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Trapdoor info?

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by murdoc rose, Jun 25, 2013.

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  1. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Member

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    Where's the best place to go with trap door questions? Specifically in determining cadet originality.
     
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    There is a site which I disremember.
    All I know is what I can look up in Flayderman.
     
  3. Goody3086

    Goody3086 Member

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  4. deadin

    deadin Member

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  5. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Member

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    Thanks guys, Deadin great link will post later. It should just take a few good pics to someone that knows there stuff to answer yes or no.
    Serial is 192262

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    Here's some pics if you guys are interested
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  6. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Well, I am no expert on those rifles, but that one has a sling swivel on the trigger guard and a sling swivel (as well as a stacking swivel) on the upper band. Cadet rifles had no sling swivels, since cadets were not allowed to sling their rifles and were not issued slings.

    That serial number dates to 1882 and no cadet rifles were made that fiscal year, but they were made in 1881 and 1883, so with the fiscal vs. calendar year confusion, that doesn't mean much.

    You might check the barrel length also; the cadet rifle barrel length is 29.6", three inches shorter than the regular rifle barrel.

    Jim
     
  7. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Member

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    Jim you are spot on as always.

    The Barrel does measure 29.6 with a brass rod that's where the confusion comes from.


    Odds are some sort of conversion or maybe even a re-barrel?
     
  8. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Remember barrel length is measured with the breech closed.

    It would not be a conversion. Cadet rifles were made as such, not conversions of anything. And Springfield would not have turned out a rifle with an odd length barrel.

    It might have been an attempt to make a cadet rifle by someone who knew about the barrel length but not the other stuff. Or it could be one of the many thousands of trapdoors assembled from surplus or obsolete parts by various companies in the 1880-1920 time frame. Some of those were made in Cadet length and sold to private military academies and the like.

    Those "frankenguns" can really confuse the collector because they don't conform to any official pattern or model.

    Jim
     
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I know there are more intensively researched sources than Flayderman, but consider his 9A366:
    "Cadet Rifle Variation. Identical to above (cadet with stacking swivel only) but has sling swivels. These are merely "true" Cadets as above which were taken out of West Point service and replaced by later models were given or sold to military schools or organizations which required the use of slings."

    About 65% the dollar value.
     
  10. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Member

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    I talked to the guy at trapdoor.com and the serial came up as a rifle.
     
  11. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Doing some more digging, I stand corrected on there not being any conversions. In 1895 and 1901, rifles were converted to cadet rifles, 1800 in the former year, and 7000 later. It is not clear whether the 7000 figure includes the 1800. The conversion, however, involved removal of the sling swivels, re-finishing the barrel and stamping new inspectors cartouches with the conversion/re-issue date, sometimes with the old cartouches still fully or partially visible.

    The idea that Springfield installed sling swivels on surplus Cadet rifles may be true, but I can't find much to support it. One report says that for the years 1867 to 1886, only about 30 cadet rifles were sold by Springfield to "officers and civilians" which would seem to include non-government military academies. On the other hand, sale of cadet rifles made up by various companies from condemned or surplus parts was so common that officers at Springfield regularly deplored it. Of course, they could have stopped it by scrapping parts rather than selling them, but the sales brought in badly needed money. (Oh, that our military today were so concerned about saving money!)

    Jim

    Jim
     
  12. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Member

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    I did not find new cartouches or dates so its hard to say. I do think the rifle was refurbished at one time not necessarily by Springfield. Hard to say but that's just part of the mystery.
     
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