company of the 7th NY. The only "7th" listed in the trapdoors is the 7th U.S. Volunteer Infantry, but none of their numbers are anywhere near high enough to be a Model 1888.

Although a number of states seem to have applied "unit marks" to their trapdoors or other small arms of the trapdoor era, enforcement of the regulation against marking arms seems to have been pretty well obeyed bu U.S. regular troops, with the notable exception of the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry (two Buffalo soldier units).

For many years I tracked state markings on U.S. small arms, and by far the New York marks seemed to be the most common and systematic, with fancy marking stamps of various sized, not just some guy with a handful of hand stamps and a hammer.

New York was unique in having "Separate Battalions" and the 65th SEP BN markings are known. During the Spanish American War they raised new infantry regiments (e.g. 202nd and 203rd) from among existing National Guard units, and SRS lists some numbers for them. Other NY Regimental markings I recall are the 71st. All were applied on the right side of the butt, and very neatly done.

Few other states marked arms, although Georgia marked unit marks Regt/Co/Soldier on the comb of the butt above the buttplate. South Carolina merely marked SC on the buttplate tang.

Based on my observations I believe that your markings are indeed those of the 7th New York.

Note that New York had adopted the .50-70 Remington rolling blocks circa 1867 and retained them until circa 1890 when they joined the rest of the military world with .45-70s, and accepted the federal supplied trapdoors. The record of militia issues by state (which Al supplied in the Newsletter some years ago) probably give the models, numbers and dates when NY received these.

There are extensive SRS listings for the 2nd, 8th, 9th and 12th NY Volunteer Infantry regiments, but the only one that comes close to including all companies is the 202nd.

Hope that helps.


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