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Re Strange marking
Posted by John S. on Sunday, 17 October 2021, at 12:50 p.m., in response to Strange marking, posted by Ed Lieberman on Saturday, 16 October 2021, at 4:33 p.m.
Army regulations banned applying unit markings to weapons, and this was largely obeyed by regular units. Noted exceptions include the 10th Cavalry, and their markings are known on Colt Single Action revolvers and Sharps carbines, but I do not recall ever hearing of a trapdoor with such markings, usually in the format --C Company 10th Cavalry-- in a single line, neatly stamped. I very much doubt that your markings are for the 10th Cavalry. + + + Many state units ignored the federal regulations and applied unit markings, especially New York. These were usually in the format used on other equipment with a Company letter over the Regimental number, over a number roughly 1-100 range which was a quotsoldier numberquot assigned to each member of the company to keep track of who was responsible for what without putting their name on everything, and having to replace that if they left and another guy took their place. + + + Of course, markings have also been applied to surplus military guns by veterans groups, theatrical companies or theatrical prop suppliers, or individuals for reason known only to them. + + + In this case, I think the -- MA88 -- is actually MASS which was stamped on militianational guard arms by the state of Massachusetts. I do not know what their militia units were in the trapdoor era which may have had carbines instead of rifles, but perhaps artillery units or quasi 0fficial things like color guards, cadets, veterans, etc. There are likely annual reports of the Mass Adjutant General which would list units and that would be worth checking out.
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