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Scarce & Early Springfield Model 1873 Trapdoor Rifle c. 1876

Product Description

Scarce, Early Springfield Armory Model 1873 Trapdoor Rifle c. 1876

Please check out my website at newmarketarms.com for this and other antique military firearms.

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This is a very scarce and early Springfield Armory Model 1873 Trapdoor Rifle in .45-70 caliber.

The serial number on this rifle is 74691, which places its date of manufacture to 1876. Springfield Armory only produced 11,369 rifles that year. The Model 1873 was the first model of the .45-70 trapdoor service rifles and was manufactured at Springfield Armory from 1873-1886.

The Barrel on this Rifle is in very good condition. The barrel is 32.60” long with a 0.730” barrel diameter at the muzzle. The barrel exhibits a largely plum patina with areas of original blue. There is one very small area of minor pinprick pitting in a few areas. The barrel has the correct flat tenon on the upper right, rear of the barrel, which was changed to a rounded tenon around serial number 92,000. There are, correctly, two “P” proof marks on the bottom of the barrel. Springfield began to place these marks on the bottom around serial number 65,000. The left, rear side of the barrel has the serif “V” view proof stamp over the serif “P” firing proof stamp over the eagle head over the second, small serif “P” proof stamp, indicating proof firing with a special 80 grain cartridge of the assembled barrel, receiver and breech block. (The first, or top “V” stamp was a firing proof verification of the unrifled barrel blank). The right, rear of the barrel has a witness line that aligns with the corresponding line on the front of the receiver but it has no letter inspection stamp as this was not done at Springfield until approximately serial number 92,000. The bore of the rifle is in fine condition with a mirror finish and strong rifling.

The chamber is in very good condition and it has some small areas of old pitting. The Breech Plug and Tang both retain generous traces of the original color case-hardened finish. The lower back wall of the plug has several inspection stamps. The Tang Screw is the correct single-slot type and is unmarred and it retains considerable original blued finish.

The Front Sight remains tightly brazed to the barrel and it generally exhibits a mixed plum and pewter patina. The Front Sight is the original one-piece type with the front sight blade integral to the base. The Front Sight is the correct First Type with the blade sloped at the rear. This type of front sight was used from serial number 1 up to serial number 92,000.

The Rear Sight is the fine condition Model 1873 Rifle Sight. The Model 1873 Rear Sight was a “long range” rear sight developed at Springfield Armory based on the previous Model 1868 adjustable rear sight. The base has three “steps” with graduations stamped on the right side from 100 to 400 yards. The elevation leaf is marked with graduations up to 1,100 yards. This type rear sight was used up to approximately serial number 78,000. The Rear Sight base, leaf and spring all retains the vast majority of the original blued finish. The Rear Sight is secured with its original Rear Sight unslotted Screws. From the start of Model 1873 production up to serial number 294,000, all rear sights were fastened to the barrel with slotless screws to prevent unauthorized removal of the sight.

The Lower Band is the correct Model 1873 Lower Rifle Band with rounded top. The Band is correctly marked with the serif “U” stamp and it generally exhibits a mixed plum and pewter patina with minor dings and scratches present. The Lower Band Spring retains 90% of its original blue finish.

The Upper Band is the scarce Model 1873 Rifle Upper Barrel Band with the smaller “U” stamp. The Band is the early split type with a single sling swivel that is also a split shank type. The Band, swivel and swivel screw retains 95% of its original blue finish. The Front Band Spring retains 90% of its original blued finish and both bands remain solidly on the stock.

The Breech Block is the very good condition Third Type that is crisply marked “U.S./MODEL/1873,” adjacent to the hinge point. The Third Type was the last breech block with a high arch on the underside, which was changed to a low arch around serial number 81,000. There are traces of the original color case-hardened finish on the bottom, protected sides. The breech face is very clean.

The Cam Latch is the correct Second Type with the ground and polished rivet. The Cam Latch retains strong remnants of its original blue finish. The Cam Latch works perfectly. The original firing pin is present with a still sharp, pronounced striker end and exhibits normal operational wear.

The Receiver is the correct and early .45-70 type without gas ports milled into both the left and right sides, which was changed around serial number 77,387. The rear of the Receiver has the full serial number “74691,” with normal operational wear and more pronounced wear on the “1,” from the hammer. The Receiver generally exhibits a plum patina with areas of old pitting, particularly on the bottom. The top of the receiver has the sans serif “MASS” stamp, indicating this rifle was subsequently issued to the Massachusetts Militia.

The Lock Plate is the correct and scarce First Type with the small shield on the eagle and the “1873” stamp below the “SPRINGFIELD” stamp. All of these stampings remain crisp and clear. The “1873” stamp was eliminated around serial number 80,000. The lock plate retains generous amounts of the original oil case-hardened finish that now exhibits a dark salt and pepper patina.

The Hammer is the scarce First Type, First Variation with cross-hatching and eight diamonds along the centerline and no border. There is, correctly, no beveled lip on the hammer. The Hammer exhibits a dark, plum patina as does the Hammer Screw, which is the correct single slot type and is unmarred. The inside edge of the hammer has a sharp serif “H” stamp.

The interior of the lock is as fine as the day it was manufactured in 1876. The interior of the lock plate surface retains all of its original dark oil quenched finish and has a serif “T” inspection stamp. The Main Spring retains all of its original finish. The three-position Tumbler is the correct Second Type and it retains all of its original finish and has a serif “Y” inspection mark. The Sear retains all of its original oil finish and has a serif “U” stamp. The Sear Spring retains all of its finish as does all three lock screws, which have unmarred slots. The top of the Sear Spring has a serif “X” stamp.

The Trigger Guard is the correct two-piece type used up until the Model 1888 Rifle with the single-piece design was adopted. The Trigger Guard Plate is the correct Model 1863 pattern with rounded pads. Both Model 1863 (rounded pads) and Model 1864 (squared pads) plates were used during Model 1873 production with both being used in approximately equal numbers for rifles manufactured between 1873 and 1888. The Trigger Guard Bow is the correct Model 1863 pattern that uses a rivet to attach the rear sling swivel. The Trigger Guard Plate, Bow and Sling Swivel all retain 95% of the beautiful original blue finish on the interior, protected surfaces. The outer surface exhibits a largely plum patina. Both single-slot wood screws are present. The Trigger is the correct First Type with smooth face. The Trigger exhibits a plum and pewter patina on the face. The trigger release is still crisp.

The Stock is the fine and original Model 1873 Rifle Stock with long comb and short, thicker wrist, was changed around serial number 72,000. On the left stock flat is the correct, clipped corner, boxed, script “SWP/1876,” cartouche of Springfield Master Armorer Samuel W. Porter. The cartouche is still very crisp and visible. The bottom of the stock wrist has the correct circle, script “P” firing proof stamp along with a serif “T” stock inspector’s stamp. Both original lock plate screw washers are present and both retain considerable original finish. The internal ramrod friction retainer retains the majority of its original blued finish. The stock exhibits a few small dings and scratches but no cracks are noted. The stock retains its original oil finish.

The Nose Cap is still solidly in place and it exhibits a plum patina. The Nose Cap Screw retains all of its original blued finish and the slot is unmarred. The correct Model 1873 Rifle Butt Plate is present and the tang and the back now exhibit a plum patina with evidence of old corrosion. The tang is stamped with the large serif “U.S.” stamp. Both original convex, single-slot butt plate screws are present and are unmarred.

The stock carries the correct and scarce Model 1873 Rifle Ramrod, First Type, with cupped end and seven cannelures. The ramrod retains considerable original blued finish with evidence of old corrosion and still attaches securely when stowed. All of the original finger cannelures at the other end of the ramrod remain crisply machined and this section has a very slight bend.

This is a scarce and early Springfield Model 1873 Rifle and it functions perfectly.

This rifle is an antique so it can be shipped to anyone. This rifle will also come with a 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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