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Old March 8, 2018, 06:04 PM   #26
Mike Irwin
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"but how the Army spent it and on what, that was their decision."

Actually, no it wasn't. Congress exercised a huge amount of review and interference over not only proposed funds, but also allocated funds, and did so right up through the 1920s and 1930s.

A large part of the reason as to why the US Army tried to make Trapdoors out of Springfield rifled muskets (SRMs) of Civil War vintage was the continuing interference and parsimony of Congress.

A number of prototype rifles were tested as complete replacements for the Springfield, but Congressional overseers made it very clear that the Army was going to find a way to use some, or all, of the more than 3 million SRMs that were in stock at the conclusion of the War.

It's true that the military has always been conservative, but it wasn't as conservative as you're making it out to be.

Were that truly the case, the Colt 1873 never would have been adopted and the military would have soldiered on with cap and ball Colts and Remingtons, eventually converting some or most of them to rimfire.

In fact, many of the Remingtons in stock after the war WERE converted to rimfire (.46 Short Rimfire) and were issued to the US 9th and 10th Cavalry, and some to the 25th Infantry, which were all Buffalo Soldier units fighting Indians in the South West.
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Old March 8, 2018, 06:11 PM   #27
Slamfire
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It's true that the military has always been conservative, but it wasn't as conservative as you're making it out to be.
Yes, the poor Army, such a victim. We are all victims.

Congress was then, as they are now, managing their careers full time and giving away the wealth of the country to deserving campaign contributors. They only get involved in minutia when they can make a scandal to embarrass the Political party in power.

You are free to believe whatever version of history makes you happy.
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Old March 8, 2018, 06:29 PM   #28
Mike Irwin
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"Yes, the poor Army, such a victim. We are all victims."

Oh, get off the cross. It's already occupied. You're not him.

"Congress was then, as they are now, managing their careers full time and giving away the wealth of the country to deserving campaign contributors. They only get involved in minutia when they can make a scandal to embarrass the Political party in power."

You're ignoring another critical factor in Congressional interference in military affairs after the Civil War.

Starting from about 1870, just about every member of Congress had served in the military, either Northern or Southern, and thought that they knew how the military should be spending its money in a post war environment, only now they thought they could do it better than the military AND cheaper.

Deadly combination. And I don't need to believe what I want to believe. The Congressional Record is complete and accurate and provides exhaustive details on Congressional oversight of the military.

If you want a REALLY interesting look at how Congress interfered in military affairs, read up on the appropriations for what would become the USS Mississippi and the USS Idaho.
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Old March 9, 2018, 05:32 PM   #29
Andrewsky
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In addition to the points raised already, I wonder if they might have considered it advantageous to be able to smack the bolt open. After all they were using corrosive ammo with no chrome-lined chambers.
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Old March 12, 2018, 08:35 AM   #30
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Nah. That argument doesn't do much for me.

Martini-Henry
Sharps
Maynard
...Just a short list of single-shot designs that had the same, if not greater problem with operation; yet they were well-loved.
And yet the bolt-action is still better-suited for firing prone, regardless of how well-loved these designs were.

It was the way forward, and these designs were not.
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Old March 14, 2018, 03:58 PM   #31
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For some reason the lever action never really caught on with military (apparently there is no plural for military). Some were used here and there but not that much. The lever was THE sporting rifle for Americans until after WW I when returning Doughboys liked the power and accuracy of their 1903s and 1917s. Also one advantage to the lever was being flat so it carried well in a saddle scabbard. By the 1920s the horse was being replaced by automobiles.
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Old March 15, 2018, 08:24 AM   #32
Mike Irwin
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Jumping back to the government interference in military affairs after the Civil War, I'd forgotten about this tidbit...

From 1874 to 1876 General of the Army William T. Sherman moved his headquarters from Washington, DC, to St. Louis because of constant interference by several Secretaries of War and other members of Congress.

He only moved his command back after a new Secretary of War promised to stop interfering with his duties as commanding general.

Interference from Congress continued, but was easier to deal with, apparently.
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Old March 16, 2018, 12:46 AM   #33
44 AMP
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People on "the sharp end" have a saying amongst themselves. probably had some version of it before the Roman legions...

"The real enemy is always behind you..."

Sometimes with the added "we only get to kill the ones in front of us"...

Here's another thought, about why the lever was popular here and not so much elsewhere...

By the time you get to cartridge repeaters, who are you fighting??

In the US wild west, it was "renegade red Indians". And often civilians doing the fighting to protect themselves. In Europe who are you fighting? Other nations military units.

And that requires a rifle capable of being both effective at, and surviving hand to hand combat. Something that lever guns aren't really good at, even if you figure out how to put a bayonet on them!
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Old March 16, 2018, 12:30 PM   #34
jimsouth
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03 Springfield is the cat's ass. Still one of the best military rifles ( best any kind of rifle ) ever manufactured. I have one ( full military ) with a Kahles competition telescopic sight. The scope cost many many times more than the rifle.
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Old March 16, 2018, 02:47 PM   #35
Jim Watson
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"Please Mister Custer, I don't want to go."
One thing against the Spencer by 1876 was that the company was long out of business with no guns or parts being made.

Winchester sold a bunch of 1895 lever actions to the Russians in 7.62 MN, complete with stripper guides. They were reportedly not nearly as sturdy as the MN bolt action.
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Old March 19, 2018, 01:38 PM   #36
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They were reportedly not nearly as sturdy as the MN bolt action.
Some anvils are not as sturdy as a MN bolt action.......

The excellent C&Rsenal did a Primer episode on the Russian contract Winchesters, lots of info here:

https://youtu.be/4grSRn5wnHI
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