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Historic Springfield Model 1868 Trapdoor Rifle Ser No 10000

Product Description

Historically Significant Springfield Armory Model 1868 .50 Trapdoor Rifle, Ser No 10,000

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This is a scarce and fine condition Springfield Armory Model 1868 Rifle in .50-70 Caliber. This particular Model 1868 Rifle is historically significant because it is the 10,000th Model 1868 manufactured and has the serial number “10000” stamped on both the barrel and receiver.

The genesis of the Model 1868 was the earlier alterations of existing Civil War percussion rifles, which came to be known as “Allin” alterations. At the end of the Civil War, the Ordnance Department realized that a breech loading infantry rifle was needed to replace the obsolete muzzle loading percussion arms used during the late war. With so many Model 1861, 1863 and 1864 percussion rifled muskets on hand at war’s end, Springfield Armory Master Armorer Erskine S. Allin developed the U.S. Model 1865 Rifle, also known as the First Allin Alteration.

Developed from the earlier Model 1861 Rifled Musket, the Model 1865 Rifle incorporated a hinged breech block that was attached to the original barrel, which was cut down to accept the breech block. The Model 1865 fired a .58 caliber rimfire cartridge. The Model 1865 design, while somewhat revolutionary, quickly demonstrated several weaknesses. The cartridge was underpowered and the breech design, including the extraction and ejection mechanism, was complicated and fragile. A new design by Erskine Allin was quickly in production.

The result was the U.S. Model 1866 Rifle, known as the Second Allin Conversion, which was based around the Model 1863 and 1864 rifled muskets. This rifle fired a smaller diameter but more powerful .50-70 caliber round. The breech block, extraction and ejection mechanisms were also simplified and strengthened. The Model 1866 proved to be a very solid infantry rifle but the fact remained that it was still an alteration of an obsolete percussion, muzzle loading design.

The Ordnance Department decided that the standard infantry rifle needed a separate receiver, which provided a more robust mounting point for the breech block. The result was the U.S. Model 1868 Rifle in .50-70 Caliber. The Model 1868 would become the general configuration of all “trapdoor” production until it ended in 1893.

Springfield Armory produced only 52,145 Model 1868 Rifles from 1868 through 1870. Unique to the Model 1868, the year of manufacture was stamped into the top of the breech block. Only a few hundred were manufactured in 1868. The majority were manufactured in 1869 or 1870. This particular Model 1868 Rifle, serial number 10,0o00, was manufactured in 1869.

The Barrel on this rifle is the original 32 ¾ inch barrel with three grooves. The barrel on the Model 1868 was manufactured for the rifle and did not, except in a very few cases, have a lining. The barrels were finished in National Armory Bright. This particular barrel retains the majority of its original National Armory Bright finish, which now has considerable plum mottling along its length on the top, exposed portion, with evidence of minor pitting from firing towards the muzzle. The bottom, protected area is in very fine condition and the original finish remains.

The right side of the barrel, just forward of the receiver, has the correct witness mark that aligns perfectly with the witness mark on the receiver just above the stock line. Above the witness line on the barrel is a serif “B” inspection mark. Below the witness line is a serif “P” stamp. The top of the barrel, just forward to the receiver, has a serif “L” stamp. The left side of the Barrel has the serial number “10000.” The front of the barrel has the original front sight stud and blade present and it remains tightly brazed to the barrel.

The Receiver, originally finished with a blackened case-hardened finish, now retains a largely pewter patina. The tang also retains a pewter patina and is retained with the correct and unmarred single-slot screw. The interior portion of the receiver at the breech exhibits pitting at the rear portion, probably from gases escaping from the primer hole. The Extractor and Ejector are still present and still work correctly. The left side of the Receiver, adjacent to the Barrel, has the matching serial number “10000.” The bottom of the receiver has serif “A,” “L” and “T” stamps on either side of the ejector stud. The underside of the breech plug retains considerable original oil hardened finish and it remains tightly secured to the rear of the receiver.

The Lock Plate has a crisp “1863” date, which is correct for the Model 1868 Rifles, which typically have either 1863 or 1864 dated plates, and also retains its strong eagle and “U.S./SPRINGFIELD” stamps. The lock plate exhibits a mottled pewter patina on the surface with remnants of the original color case-hardened finish on the edges. The Hammer is the correct type with knurling inside a shield design on the thumb piece. The Hammer still retains areas of its original color case hardened finish. The original hammer screw is present.

The interior of the lock is in very fine condition. The interior surface of the lock plate retains the majority of its original color case-hardened finish and has several inspection stamps. The Main Spring retains virtually all of its original oil hardened finish. The Tumbler retains the majority of its original oil hardened finish and the Tumbler Screw retains most of its original finish. The Tumbler has an “8” inspection stamp. The Bridle retains the vast majority of its original oil finish. The Sear has a serif “H” inspection stamp and it retains the majority of its dark finish as does the Sear Spring and Sear Spring Screw. The Sear Spring has a serif “T” inspection stamp. The lock mechanism works perfectly.

The Breech Block exhibits faint remnants of its original color case-hardened finish and is very clean throughout. The top of the breech block has the crisp “1869/eagle/crossed arrows/U.S.” stamp. The bottom of the breech block is correctly arched and it has a serif “H” inspection stamp. The original firing pin remains and the hammer strike surface retains the majority of its original dark finish. The original Extractor is present as is the Ejector Stud. The Thumb Latch was a new design on the Model 1868 and it has the correct squared front and back edges. The Thumb Latch exhibits a mottled plum and pewter patina and it works correctly.

This Rifle has its original and correct U.S. Model 1868 Long Range, Adjustable Rear Sight. This rear sight, which was new to the 1868, had a longer leaf than previous models. The elevation slide is present and still holds securely at each elevation level on the slide, which was graduated from 200 to 900 yards. The rear sight base is secured to a spanner head screw, which is unmarred. The base, leaf, spring and elevation slide all retain traces of the original, faded, dark finish.

The Stock on this rifle is the original stock to the rifle, which was an entirely new stock type for the Model 1868 Rifle modified from existing Civil War Model 1863 Rifled Musket stocks. It was shorter than the previous models at 48 ¾” and was inletted differently to accept the new, separate receiver. On the left stock flat is the original oval cartouche with the script initials “ESA,” which are the initials of Erskine Selucca Allin, who was the Master Armorer at Springfield Armory who developed the trapdoor rifle configuration in 1865. The Stock has normal dings and scratches but it retains its original oil finish and there are no cracks noted.

The original Nose Piece is present and exhibits a pewter patina. The original friction plate is present and retains the majority of its original blued finish. The Butt Plate is the original type that exhibits some of the original National Armory Bright Finish, but considerable areas now exhibit a pewter patina. The Tang has the correct “US” stamp and both convex, single-slot butt plate wood screws, which are unmarred, are present.

The Lower Band is the correct, and unique, Model 1863 Rifle Musket Lower Band. The Model 1868 Rifle was the only rifle in the trapdoor series to use the Model 1863 lower band with the clamping screw. The band has the correct serif “U” stamp on the right side. The clamping screw and the band exhibit a mixed pewter and plum patina. The band spring retains 70% of the faded blue finish with the balance a pewter patina.

The Upper Band is the correct type with attached sling swivel. The band has the correct serif “U” stamp on the right side and the screw is unmarred. The sling swivel exhibits a largely pewter patina and is the correct split shank type. The band spring now exhibits a largely pewter patina. Both bands fit securely to the stock.

The Trigger Guard Plate has rounded pads and it retains a mottled bright finish. The front of the plate has two serif “A” inspection stamp. Both convex, single-slot guard plate screws are only slightly marred. The Trigger Guard Bow also exhibits a pewter patina and retains its integrated lower sling swivel. The smooth Trigger exhibits considerable original blue finish in the protected area. The Trigger functions correctly and still crisply releases the Sear.

The Ramrod is the correct and original single-shoulder type that was unique to the Model 1868 design. The ramrod is 35 5/8” long and has a seven-ring head with patch channel and uncupped head. The lower end is plain with a rounded head. The ramrod exhibits a pewter patina throughout its length.

This Rifle comes with three scarce and original fired .50-70 cartridge cases. These cases were manufactured by Remington-UMC and have considerable tarnish but could easily be cleaned and reloaded so this rifle could be fired.

As noted, this particular Springfield Model 1868 historically significant in that it is the 10,000th Model 1868 Rifle manufactured and has the matching serial number “10000” stamped adjacent to each other on the barrel and receiver.

This is an historically significant and scarce Springfield U.S. Model 1868 Trapdoor Rifle in .50-70 Caliber and it functions perfectly.

This rifle is an antique so it can be shipped to anyone. The rifle will also come with an historic writeup and a CD containing all of the photos in the listing. I accept Visa and MasterCard and charge NO FEES. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like additional photos posted.


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