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I've never seen one like that before but there could be two possible explanations. I think the second one is the more likely.

1. It was just a pure factory error.
2. Somewhere there is a matching R.E. Lee with a square back guard that some customer switched out either on purpose or by mistake. This could have happened if they removed the back straps and trigger guards to polish the silver.

After the first 250 double sets, the next 4750 of each of the RE Lee's and US Grant's were run with identical serial numbers with the only difference being the trigger guard shape and the suffix of either REL or USG on the frame number. Of course also the appropriate roll engraving on the barrel.

Many serial number matched sets were kept and sold as pairs for those customers who wanted both models but missed out on the double sets or otherwise wanted one each of the single sets anyway since the powder flasks were different for each set. I won such a matched set in an online live auction a few years ago. However, I ordered a double case from Bill Shumate for mine since the old single cases were not in the best shape.

Cheers
 
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