Please identify this rifle, what shell/cartridge does it use?

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by WEB, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. WEB

    WEB New Member

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    I inherited this rifle and have no clue what it is or what it fires. Guessing WWI or a bit prior. appears to be single shot. Anything else I should know about it?
     

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  2. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Looks like a trapdoor to me.

    45-70
     
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  3. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    Very nice looking rifle. Most likely a 45/70 Springfield trapdoor, but I don't know for sure. More pictures of all the markings on the rifle will help identify it.
     
  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Looks to be a Trapdoor Springfield (or copy). That would be a bit prior to WW1.

    They came up with those in 1873.
     
  5. nmckenzie

    nmckenzie Well-Known Member

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    It's shorter than a standard Trapdoor Rifle (32 5/8" barrel) and longer than the Carbine. My guess is it's a Cadet Model. Check the barrel length from muzzle to face of the closed breech block, if 29 5/8" it's a Cadet Model.
     
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  6. WEB

    WEB New Member

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    Thanks guys. I'll add some pictures with lengths and some of the markings tomorrow.
     
  7. nmckenzie

    nmckenzie Well-Known Member

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    Can't quite read the serial number, which would help nail down the specific model and date of manufacture.
     
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  8. WEB

    WEB New Member

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    33 inches to the front of the breach, 36 to where the hammer strikes it. markings appear to be VP then scratched out. the V almost looks like a triangle because it has lines at the top going towards the center.
     

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  9. nmckenzie

    nmckenzie Well-Known Member

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    The barrel length seems to indicate a 45/70 Springfield 1873 Trapdoor Rifle, but the stock seems to have been shortened slightly and the nose cap moved aft - which had me thinking it may be a Cadet Model. The VP stands for "verified proofed". If you could provide the serial number a year of manufacture can be established.
     
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  10. The Hobby Gunsmith

    The Hobby Gunsmith New Member

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    can you find any visible markings on the rifle?
     
  11. WEB

    WEB New Member

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    I think this may be the serial number. Right at the back of the trap door: 442699
    behind the hammer on the top side there is a screw to hold the metal to the stock. there is a star shape that appears to be stamped over the letter 'I' or 'P'
     
  12. nmckenzie

    nmckenzie Well-Known Member

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    Trapdoor s/n 442699 was produced in 1889. The star marking indicates the rifle was produced using a combination of new and salvaged parts, and was to be held in reserve or issued to National Guard units.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017 at 8:40 PM
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  13. WEB

    WEB New Member

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    Was this created for use with older black powder ammo? Is modern ammo overpowered? Is there a chance it will blow open the trap door or barrel?
     
  14. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    As I mentioned in my earlier post, I don't know much about the trapdoor guns but I do know that in most reloading manuals there are three sub-sections in the 45/70 section. They are for "trapdoor" actions, lever actions, and strong actions (or at least that is the way the Speer manual puts it) so YES you can use modern ammo as long as it very low powered.
     
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  15. nmckenzie

    nmckenzie Well-Known Member

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    The "70" in the cartridge designation 45/70 indicates the charge of black powder. I happen to own an 1884 series Trapdoor that was manufactured in 1891, and had been leery about firing it with modern commercial rounds. In response to an inquiry to Hornady asking specifically whether their current production 45/70 325gr "LEVERevolution" cartridge could be safely fired in an 1891 vintage Trapdoor - as well as my H&R repro Trapdoor Carbine, I was assured the round was suitable for use in both. That said, if you intend firing your Trapdoor I'd strongly recommend having it checked by a gunsmith before taking it to the range.