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Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Dailey, Jul 24, 2002.

  1. Dailey

    Dailey G&G Newbie

    I was perusing a local pawn shop the other day and noticed this unique old rifle sitting amongst the older stuff. It turned out to be a Springfield Trapdoor. I have never heard of these things and was wondering if the Gurus here abouts could help me find some info. What caliber is it? What period and service was it intended for? And what are they worth? The action seemed intact and fully functional but a little loose. It looked to be carbine length. Is this the right configuration? It was a really cool old gun but is it worth the $500 price tag? I don't think the wife would go along with my purchasing it but I know where it is if anyone else is interested.
     
  2. Gyrene

    Gyrene G&G Newbie

    886
    0
    CA
    Dailey - There were at least 2 different Calibers, and I have 2, a .45-70 Trap Door and a .50-70 Trap Door.

    One, the .50-70 Trap Door was an early attempt to change muzzle loaders into breech loaders and was done at Springfield Armory (in the U. S. Armory in Massachusetts, not the current Commercial one in Illinois). A gentleman with the last name of Allin designed it and the rifle was changed from a .58 Caliber to a .50-70, using as much as possible from the old rifles. The military didn't have much of a budget.

    The second effort, the .45-70 Trap Door was to build the rifle new, yet use as many old parts as possible, which resulted in the 1873 Springfield .45-70.

    A good source of information is:

    North Cape Publications
    The .45-70 Springfield
    By Joe Poyer & Craig Riesch
    $15.95

    and a companion

    Pocket Guide to the .45-70 Springfield
    $6.95

    The .45-70 Trap Door & .50-70 Trap Door were used in the "Indian Wars", and as late as the early 1900's by National Guard units. Many were used in the Spanish American War, even though the standard issue rifle of the day was the .30-40 Krag Jorgensen.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2002

  3. Gyrene

    Gyrene G&G Newbie

    886
    0
    CA
    Dailey - If it is a carbine then the price is right (depending upon the condition of course), but remember the 1873 Springfield .45-70 Carbine is the most commonly counterfeited Carbine/Rifle. It most often is a 1873 Springfield .45-70 Trap Door that has been cut down to look as though it is a Carbine. This is most often done because the Carbine is more scarce and is more valuable as a result of the scarcity.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2002