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1873 Springfield Trapdoor What do Look for when Buying?

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by dh1633pm, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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    I have been looking and actively looking to purchase an 1873 Springfield Trapdoor. Want a representative example. What should I look for before handing over the cash. What mistakes do I try to avoid. This is already an active search. I wanted to add the experts at THR into the search. And thanks.
     
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  2. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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  3. greg_r

    greg_r Member

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    Don't know a lot about them. I did find a 1873 carbine I just had to have and it came with a funny story.

    When I asked my wife for the money to get it, she asked why? History I said. What history? I told her it was the same Rifle carried but Custer and the ,7th Calvary at the Little Bighorn.

    Her response? Then why do you want it? It didn't do them any good.

    I was concerned about the low ball price and had it appraised. I was offered nearly $200 more than I paid for it.

    20180114_160737.jpg
     
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  4. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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    Sweet story Greg_R. Have you ever shot it? Fine looking rifle.
     
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  5. greg_r

    greg_r Member

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    A few times. I can't hardly see the sights with these old eyes. The bore slugs out at .460. I loaded up some 405 grain hollow base cast bullets from the Lee mold and used 5744 powder. I was able to keep shots on target at 100 yards, but I think that's a 8 inch circle.
     
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  6. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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    Is there anything that can't be loaded with AA5744. That's good shooting.
     
  7. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    There are some model variations among those guns called 1873s.. Some upgrades. There is a Model 1879 and 1884. Minor changes that still fit the profile.
    I have told the story of mine before.. Grand Dad bought a rifle from Bannermans for $7.50 when he homesteaded in Wyoming before the turn of the last century. There might be Injuns or rustlers don'tcha know.
    It sat in the barn for 40 years unfired an uncared for.
    I found it when Grandparents abandoned the homestead and moved to town. I was 4 years old and my Dad put it in a closet where it remained for another 20 years.
    By the time I remembered it, it was in pretty bad shape. It is an 1879 model rifle.

    I got a new barrel and a stock from Rhinehart-Fajen and brought it back to life.
    Trapdoor_Big.jpg 45-70.jpg
    I use 405 and 500 grain slugs over black powder. I have killed elk,deer, antelope, and many various varmints with it. I have other big game rifles, but this is my favorite.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
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  8. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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    Sweet Iggy. Doesn't look so bad now.
     
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  9. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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    I purchased it. Must be a good buy or someone would have said so. We will see when it arrives.
     
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  10. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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  11. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    We demand pictures!!!:evil:

    I'll bet you have a lot of fun with that gun.. The original rifle round was a 45-70-500. Cavalry troopers were little fellers due to weight limitation on their horses, and that round in the carbine kicked the snot out of them.. Army went to a 45-55-405 round for them.
     
  12. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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    Thanks. Will post pictures when it arrives. I am traveling next week to Florida so it might be a few. I already load 45-70. I have enough lead bullets for it, but maybe not the right size. Easy enough to fix. I already load 45-70 for bear in my Marlin, but I also load it down to cowboy or trapdoor levels. We will see. It is one of the last ones missing from my US collection, I now have an example of everything from post civil war to modern military that was widely distributed. Except for a good 1917 Enfield. Thats next on my "to do" list.
     
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I believe that the original 1873 rifle load was .45-70-405 with .45-55-405 for carbines.
    The .45-70-500 was GI as of 1881 when they put the 500 grain bullet of the .45-80-500 Long Range (2.4" case) in the standard 2.1" case.
     
  14. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

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    There is something wrong with the way the cleaning rod is seated. It's not supposed to stick out at a downward angle like that. Perhaps the rod is bent.
     
  15. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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    Thanks. We will see when I get it.
     
  16. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Member

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    There is Springfield website that will tell you the history of your trapdoor according to the serial number. I found out that my carbine started its life as a rifle and was altered, probably by Bannermans. http://trapdoorcollector.com/

    No need to ask the internet when you can get accurate information.
     
  17. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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    Thanks for all the info and links. Rifle came in today. Its an 1886. The cleaning rod is just fine. That are various markings on the rifle. Need to know what is normal and what would not. Blueing no blueing, markings on the stock. Stuff like that. Will post some pictures very shortly. I only took this one right now. Just got back from another business trip. Actually picked it up on the way home from the Airport.



    lkSARp+kTKWkFmA5TxeoHQ.jpg
     
  18. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    What we can see looks great.
     
  19. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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    Iggy, what metal parts should be what color? I just went into the basement and loaded one 45-70 empty with an empty primer then chambered it and fired it. No boom since it didn't have a working primer, powder or bullet, but it made a nice dent in the primer. Extraction was excellent. Trigger is heavy but pretty nice. I looked at the bore and it looked shiny with good rifling.
     
  20. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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    I will get some picture posted. I have it all apart in the basement. I used the right tools for the job and used care. The blueing looks nice under the wood. The stock is supper clean under the barrel. I shot it yesterday two times using a 300 grain lead bullet and 15 grains of Trail Boss. Recoil was .223 like. I like it.
     
  21. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    Like most things bore, these are black powder rifles, and could have lead a rough life.....they also had a long service life.

    The other things that plague these rifles are people shooting loads too hot in them, the action is not "that" strong so do some reading and learn to read the signs of too much pressure on the "door" and the area around it.

    They are super fun to shoot, and not too expensive....just keep the loads "trapdoor" safe.
     
  22. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Do be careful with Trail Boss. Them cute li'l cheerios are really a pistol powder and contrary to popular opinion, you can overload a BP rifle round with them, especially with full weight bullets.
     
  23. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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    Thanks for the info on Trail Boss. I loaded them light and the recoil was powder puff. Got some pictures.
     

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