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Re: Serial number question, Krag carbine

Posted by John on Saturday, 4 August 2018, at 7:17 p.m., in response to Re: Serial number question, Krag carbine, posted by John on Saturday, 4 August 2018, at 6:48 p.m.

Okay, some analysis of Rough Rider numbers.

The SRS database lists 186 Model 1896 Krag carbines associated with Roosevelt's 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry "Rough Riders."

The unit mustered in 47 officers and 994 enlisted men, so probably about 900 were armed with Krag carbines, so about 20% of the numbers have been found.

The Rough Rider numbers cluster in 4 ranges: 27010-28995 35164-35741 (only 2 guns in this block) 68013-68758 74097-79499

The first block alone is nearly twice the entire number of guns needed for the 1st USV. As usual, usage data is incomplete, but many other units are listed in that range, and while the 1st USV is the most commonly found, that probably is more a lack of records being found for other units than any sort of serious concentration. The second block is only two guns, more than 500 numbers apart. The third block of 745 numbers is not quite enough to arm the regiment even if consecutive (which it is not). The fourth block is over 5,000 numbers, and again lots of units are represented.

Wishful thinking may make us want to believe that a close number has to share the same usage as a documented number, but it is just not the case. Even if all 900 Rough Rider numbers were known, they still would not be anywhere near consecutive.

But, I too have been proud owner of a "close" one and was happy to display it as "the same as a Rough Rider gun" until I found one that is documented. (And another!)


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