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strange 1866 trapdoor

Posted by Ken on Saturday, 27 May 2017, at 3:41 p.m.

I bought an 1866 described as more or less in fair condition. fairly cheap (under 700). When it arrived the stock was all gummy and there was actual rust on the barrel and the barrel bands and on the butt plate it was so rusty it was actually flaking. The gun is intended to be a shooter.

So, after disassembly Easy Off and a garden hose for the stock. Lots of brown sludge, even after 3 times. Clean now, the wood is dark brown with good grain and the cartouches, some of them are actually readable. Wire wheel then lots of automotive 600 and 1000 grit till the barrel looks nice. No discernible marks removed. But the butt plate. Like I say, the rust was actually flaking off the top part. I actually ordered a used one to replace it thinking I would have to discard it. But I tried the wire wheel anyway. Then I stopped because I saw a mark and thereafter just used fine sandpaper. There is NO trace of a US on the butt plate. Instead, I seem to have a puzzling unit mark on the main part of the butt plate. The letter T (troop?) and under that 21 and under that 41.

But this is an infantry rifle correct? Why would it go to a cavalry troop? I am thinking 41 would probably be the 41 Infantry Division. A colored soldier regiment formed after the Civil War (July 1866) the 38th38and later in 1869 merged with the 38th Regiment to become the 24th (colored) Infantry Regiment. A Buffalo Soldier unit.

But I have questions. Why is there no US stamping on the butt plate of this 1866 50-70? Why is it marked with a T? Shouldn't there be a company designation instead? How many battalions were in the 41st Regiment? I can''t envision 21 battalions in a single regiment..

So is my interpretation wrong? If so, what else could T 21/41 be?


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