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H&R 45-70 replica Springfield Trapdoor Carbine

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by rwhichel, Jul 1, 2009.

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  1. rwhichel

    rwhichel Member

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    Any of you guys own and shoot one of these rifles? I just bought one . It is in unfired condition and I believe it was built in 1973. I bought it to shoot and enjoy. I have recently been told of a possible safety issue with these rifles. The problem relates to how the breechblock locking cam is fastened to the thumb lever shaft. Are you aware of, or had any problems with yours? I have also been told of an easy fix for the problem. I just wanted to see if anyone else that shoots one of these rifles has run into any problems or made the fix. Thanks, Ron W.
     
  2. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    Had mine for maybe 5 years and it shoots just fine. No hot rod loads would be my recommendation. Otherwise, I have never heard of any particular problem with these and I enjoy mine a great deal.


    [​IMG]
     
  3. cpirtle

    cpirtle Member

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    I had an original and echo what SaxonPig said.

    The only thing I am aware of problem wise with these guns is that they are not designed for modern loadings that even a lever action would handle. I'm not even sure I would feel comfortable shooting modern factory loads from one on a regular basis but since I never did others will have to weigh in there. All I ever shot out of mine were light loads of Trail Boss (~10 grains IIRC) behind a lead semi wad cutter.
     
  4. Shung

    Shung Member

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    How much does it cost out there ?

    As an Indian wars "specialist" I'd love to get one of these !

    I'd load it with BP anyway !
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
  5. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    New they run right about a grand from most sellers. Used can be anything from $500 and up. There were various models with different features.

    Modern factory ammo is loaded to be safe in the Trapdoor unless stated otherwise on the packaging.
     
  6. Dienekes

    Dienekes Member

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    Bought mine around 1973 for $190 or so. I like it far better than my Shiloh Sharps...I have seen a few original Officer's Models over the years and for the money this is one nice rifle. NOT for sale.

    There was some sort of an issue if the thumb piece on the breechblock latch were to become loose and the breechblock would open upon firing. Apparently this happened somewhere once. However mine is solid as a rock and I don't worry about it.
     
  7. rwhichel

    rwhichel Member

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    Thanks guys for the responses. I realy appreciate it. SaxonPig, That sure is a "purty" rifle!! It looks just like mine! Thanks again, Ron W.
     
  8. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Saxonpig, I believe that you are incorrect with regards to ammo. I don't think you can use anything that doesn't say that it is safe for trapdoor rifles. I just checked my Hornady LeverRevolution and found no such label (stating it is not safe in T.Doors) and it is a 325gr projectile moving at about 2050fps, so it is a pretty stout loading. I do know that most (if not all) UMC boxes say that they are alright for T.Doors so that is what I would stick to. I may very well be incorrect, but I would rather be wrong than for you to be wrong and someone get hurt in the process. :)
     
  9. rwhichel

    rwhichel Member

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    Winchester 45-70 Ammo

    Having just bought the rifle, I wanted to have a box of ammo since I am not set up to reload in that cal. yet. I went to sportsmans warehouse and asked the salesman if his Winchester 45-70 ammo would be to much for my H&R trapdoor. He told me that all factory 45-70 ammo is loaded light for the trapdoor and other replica rifles. So I bought a box. He also gave me a copy of a winchester ammo writeup. When I got home I noticed in the writeup that the ammo I had just bought was loaded to push a 300 gr. JHP boolit at 1880 fps. I got out my new Lyman. reloading manual and looked in the 45-70 section for "Trapdoors" and sure enough 1880 fps. is above the maximum load for "trapdoors"! I am not going to shoot my rifle with ammo that is loaded over the maximum reccommended load. So since Sportsmans Warehouse does not let you return ammo, I guess I am stuck with a $35 box of ammo . Thats OK because as soon as I get my reloading dies I can pull the bullets and reload them. I wonder what powder they use? I will probably go back to SW first anyway and beg them to take them back. If they won't I will just reload them. Anyway my point is I think you really do have to be careful when buying factory ammo for a 45-70 "trapdoor" and probably also for other replica rifles.
     
  10. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Something that I should have done (before posting above)...sure nuff you're right though...anything above 1600-1700fps (in the 300gr variety) is too fast for the trapdoor. What you need is some of the UMC dumbed-down (or "original loading" if you like the sound of that better) loads. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2009
  11. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    I believe I am correct. If the factory ammo is not safe in a Trapdoor their lawyers would insist on marking the package as such for liability protection. The specialty loads that are not safe in the Trapdoor are clearly marked as such.

    Check out this site on 45/70 loads. The author notes that factory ammo is loaded to be safe in old Trapdoors and the high pressure loads carry warning labels.


    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_3_46/ai_59281219/?tag=rbxcra.2.a.44
     
  12. schlockinz

    schlockinz Member

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    I think some of the cowboy stuff would work, not 100% sure since I've never seen what speeds they are rated at
     
  13. JustsayMo

    JustsayMo Member

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    The only problem I know of about those rifles is that I don't have one...

    Is the rear sight on that one period correct?
     
  14. chuckles

    chuckles Member

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    I have one of the H&R Officer's Models. beautiful gun with really nice engraving, color case hardening and very nice wood. It has a tang sight also. I have never fired mine. They should be safe to fire with Goex Black powder loads. I would not want to punish myself with full power loads anyway. There is a screw to tighten under the breech bolt to keep the lock tight. Just check it every now and then. Mine has the wooden cleaning rod under the 26" barrel. Nice rifle with a really nice finish on metal and wood. Pedersoli makes new trapdoor models that would probably be safe with almost any load, if your shoulder can handle it.
     
  15. rwhichel

    rwhichel Member

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    A screw under the breech bolt

    Chuckles, Are you talking about the little allen head set screw in the locking cam?
     
  16. chuckles

    chuckles Member

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    Yep. I don't recall the allen head part but there is a screw. I remember seeing some guy elsewhere that would do a permanent fix on those. Mine is beautiful, but as I said I have never fired it. 100% safe empress.
     
  17. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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    I have a H&R Officers model my dad bought new actually a pair of them, so I clean it to get ready to shoot it, have a box of Goex black powder rounds.
    But tonight I move the rear tang sight and it breaks off in my hand!!
    I don't suppose there is anyplace to buy a replacement? or maybe one of the after market tang sights would replace it. Also how do they remove?
     
  18. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Welcome to THR! If it's not a soule vernier tang sight (quite expensive) you can get a Marble's or Lyman pretty reasonably. I have heard (never used) that the Marble's is a little better but it is also a bit more costly. The sight generally removes/installs with a pair of screws. Your lucky...I wish I had a tang to put a sight on. :)
     
  19. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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    It was a pretty simple sight I'll try and post some pictures, I checked the web for sights and as noted some get real pricey, But I see dixie gun works has a few different styles I think I my try to just replace the leaf and leave the base in place, just buy a sight and use the folding leaf part.
     
  20. krs

    krs Member

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    Buffalo Arms http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/2,217.html has a nice selection of tang sights of most any kind desired and Axtell makes a pretty nice tang sight: http://www.riflesmith.com/index.html.

    That's the sights page I linked, but go to the home page in Buffalo Arms for just about anything you could want or need in BPCR shooting.


    On the sights - you want both windage and elevation adjustment unless you have a windage adjusting front sight. Make sure of the hole spacing you need and try real hard to make sure that you're getting a sight with correct spacing, good adjustments, and enough available height to shoot any range you might want to try.

    Some of the cheap tang sights give only elevation adjustment, some are pretty rinky-dink (broke off in your hand??), some have no way to adjust their vertical position in relation to the rifle's bore. If a tang sight with small peephole is not vertical it makes the peep look cloudy and unusable. There's a reason that some sights are pricey - they're precision instruments.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  21. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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    Not great photos:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  22. krs

    krs Member

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    Is that base inletted into the stock? What's holding it in place?

    I don't know if it's blurriness but I don't see screws so unless there's some kind of through bolt the sight base must be glued in place, like maybe with Accraglass.

    I think if that were mine I'd shop for a wide based sight , one that covered that hole and use screws with glue to hold the sight on. Even with black powder guns you want the sighting to be as firmly immovable as possible.

    I've never seen a sight base inletted into a stock like that - IF that's what I'm seeing. I wouldn't much care for that method and would figure out something else.
     
  23. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Unfortunately or fortunately what you have there is the more expensive version, better but not cheap. It is a soule vernier tang sight.
    I agree, it doesn't seem like the most stable platform for a rear sight. Perhaps there is a cover that is concealing the screws? :confused: Never seen anything like it. :)
     
  24. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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    Now you see why I'm asking how do you remove it, As I looked real close there may be a flat spring under the part that rotates, I'm going to drift the pin out that holds the tang in place hoping that let the flat spring if that is what it is and expose some screws holding it in place, and yes it is inletted.
    This is kind of why I was thinking of replacing the tang leaf only if possible, I want to maintain the rifles stock look.
     
  25. Detritus

    Detritus Member

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    the Pedersoli trapdoors are still NOT up to the rigors of the "Not for trapdoors" marked ammo!!
    the trapdoor design itself is not up to the stress. so ALL trapdoor rifles, regardless of origin should only be fired with the lesser loadings.

    also the Pedersoli guns are made using the same tooling etc as the H&R rifles, Pedersoli bought the tooling from H&R.
     
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