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Make your own Trapdoor?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Gaucho Gringo, Jun 30, 2013.

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  1. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo Member

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    I was looking at a reproduction Springfield the other day that was priced fairly cheap. I had been looking for a Trapdoor, but haven't found one I like. Then it hit me, could you take one of the repro's, buy a trapdoor receiver and make one like they did originally or are the repro's out of spec too much to the originals to make this possible? I have seen the threads where members of this forum have rebuilt and modified original trapdoors but nothing like I am thinking. Any comments?
     
  2. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    The original trapdoors were made by machining the rear of the musket barrel to receive the swinging block. The hinge block was soldered and screwed to the barrel, allowing the block to swing. This is the model of rifle that gave rise to the myth of the "weak" trapdoor. You would also need to bore out and line the barrel. Is it possible, sure. But only you can decide if it is worth the time and effort.

    It wasn't until the Model of 1868 that a seperate reciever was used.
     
  3. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Member

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    It's not uncommon to find shootable trapdoors in the 6-700 dollar range, and by the time you buy an action that's fit to use, add the cost of the repro and any machine work..
     
  4. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I know you can install the breech blocks from the originals into the Italian repros with some fitting work. This is sometimes done because the repro blocks are inferior and have a tendency to turn into semiautos. Mine has been doing this and I intend to replace the block this winter.

    There's no shortage of Trapdoor parts around so you should be able to make a custom gun out of old parts.
     
  5. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    I believe you can also fix the opening block problem by working on the cam latch. On some of the reproductions, the latch roates on the shaft and allows to block to pop open. Realigning the catch and the shaft and pinning the catch in place fixes the problem.
     
  6. sail32

    sail32 Member

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  7. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    I find good, shootable original trapdoors around here for $500 and under - $200 if Bubba messed with it.
    If it's not black, plastic, shiny, or factory scoped, nobody here wants it.
     
  8. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
  9. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    How much would the headspace vary? Where would it headspace, would that be inside the barrel part, or would the rim close right up against the chamber edge so the rim is not recessed into the chamber?

    I guess what I am asking is how much of the cartridge is sticking out of the chamber.
     
  10. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    NO! what I am really asking is how you adjust headspace!
     
  11. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    If it's chambered for a rimmed cartridge like the .45-70 it will headspace on the rim. You'd need to try different breachblocks or if you're putting a new barrel on you can do it from that end. With BP cartridges that aren't being used for long range target work it's usually not a problem. But a no-go gauge isn't a bad idea if you're doing a revamp. And it's essential if you're doing something experimental.
     
  12. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    Thank you, I was looking for "in the breechblock" or something like that. I couldn't seem to figure how to say that...
     
  13. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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  14. TRX

    TRX Member

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    Just a note on .45-70 - I've measured .45-70 brass varying .005" in rim thickness depending on the brand.

    If you have excess headspace on a .45-70, different ammo may bring you back into spec.
     
  15. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    I think I smell a build coming on...
     
  16. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    I'd like a Gemmer Trapdoor...
     
  17. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    Okay, if I was going to piece together a Trapdoor, not for collection, for shooting, how much of the lock would need to be to an actual trapdoor? Could I find some parts for a lock from a percussion rifle and get that to work? Maybe an 1842 replica lock? Replace the hammer, but what else is trapdoor specific?

    Also, same idea, would a 1863 lock fit an 1884 action? If not, would it just be the breechblock? How interchangeable are these parts?
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
  18. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    IMO: If you need to ask how to do it?

    This is a very bad idea!!

    You ain't lived, or died, till you wake up dead with a trap-door Springfield action that blew off a muzzle loader barrel stuck in your right eyeball!

    It's not at all like building a safe AR-15 out of parts.


    rc
     
  19. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Non of the lock would need to be original. The hammer would need to be modified to hit the firing pin. The stock would need to be altered to accept whatever version of the trapdoor you are using. rcmodel is correct, it is not a swap in and out type of rifle. They are safe, I have not seen or read of any that the breechblock left the rifle when shot to destruction, when using a model with a seperate receiver, ie Model 1868 or later. (The early First and Second Allins are what gave the trapdoor a bad reputation.)

    Here is one I put together with an 1866 barreled reciever and an Italian Mississippi rifle for the rest of the parts.

    ScoutRifleandRevolver001.gif

    On the Single Shot Rifle Association site you can find a couple of fellows who regualary rework trapdoors to fit their needs. There are photos of several Gemmers, originals and replicas, along with other styles of rifles using the trapdoor action.

    Not an easy build but doable if you are up to the task.
     
  20. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    That is exactly, or almost exactly what I was thinking of Straw Hat!

    Nice conversion too!
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  21. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo Member

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    Straw Hat thank you. That is exactly the question I was trying to pose but I guess I did not phrase it quite right. You answered my question. A nice trapdoor you have there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
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