designation, Model 1884, is somewhat nebulous. The
changes that are associated with the model all occurred
before or after 1884. For example, the trigger associated
with the model is serrated, that change occurred in 1883.
Likewise, the Buffington rear sight was not perfected for
the gun until 1885. Also, the breech block which is dated
"1884" did not appear on guns until 1887. So,
there were no obvious changes that occurred with the
beginning of 1884. However, the Buffington rear sight is
the one item that collectors associate with the model. It
should be said that marksmen found the sight to be
excellent, but troops found it to be an obstruction.
Both the rifle and the carbine can be found with a milled
front sight cover or with one of several snap-on covers.
Several versions of the Model 1883 cover were made for
the rifle and the carbine. Some were stamped with a
letter, ("R" or "C") denoting rifle
or carbine, but most were unmarked.