I see your interest with you having 31889 I didnt post the exact number because I did think you were supposed to.
Mine is 30813. I read a pdf written by david williamson referring to Syracuse guns and transition guns showing production numbers. I saw a 12 gauge 3055x which was described similarly to mine only with a square trap. I think its possible somewhere between 3055x and 30813 is where the serious design changes were beginning to be introduced.
I think thats exciting.
being a locksmith at NSA for 10 years the shop drawings were the first thing I looked at. This is why I referred to the discrepancies between my gun and the drawings of the regular frame gun. I have a 5/8 tapered ball and my trap is round headed and measures 1 1/8" exactly.
This may show the design changes that Hunter was beginning to make trying to make it his own design.
The reason I think this is because there are no production numbers for 1888 I think this was because smith and his head designer halted shotgun production to perfect and build the typewriter in house subsequently selling off the manufacturing rights of shotguns to Hunter because typewriters were more lucrative..
He kept his finger in it by being a principle in the steel company that provided smith their barrels.
You have to remember this time period was the model for the way china steals Patents today...
You alter it just slightly and you circumvent the royalties I think Hunter may have taken a page from smith and started tweaking it in house during this series of serial numbers.
Smith and his designer did it with the hammerless gun and the typewriter. He didn't invent it he improved upon it and sold it as his.. Kinda like Bill gates and DOS.
Another thing I noticed on that pdf is that all the 28"barrels were in a special order I also read In another thread that because Hunter was a Railroad man he gave many short barreled guns away to people in the railroad business as gifts pulling them off the line and calling them carriage guns.
I think this 28" barrel gun fits that bill if you held it you'd know what I mean Its sweet no bulk.
Unfortunately it also means no record from the Cody museum if it was a gift gun all records would be scratched and no one knows who Hunter gave guns to less any super special guns like a gift from him to LC smith.
I'll get those pics to Drew this weekend and hopefully he can post them and you can tell me how stupid I am later...LOL
Im having trouble dealing with the sights image system