In conversation with a fellow WACA member, we were trying to narrow down the transition when the 2nd model 1873 dustcovers went from the impressed thumbprint as shown below, to the later serrated edge version. Was it in the first few thousand of the second models? I don’t have Gordon’s book, if it may have the answer. Just curious if any of you know what s/n range this took place in, and how many second models have the older thumbprint style cover. Thanks, Gary
I have seen guns with plain dust covers as low (or early) as in the 36,000 range and late thumb print covers in the 40,700 range. The earliest 2nd models I have seen are in the 30,000 range.
That should give you and Idea on range and how few there are. That puts it at least less than 10,000 with overlapping 1st model receivers mixed in there and covers there are simply plain (no thumbprint). There is no way of knowing how many second models have the thumbprint covers. It was not a special order Item per say and won’t be noted on any ledger page.
I have also seen guns with 1st model receivers as high as 35,000. And LeRoy Merz had a 1st model receiver gun with a serial number in the 130,000 range on his website a while back. That is in the 3rd model range. It was obviously a very late parts gun or the tang had been switched but it looked original.
Thanks for the info and sharing your observations. Sounds like they showed up quite a bit later than I was thinking, although in the entire run of the second models they are still a relatively small percentage, compared to the later version. The first model frame you mentioned out in the third model range is interesting as well. That’s what makes collecting fun. You never know what you may come across, or hear about.
May 2, 2009
It was a wide overlap as Maverick said. Gordon has pictures of a Spanish carbine s/n 29,760 with a second model rail and thumb print and the first model mortise cover up to 33,232.
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Would you mind re-posting that article with a larger image size or a link to it or something. On my browser (don’t know about everyone else’s) it is the size of a postage stamp and I can’t make out any of the text to actually read the article.
April 15, 2005
Perfect, I can acutally read it. Thanks!