Trapdoor Springfield Model “1884” Rifle S/H.
The gun that really “won the West” was the famous Trapdoor Springfield the US Army’s first breech loading metallic cartridge rifle.
The invention of the “trapdoor” breech loading mechanism was credited to Erskin S Allin, Master Armourer of the Springfield Armoury. Originally developed as a cheap way of converting muzzle loading rifled muskets to breech loading originally in .58” calibre in the Model 1865, this was quickly followed by the Model 1866 conversion where the barrels were relined to .50” calibre to accept the newly designed .50-70 government ammunition. This rifles receiver and barrel were eventually produced from new but still using existing locks and stocks in the Model 1868. The final model to be chambered in 50-70 was the Model 1870 .
In 1873 the rifle was changed to the famous .45-70 calibre along with lock improvements and an improved rear sight. The rifle was continued to be improved over the years with the Buffington rear sight, beloved by target shooters and hated by troops, being perfected ‘till 1885. Production of the Trapdoor ceased in 1893 but the rifle was refurbished and re-issued soldiering on into the early 20th century.
This is a very nice original example of the type complete with the excellent Buffington rear sight with its offset “ladder” to take account of the bullets drift over distance.
The bluing and woodwork are in very good condition for its age with good bluing and a fine bore. The 45-70 cartridge is still a popular round and data and components for it are readily available. A sling eyelet has been fitted in the past to stock R/H side just behind the middle barrel band probably as a sling aid in target shooting.
This is a chance to own a classic piece of US western history at a reasonable price.