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Re: Little Big Horn Carbines?

Posted by Dick Hosmer on Sunday, 7 November 2010, at 12:23 a.m., in response to Re: Little Big Horn Carbines?, posted by Bill M. on Saturday, 6 November 2010, at 10:07 p.m.

That''s a two-part question!

The first part is VERY easy - to hype their sales!!!

But, with part two, you truly have struck to the very heart of the matter! Even though Custer was, IMHO, an egotistical jerk, and deserved what he got (though his men did not) LBH is easily THE most "glamorous" event in Western US history. And, everybody wants a piece of the action!

You need to understand that guns under 45000 consist of 20073 carbines, and about 25000 rifles (in which no one is REALLY very interested). We have the quarterly production totals, and it is fairly easy to assign GENERALIZED blocks where most of the arms are carbines, and vice versa.

Then, there are three categories of carbine:

(1) Those KNOWN to be 7th Cav issues (a handful do exist, and fetch six-figure prices)

(2) Those KNOWN to have been issued to other regiments. Less desireable, but NOT without interest. 3rd Cav was at the Rosebud, two days before LBH, and some of the same Indians fought in both battles, so a captured 3rd Cav carbine could have been at LBH. The 8th Cav did some interesting things, and then you have the 10th, which is all the rage these days, as it was one of the colored units. But, carbines known to have been elsewhere cannot, by definition, be LBH

(3) Those with no PROVABLE attribution. Now we get to the fun. ANYONE with a correct UNaltered carbine, under 43617, which is not recorded as having been elsewhere IS an LBH "possibility". Guns with serial numbers close to those in group (1) - even though issue was NOT made in any sort of numerical order - draw the most interest. But, your point IS correct - almost ANY early carbine COULD have "been there".

If only they could talk.

Condition - normally the major factor in value - is out the window here. The "real" LBH guns are ROUGH! Originality is EVERYTHING. Some people brag about having a "mint" 1873C. That's all very nice, but such a gun is a guardhouse queen that never crossed the Mississippi! Pretty, but no history.

Just my rambling!


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