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shooting trapdoor springfield

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by chuck faison, Aug 25, 2009.

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  1. chuck faison

    chuck faison Member

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    Can we please talk about shooting the trapdoor rifles and carbine.Not the repos but the real thing.I guess the repos would be better steel therfore stronger.However I have shot lots with black and also with smokeless powder. your thoughts on this subject..
     
  2. Ratdog68

    Ratdog68 Member

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    So? Didja buy it after I pointed you towards it? Was it what you were looking for?
     
  3. 2RCO

    2RCO Member

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    Chuck most modern 45/70 ammo is fine for a good condition Trapdoor. Often it will say so on the box. Just not the Really new really hot stuff.

    I have 2 one nice all original and another one with the stock sporterized (I didn't do it). I shoot the cut down stock every once in a while when I get the urge. The fullstocked better quality one hangs out in the safe.
     
  4. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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    Mines a remake an H & R but I only shoot BP thru it, I don't feel its so much the steel as the design of the rifle that limits the load.
    Fun rifle to shoot though.
     
  5. pohill

    pohill Member

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    I recently passed on a good deal on an original Springfield trapdoor because I know nothing about the ammo. Is it readily available? What about reloading?
     
  6. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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  7. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    I load my own,and currenly have 210 loaded cases.However,Ultramax [sold by Sportsmans guide] makes safe, affordable BP equivilant smokeless loads ,for those that don't want to mess with reloading or BP cleaning.
     
  8. Acorn Mush

    Acorn Mush Member

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    Pohill, find out quick if you can still pick up that Trapdoor! The ammo is readily available and easy to reload. First get the rifle if you can, then we'll give you all the reloading advice you need. Go man, go!
     
  9. pohill

    pohill Member

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    I saw it in a store way up the Maine coast. It was mint - no rust, nice coloring and lettering. The seller was asking $1500 but he said I could have it for $1000. He said it was made around 1894. I started reading about the Springfields online and it seems that parts were mixed and matched during that time period. I want a shooter and that gun looked perfect. Even my wife said "Buy it." But, I'm more into cap and ball. Still, that was a nice rifle.
    Maybe I'll rethink it knowing that the ammo is available.
    Thanks for the info.
     
  10. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Member

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    Trapdoor springfield in 45-70 is easy to load for and easy to comeby components, (except maybe primers right now) Straight wall cases re teeasie to load. I would not shot anything but leadbullets in trapdoor. INFACT MOST DO quite well with pure lead slugs. Molds are available from 190 grains to 600 grains. They don't have much drop and with full loads of black, still slap the shooter around pretty good. the old IDeal handbook even listed indoor gallery loads for trapdoors,using 457 round balls. A very few trapdoors were chamberd for 45-90 or 20 ga shotgun. The first, were 58 caliber and later were in 50-70 Gov't, also a hoot to shoot. Barnes (COW) writes that the 45-70 is good for any N. American game at close ranges. However, one shot neck kills on Buff were done at 500 yds.

    I load 62 grains of 3f, an 1/8 grease cookie and a 457125, 500 grain bullet greased with microcrystalline wax. (((((((Cheese wax, you know the red stuff on Gouda cheese) The bullet can't be seated all the way, but the bullet is pushed into the rifling when the breach is closed.
     
  11. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    I have an 1884 model that was cut who knows when to a carbine length, pretty popular conversion when these were a dime a dozen.

    I shoot it with standard ammo, but between the lighter weight and the poor shape of the metal buttplate, it kicks like a mule.

    But there's something elemental about it which I get a kick out of (no pun intended).
     
  12. kanook

    kanook Member

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    Mine is a 73 pre-Custer. I shoot 400 grain loaded to bp specs. It was also cut to carbine :barf: Which is why I only paid $98 for it. When shooting at 150yds after squeezing trigger if you remove earplug fastenough you can hear the bullet whizzing thru the air.
     
  13. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    My 1884 was also cut to carbine,but closer to ''officer's model specs,about 2'' more barrel than my H&R Cavalry Model. I shoot it with my buddy who shoots an original 1863 Sharps converted to .45-70 sometime in the late 1870's .
     
  14. Jefferson Herb

    Jefferson Herb Member

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    Trapdoor

    BHP ,you did'nt think I would leave this one alone did you?
    I have an 1890 dated 1884,with the stock shortened,and use 65 gr 3f .060 over powder wad and tc1000 lube.As BHP knows our weather is normally mild to cold and wet. [I want to check out your sharps too] Most of the origional guns get cast bullets because of soft steel,and black powder [because it's proper].I also have a 577-450 short lever,again w/shortened stock [I always find the 2nd class guns],but is easier on the pocket book if you just want a shooter.
    POHILL! If that 1894 dated 84 is there and as perfect as you say,[most late guns have good bores]You buy it , or you will be missing a fine rifle.It will take some doing to load for it,but that's what this site is all about. Lots of info . Handloader had an article about Varget,you know the stuff you can't find ,listing some really good velocity [1800 in 32 in]with a full case of the stuff.
    Also the us calvery had Guard loads,of three .457 round ball which in practice,stayed in torso sized patern at 50 yds.
     
  15. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Member

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    Yo jefferson, 577-450, I have three Martini's Two longies and a Gahendra. The Gahendra is a good shooting gun, with 459 bullets breech seated. I don't have the 472 mold to shoot the larger bore enfield made guns. Because of the choked bores Enfield Martini=henrys almost always require pure lead bullets for best results.
     
  16. pohill

    pohill Member

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    I saw the rifle, then came home to research it. This site provided alot of info but I needed the serial number which, of course, I forgot to write down.
    The rifle is about two hours away from me, in Boothbay, ME and I plan to go back soon.
    http://www.trapdoorcollector.com/
     
  17. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    I have managed to bag antelope, mule deer, elk, and all kinds of varmints with this one and black powder hand loads.
    [​IMG]
    I would have to say it's my most favoritest rifle.
     
  18. rocky branch

    rocky branch Member

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    Metal jackets are very hard on those old barrels.
    Recommend soft lead loads.
     
  19. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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    Iggy, that is a beautiful rifle tell us about it...
     
  20. Ginormous

    Ginormous Member

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    Wow Iggy. Tell us more please.

    Trapdoors are just sooo cool.
     
  21. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Thanks guys.
    Mine is the poor man's copy of the Markman's trophy rifle

    [​IMG]

    It started as a 1879 vintage rifle. I found an unfired surplus rifle barrel with a spot of rust on the last inch near the muzzle exterior. The barrel reputedly came from Bannerman's, and cost $2.00 many years back. The bore was immaculate and it cost me $25.00. Cut off the rusty part, dove tailed a hooded front sight on it.
    I still have the original barrel and stock around somewhere.

    Got a Rinehart Fajen semi-inletted stock for Trapdoors. Receiver is pillar mounted and glass bedded, and the barrel is free floating.

    Neidner Butt plate and grip cap.

    [​IMG]

    I use 405, 500 grain soft lead cast bullets and the same duplex load for both weight bullets.
    One just kicks harder than the other one.

    They are very effective hunting rounds when properly applied. I've never had to shoot twice.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  22. Ginormous

    Ginormous Member

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    Damn Iggy, that's a seriously sexy looking trapdoor. Just a gorgeous firearm in it's elegant simplicity. What was the final barrel length, and where did you locate the replacement barrel? I am all about duplicating one of these as a winter project and Christmas gift to myself!
     
  23. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Ginormous,

    The barrel on my rifle is 26" long

    I got the original rifle when I was a kid from an old time gunsmith. He had a stash of trapdoors he had bought from Bannerman's before they went defunct.

    http://www.hudsonvalleyruins.org/yasinsac/bannerman/banold.html

    Homesteaders liked the Trapdoors because they were cheap and so was surplus ammo. I think I paid $20.00 for mine.
    I have seen a Bannermans catalog that listed Trapdoors for $7.50 and ammo was like 50 rounds for a quarter. They went belly up long before I knew about them.

    This old guy like dinking with TD's and he had some spare barrels too.

    I had run across articles and pictures of the Officer's and Markman's rifles and I just made my own cheap version.

    I bought my barrel from his widow when she cleaned out his shop and closets.

    I don't think Rienhart-Fajen is still in business. I stopped in their shop and got my stock blank in person. I think there are a couple of other stock makers in Warsaw MO where R-J use to be.

    Bishops and Macon, I think. Maybe one of them bought out the stock patterns from R-J.

    That would be a place to start.

    Mine has a cheek piece like a muzzle loader on the butt and I had to fill the ramrod hole with black plastic.

    Another way to go is to copy the Meacham conversions.. They would take an old Trapdoor and put a Sharp's barrel in it. I saw one of those at the Wyoming State Museum. The octagonal barre is kinda neat. A guy could get a barrel from Dixie or somewhere and stick that on a Trapdoor for something unique.

    Might shoot a bit better than a Springfield barrel but mine ain't no slouch.
     
  24. Ginormous

    Ginormous Member

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    Saving this for my reference materials Iggy. Thank you very much!
     
  25. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
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