US Army Indian Wars M-1888 Ram Rod Bayonet “Trapdoor” Springfield Rifle RRB

SOLD FOR: $965

WOA#: WY240318HS003

Make: Springfield Armory

Model: M-1888 Ram Rod Bayonet “Trapdoor” Rifle

Serial Number: 524220

Year of Manufacture: The serial number dates this rifle to late 1891, Antique

Caliber: .45-70 Govt.

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

Markings: This rifle has “US / MODEL / 1884″ and “524220” on the top of the breechblock. The lock plate carries the traditional “spread wing” American Eagle, along with “US / SPRINGFIELD”. The barrel bands are marked “U”, the left rear barrel is marked “V / P / P / A”, and the buttplate is marked “US”. The underside of the butt stock is marked with a circled “P”, and the top of the butt stock is marked “46”, along with “14.SEP.CO.”.

Barrel Length: 32.5”

Sights/ Optics: The front sight is a blade pinned by the muzzle. The rear sight is a M-1884 Buffington adjustable rifle sight.

Stock Configuration & Condition/ Grip: The walnut stock features a metal nose cap with an integral ram rod bayonet, a total of two barrel bands secured by springs (the front band has both a sling swivel and a stacking ring 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 a metal semi-crescent buttplate with a cleaning kit trap. The stock has only a few scattered light handling marks, nicks, and scuffs. The LOP is 13.5” from the trigger to the rear end of the buttplate. The buttplate has some light handling marks. Overall, the stock is in Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is very bright with semi-sharp rifling. There is no erosion concentrated in the grooves. In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates at 10/10, especially for the age.

Overall Condition: The rifle retains about 90% of its metal finish. There is some fine bluing left on the lock plate, and some elegant color case hardening left on the breechblock. The internal action is very lightly worn. The screwheads are lightly tooled and remain serviceable. Overall, the rifle is in Very Good condition for an Antique.

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: A modern made brown leather sling.

Our Assessment: The 1888 variant of the “Trapdoor” Springfield rifle represents the last iteration of the venerable “Trapdoor” design. It carried over the M-1884 Buffington rear sight, but was fitted with an integral ram rod bayonet that could be locked either out or in the retracted position in the barrel channel. The rod bayonet could double as a cleaning rod. The .45-70 “Trapdoor” Springfield is the US Army shoulder arm most closely associated with the Indian Wars. Indeed, it was “there” in the isolated outposts and long forgotten skirmishes that made up the less glorious military life, as well as the better known campaigns. This M-1888 was produced after the last “battle” of the Indian Wars, the Battle of Wounded Knee in 1890, but could’ve easily seen service with National Guard units called to fight in the Spanish-American War. This is a beautiful example of a M-1888 Trapdoor Springfield Rifle, and a wonderful relic of the US trooper of the late 19th century, the “dogfaced soldier in dirty shirt blue”. -K.F.

US Army Indian Wars M-1888 Ram Rod Bayonet "Trapdoor" Springfield Rifle RRB
US Army Indian Wars M-1888 Ram Rod Bayonet “Trapdoor” Springfield Rifle RRB