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Right now I have a Marlin 1895 first or second year of production and a Ruger #1. I had and sold off a H&R officers model trap door. I just loaded up about 100 rounds in new Starline brass. Just waiting for the weather to get a little warmer to get to the range.
Had one of the H&R Trapdoor Carbines. The sights were nothing like the originals, and the rifling was a modern style. It shot very well with the Lyman 385 grain cast bullets loaded with Unique powder. The same load in an original is not accurate at all, but then again the rifling is completely different. Had a lot of fun with it back in the 70s, but then I bought my first real Trapdoor and never looked back. Only thing is that the real Trapdoors require the old style ammunition to shoot like they were made to.
 

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I have a Marlin 1895 lever gun and a Pedersoli falling block. The Marlin kicks like a pissed off mule. The Pedersoli is much heavier than the Marlin, so it absorbs a lot of the recoil. The Pedersoli's felt recoil is similiar to a .308 shot out of a Remington 700 bolt gun. The Pedersoli has two triggers, and the second trigger is so light it will fire if you breath on it to heavily. That makes is hard, if not impossible, to jerk the trigger.
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I shoot a Marlin 1875 Guide Gun with the JM stamp, with a Leopold BDC, and a Limbsaver recoil pad. It has been awhile since I last shot it but at the time I was Moose hunting, using 405 gr, JSP hand loads leaving the barrel at just over 1300 FPS.
I dropped a bull moose at approximately 200 yards with a straight on chest shot. In the excitement I never noticed the recoil, albeit the Limbsaver recoil pad reduces it to about that of a 30-30. That hand load completely disintegrated the heart to the extent neither I, nor my son, could find a piece big enough to identify it. My age and medical conditions have put a severe damper on my hunting activities and so I only go now if I, or a member of my family draw another Moose permit. None the less, I will keep that rifle until I pass and then I hope it will stay in the family and be remembered as Grampa's gun.
 

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RicM - tell us about those black powder rounds! I used the Lee 405 grain hollow base old style mold with soft lead. Seated the bullets to 1886 specifications (2.42" AOL), 55 grains 3FG powder compressed (or 37.6 grains Pyrodex RS), Win Magnum LR primer. For smokeless I seated the bullets to standard AOL and used IMR 3031 with standard LR primers. Taper crimped with a Lee die set.

I used to use a Lyman 385 grain bullet sized to .459 - loaded with IMR 3031, but it shot like crap and left unburnt powder in the receiver and barrel. That Lee bullet is much better. Just have to cast your bullet a little softer so the hollow base does it's thing in the old 3 groove Springfield barrel. Too hard of alloy risks the hollow base shirt splitting. The Magnum primers helped a lot with ignition.

Your Trapdoors are pure Dandies! How are the bores? Mine was a Model 1884 - barrel a tad pitted but very shootable. Being an '1884 it had the Buffington rear sight, scabbard barrel band and front sight hood. With the barrel I was able to get something like 2" groups at 100 yards off a bench rest. Not bad for a 140 year old carbine....
 

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I have a 1884 Cadet Trapdoor Springfield. Just shot it the other day for the first time. Couldn't find any commercial loads that were rated for the Trapdoor, so I bought dies, cases, and a bullet mold. The only one I could find was the Lee 450 gr. flat nose. Used 20-1 lead, it's very soft. Didn't size them, they dropped at .457. The barrel slugged at .458. I powder coated them with Harbor Freight black, and they come out .458. Loaded with 43.2 gr. Varget, it's the starting load in the Lyman Cast Bullet book. The gun looked okay, but the first shot I put in Lead Sled, placed a kevlar plate carrier over the action and pulled the trigger with a string about 10 feet long. No leading in the barrel.
 

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RicM -
Your Trapdoor is almost exactly like mine except there's a metal band on the end of the barrel the front sight sits on with mine. Someone also put a Lyman peep sight on top of the grip. Does yours show signs of being cut down from the long version? The stock on mine had a ram rod hole that was plugged which makes me think it started out as the long barrel type. I've always been told many of these were sold through "Monkey Wards" catalogs and other sellers. My Dad bought it in El Paso in the early 60s and it's been passed to me. I've shot it a few times but I worry about modern ammo in the old barrel. There's barely any rifling left in it. Treasured item, though!
 
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Both have the 1873 Stamping on the breach. On the Indian Tac one we suspect it was a cut down version, but I took it apart and it doesnt show and wood fills or groove for a rod, and the barrel is definitely not cutdown and it has the proper site though the blade is slightly bent to the left. We thought maybe it was just banged. Funny though, I straighten the blade and when I shot it, it always was hitting to the right. Yet when the blade was bent and I sited the target with the bent blade , it shot right on target. We figured it was definitely used out there and the blade was bent slightly on purpose. Oddly it according to serial numbers its birthday puts in in 1879 which according to the data there were no Carbines made. So Im not sure its an original Carbine. The rifling in the bore is still good and the Breach block is firm it doesnt shimmy. Its a mystery but its unusual and does shoot well.

As with my other Trapdoor its 100% original, I also took it down and everything seems to be perfect with all the proper markings etc. Our guess it may have not seen much play in the outdoors which may explain its condition. Its an 1873 and its serial numbers put its birth date at early 1880. Shoot excellent and so far at 30 yards its spot on.

As far as the barrel and breach block condition, you can always let a gunsmith check it out if you are unsure. But do a close visual on it, and make sure the Breach block closes up firm with no wiggling when its open and inspect closely the barrel and rifling. Others on this site would have better advice as Im still in the learning phase myself. I shoot both BP and Smokeless with both Trapdoors. Black Powder I find more fun to shoot.

Smokeless: I shoot Remington 45-70 Government The box MUST say "Safe for all Firearms" or Safe for Trapdoors. DO NOT shoot any high powered stuff. (magnum loads etc) Its a 405 Grain, 1330 FPS, and 1590 MV, Smokeless

Black Powder: I shoot Buffalo Arms (mail order) 415 grain, 1330 FPS and 1590 MV, Black Powder

I posted here the muzze
251016
251017
l and inside the barrel.

Hope the info helps you
 

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I think you will find the Remington ammunition will shoot high at 100 yards. Really high. Don't have to book in front of me, but your sights will calibrate to zero at around 250 yards at the lowest sight setting. Most of the commercial .45-70 ammo is made for the newer style barrels and rfling. It will shoot in your Springfields, but isn't really correct for the old 3 groove bores. You want to go with either a sfot cast 405 grain HB bullet or a soft cast 500 grain bullet to get the max performance from those.

When those Springfields were released for sale to the public, many people fired them and were dissappointed with the poor accuracy with commercial ammunition - or they just didn't understand how to correctly use the sights. This was especially true with the Model 1884 Buffington sights. As mentioned earlier, many of the rifle models were shortened into Carbine configuration to make them better suited for hunting. That is why you find so many with the ramrod hole in the front of the stocks.
 
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