M73 Springfield Trapdoor Rifle

in 45-70

 

This is a fairly nice trapdoor rifle. About average for what's on the market now. It was made in 1887 and has the correct Buffington rear sight. The lock works great and has most of it's blue left. The inside still shows some case colors on the internals. The barrel is turning brown over most of the top exposed areas. The top of the muzzle has been slightly filed in the past probably to remove a bad ding. Not too noticeable unless you look for it. The bottom of the barrel still shows a nice blue. The bore is good with just a couple of areas of light pitting. I'd rate it about 6/10. I tried to show good pictures of the bore. The other hardware still shows some blue in places except for the buttplate which has turned a grey color. The stock has minimal wear and tear. No serious dents or dings. The 1884 dated cartouche and the circle P behind the trigger guard are still visible. The stock has been pieced. When I took the gun apart to check it over, the stock came in two pieces. The old glue was brittle and gave up. I repaired it properly by using 3 wood pins and epoxy for a good joint. The color and grain match is excellent. You have to remove the barrel band to tell it's two pieces.

This is actually a very common repair as so many of these guns were sporterized in the past. If you are looking at one to buy at a gun show, always check under the bands.

Overall a very sound, good looking rifle for it's age. I love to shoot my trapdoors and I think this one would still be a good shooter. The 45-70 is still a great hunting round for any large game found in North America. I reload for mine as I think the factory ammo pressures today might be too high for trapdoors. You can find lots of reload info online. My plinking load is 32grs of IMR 3031 with a 405 grain cast bullet.

Remember that with any potentially dangerous sport like shooting antique guns or jumping out of a perfectly airplane know what you are doing! "To err is human" is not the motto on the firing line or at the end of a ripcord. As I tell my kids, I am only responsible for my own stupidity, not yours.

 

This gun must be shipped to a FFL or C&R holder or can purchased in person.

 

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