Brian, (along with that vampicker guy) is one of my favorite coin nuts. I have the greatest respect for his cherrypicking prowess, but very little indulgence for his ability to distinguish die states.....despite this, I have to agree with him on this particular v-22 thing though, and disagree with you on the time frame of the C hub. The C hub was was finished on March 25th, used to reimpress A hub dies into the 7/8TF design that same day, and the following day (March 26th), the 7/8TF dies began striking coins. The new obverse hub (used to create v-80) was completed on March 27th, and was intended to replace the high relief obverse dies used with the 8TF reverses. Since this new C hub was in existence, (and the mint was in crisis status with serviceable working dies), it is in no way inconsistent with the notion that this new obverse hub should be used to create obverse dies of proper relief to mate with whatever reverse die was on hand, be it 7TF, 7/8TF, or 8TF. I believe that Brian is correct. The state of PL and non PL surfaces on obverse/reverse on 1878P coins is what tells the tale.
Unfortunately, I do not feel that this is the key to understanding what came first and next, and after that on all 1878P coins. Those folks who take little interest in the history, the people, the process, the politics of coin issuance, have little possibility of understanding much (beyond what VAM
is it and how much is it worth?).
I believe that all of these designs (A, B, C hubs and their corresponding obverses) were being used to strike coins simultaneously and (in some instances), interchangeably. It would not be rational to dispose of 8TF or 7/8TF dies when under pressure to produce 2 million coins per month, when you've already gotten off to a two week late start the first month, and what few dies you have on hand are not lasting more than a few hundred or thousand strikes prior to failure. Certainly since the top priority was to eliminate dies (through attrition) of the earliest high relief obverse hub design, it makes perfect sense to use the new low profile obverse with an 8TF reverse since all of the available 7/8TF or 7TF reverse dies may be in use in other presses.
Yes, I too believe that 7TF v-80 was struck before 8TF v-22 based not solely on PL conditions, (but other stuff as well).