The Firearms Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have inherited a Springfield rifle from my grandfather. above the reciever it says "1870 US" On the metal plate it says "1865 US Springfield". Other than a "U" on each of the rings that hold the stock to the barrel, this is the only writing on the rifle. the barrel is 29 1/2 inches. i have heard that on later model 1870s they moved the rear sight slighly forward, which is not the case on mine. model 1865s, 1870s, etc all look very similar to me, I was hoping some of you could help me identify my rifle. some of the later ones fire 50-70 and if it is one of those i plan to buy some and shoot it.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
so some more information on the rifle:
the serial number is 1458
it has the letters ELA engraved onto the stock above the trigger on the left side.
the overall length is about 48 3/4 inches
I dont have any precise ways of measuring the bore but it appears to be just over .50. I used a 22 hi power shell to test this (the rim is exactly .500)
i read online that it.

knowing this i suspect it may be a model 1869 springfield cadet rifle made in 1870. this checks out because of the barrel length, serial, overall length and bore size, but it could be any of the cadet rifles i guess. any information is appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,556 Posts
Well my goodness. It's been 9 months and no help. That's too bad. I have an 1873. I was aware that Springfield modified the percussion guns in various stages of breechloading cartridge conversions. I think first with a needle fire, then the 50/70. But I don't know enough to be of any help. Guess you have moved on and got help elsewhere. If happen to read these later posts, I would like to hear an update.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,470 Posts
You have a .50-70 Trapdoor Springfield. The 1865 on the lockplate was when your rifle (then a Model 1863 Springfield .58 muzzle loading rifle) was first made. This conversion was made by cutting off the rear portion of the barrel, threading it for the Allin Conversion ("Trapdoor") receiver, and most often sleeving the .58 caliber barrel with a .50 barrel insert.

That "ELA" on the stock is the stamped initials for Erskine S. Allen - the chief inspector for Springfield Armory, and the inventor of the Allen Trapdoor conversion.

Just a wee bit of trivia for you: The "Trapdoor" conversion was an effort to provide breech-loading cartridge arms for the U.S. military. Many selected U.S. Model 1863 .58 caliber muzzle loading rifles from the vast stock of surplus Civil War rifles were modified with the Allen Conversion in a cost saving effort. The first of the converted rifles were made in a .58 rim fire caliber, then in about 1866-1867 the caliber was changed to .50/70 for increased velocity, longer range and better accuracy over the rim fire cartridge.

The Remington Rolling Block rifle was invented about the same time - also a system based on converting surplus Civil War .58 rifles to cartridge arms in much the same way. The Ordinance Department selected the Allin conversion system over the Remington system. Many foreign nations adopted the Remington system. The primary reason that the Ordinance Department selected the Allin System over the Rolling Block was the "camming action" of the trapdoor for loading slightly bulged or otherwise defective ammunition.

Starting in 1873, with the adoption of the .45-/70 caliber change, surplus parts were no longer used for manufacture of the Springfield Trapdoors. All new parts were used from then-on.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top