Springfield Armory Trapdoor Model 1873 45-70 Govt Single Shot Rifle Antique

SOLD FOR: $705.00

WOA#: WY240323WM013

Make: Springfield Armory

Model: 1873 US Trapdoor Rifle

Serial#: 66599

Year of Manufacture: Circa 1873-1877, Antique

Caliber: .45-70 Govt.

Action Type: Single-Shot Forward Pivoting Breech-Block “Trapdoor” Rifle

Markings: The top of the breech-block has a faded marking of 1873 over an eagle head over crossed sabers. The rear end of the receiver’s serialization is clear. The lock-plate is marked with the Great Seal of the United States (an eagle) and “U.S. / SPRINGFIELD”. The left side of the barrel, just ahead of the receiver, is marked “V / P” and has an eagle’s head while there is an adjacent character at the top of the barrel which is poorly stamped (it appears to be an “R”, please see photos). The top of the butt-plate is marked “US”. The bottom of the rifle in front of the trigger guard on the “Belly” of the rifle is marked/ carved “U.R.”.

Barrel Length: 32.5”

Sights/ Optics: The front sight is a blade pinned by the muzzle. The rear sight is a Model 1877 Second Form ladder which remains fully functional and has clear markings.

Stock Configuration & Condition/ Grip: The original wood stock features a metal nose cap, a total of two barrel bands secured by springs (the front band has two sling swivels fixed to the bottom), a lock-plate, a straight wrist, a sling swivel fixed to the front of the trigger guard, a straight comb and metal semi-crescent butt-plate. The stock has only a few scattered light handling marks, nicks and scuffs. Notably, there is a light scratch situated between the barrel bands on the left side, a light ding above the forward lock-screw and a light chip on the right side of the stock between the barrel bands. The LOP is 13.5” from the trigger to the rear end of the butt-plate. The butt-plate has some light handling marks. Overall, the refinished stock is in Very fine condition. Please see our photos.

Type of Finish: Blue/ Patina

Finish Originality: original

Bore Condition: The bore is mostly gray with dull rifling. There is some light erosion concentrated in the grooves.

Overall Condition: The rifle retains about 89% of its metal finish. The gun has some light handling marks, nicks and scuffs. A number of markings have been obscured when the gun was stored and wiped down, but some remain clear. The screwheads are lightly tooled and remain serviceable. Overall, the rifle is in Very Good condition for a refinished Antique. Please see our photos.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.

Box Paperwork and Accessories: None.

Our Assessment:  Designed in 1863 by Erskine Allin, the Springfield Trapdoor rifle series would dominate the scene in American rifle culture for several decades. The rifle incorporated lessons learned during the Civil War and was chambered in powerful 45-70 rounds, referred to as “Government” or “Buffalo” rounds. The defining usage for the trapdoor was as one of the main weapons of the US Military during the Plains Indian Wars of the 1870s and 1880s. George Armstrong Custer’s 7th Cavalry was armed with 1873 Trapdoor rifles during their fateful stand at the Battle of Little Bighorn. The rifle would also see service in later conflicts, including the Spanish American War. Outside of military hands, this rifle is the true rifle that “Won the West” during the wild days of the frontier. One of the most notable users of the trapdoor was Buffalo Bill Cody, who owned a trapdoor he dubbed “Lucretia Borgia”. Lucretia served as his main bison hunting implement until it was broken on a trip with Grand Duke Alexi of Russia. This particular Trapdoor was a commercialized variant of the 1873 Trapdoor, much like the one used by Cody. Grab up this icon of American Firearm history today and experience the power, accuracy, and mystique that made it the trusted tool of so many in the days of the Wild West. Today trapdoors command respect from all walks of the gun world and are prized by collectors for their historical significance. Please see our high quality photos and enjoy the auction. -K.F.

Springfield Armory Trapdoor Model 1873 45-70 Govt Single Shot Rifle Antique