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Re: Custer 'rifle'

Posted by John S. on Wednesday, 12 July 2017, at 10:10 p.m., in response to Re: Custer 'rifle', posted by Dick Hosmer on Wednesday, 12 July 2017, at 6:05 p.m.

I checked the SRS list and your number 29852 is NOT one for which records have survived. Plus or minus 500 numbers from that there are about 15 guns for which information has survived. They are about evenly split between carbines and rifles, and the usage is different for just about every one. Guns were not made or assembled or shipped or issued in strict numerical sequence so five guns with sequential numbers may have gone to five different locations.

Records have been found for only about 26,000 of the more than 550,000 .45-70 trapdoors made, and there is nearly zero chance that any significant additional records will ever be found.

Since yours is not listed there, I am afraid that any reports that it "went to the 7th" are not based on any surviving documentation. Someone may have arrived at that conclusion by the fact that the serial number is within the "Custer range" of all possible serial numbers which were made at a date where they could have possibly made it that far west by June 25, 1876. But, that range also includes all those guns which were shipped to every other army unit, ordnance depot or storage facility, or retained at Springfield. (Think of it as a list of all the lottery tickets sold for last week's drawing, and the winning one was there, but not all tickets sold were winners.)

Springfield Armory production data indicates your gun was made around late 1874, with a total of 35,218 completed rifles and carbines by December 31, 1874 since starting production in 1873.

That's the final bit of the puzzle I can provide. Hope it helps.


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