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Having never done any of this before, hope it works.
On a whim I bought a Springfield Trapdoor carbine style rifle for a wall hanger.
The serial number is 188840 with a 5 pointed star after the 0. The model on top of the breech is a US MODEL 1884 in three lines. The stock has been refinished or replaced so there are no markings on it. The top of the barrel has a V, P, a symbol and then another P. After looking in a Springfield Trapdoor book by Waite and Ernst, big mistake as that started this and now has me curious. On page 115 of the book they state the model 1884 was approved for manufacture in 1885. Looking at the serial numbers they list on page 207, 188840 falls into the year 1882.
Only questions at this time are could it have started life as a carbine, the date of the gun and any input on the star behind the serial number.
As stated, I never tried to post a question so I hope it goes to the right area.
Thanks.
 

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There is some question about the meaning of the star mark. It is commonly believed to indicate that a rifle was rebuilt with a new receiver and the star indicates that it might not have all new parts. One way to tell if it was a carbine or a rifle is that there is no sliing swivel on the trigger guard of the carbine.

The problem is that so many of those rifles were reworked, rebuilt, sporterized, built from parts, etc., after service, so one can really never be sure what parts are original and what are not. The model year was put on the breechblock, which is not part of the receiver, so its date does not indicate the model of the rifle, only the model of the breechblock. Another source of confusion is that there were no receivers made specifically for carbines. The receivers were made the same, then assembled into either rifles or carbines, at random, as required. Example: 188828 is listed as a carbine, with the star. Also, the Model 1877 carbine, which was being made in the 1881/2 period, had the breechblock marked 1873.

FWIW, Brophy shows 188838 as a rifle maufactured in 1882 and having the new parts and no star.

I admit I am confused.

Jim
 
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