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Old April 18, 2013, 09:04 PM   #1
Tidewater_Kid
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Springfield Trapdoor 50-70

Well it finally arrived and in just as bad as shape as advertised. The barrel is cleaning up ok, but it's a basket case. Stock is cut, barrel is cut (down to 33" to the rear of the breech block), lock is missing almost everything, ejector is broken, firing pin is broken, sights are missing, no cleaning rod, stock has some serious cracks, etc. Part of me wants to hang it on the wall, but the chance to shoot a 2nd Allin 50-70 is enough for me to try and get it shooting. I'm already looking at parts at various places. The lock is marked 1865 and the breech block is marked 1866.

TK







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Old April 18, 2013, 09:14 PM   #2
pohill
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I don't know how much you want to spend but contact these people for parts:
http://trapdoors.com/

Track of the Wolf just got some brass in - it's been hard to find for awhile.
I shot mine last week (with reduced loads - ouch). If you can get it working, it's a great gun to shoot.
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Old April 19, 2013, 07:26 AM   #3
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Trapdoors.com is a good source but...

...IMHO too high for my tightwad sensitivities.

Al Frasca and Ed Knisley at trapdoorcollectors.com has an excellent selection and good prices. I have ordered several times from him and never paid more than 3.00 for shipping. His advice is spot-on.

In the two trapdoors I have messed with, I found that the worst part of the bore was the last ten inches at the muzzle. When I cut the second one down, I eliminated a lot of the bore problems and the rifle has turned into a pretty darned good shooter. I am going to do the same thing with the other one which started life as a cadet rifle.

I don't envy you trying to find brass or ammunition for the rifle. But once you do, I would love to read how it shoots. I would not load it with smokeless though.

I went to the sight where you bought the thing and if I have it right, I think you got it for a good price even given the condition. I don't know if Springfield ever turned any of these into carbines but if I were you, that is where I would go with it.
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Old April 19, 2013, 07:30 AM   #4
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BTW:

Thanks a heck of a lot for posting the photos.
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Old April 19, 2013, 08:30 PM   #5
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Doc,

Al and Ed seem to have most of the parts I need. I will be ordering from them soon. I don't have a milling machine, but I do have Dremels and a drill press. The missing front sight looks like it was silver soldered.

I don't plane to load smokeless in this. I have several BPCRs that I like to shoot. I load for a .577 Snider and .450-577 Martini Henry.

I'll post some more pictures when I make some headway. I will take a lot longer than your project as I had to my my taxes on Monday!

TK
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Old April 20, 2013, 04:59 AM   #6
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TK

That'll be a fun project.

I never tried to talk Al into a discount on a group of parts. But you might ask. All he can say is, "No"

Everything I ever got from him was good condition stuff.

I bought some replica screws from Ed and they are a very good approximation of the originals.

You can dovetail in a sight with a triangle file and actually I think it is quicker with a file than a machine.
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Old April 20, 2013, 06:59 AM   #7
Tidewater_Kid
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Doc,

I hadn't thought about using the file. That will work. Did you get the front sight from Al?
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Old April 20, 2013, 11:06 AM   #8
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TK

Nope. I made it.

And it is too short.

I am going to make another one (actually two) and this time it will designed more like the original. The sight block will be dovetailed to the barrel and the sight blade will be pinned to the sight block.

I can prolly make three as easy as two.

Don't go out and buy one till I get back witya.
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Old April 20, 2013, 06:32 PM   #9
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TK...

I have your sight.

I need your address.
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Old April 20, 2013, 08:58 PM   #10
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PM Sent!

Thank you for your kind offer!

TK
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Old April 23, 2013, 12:17 PM   #11
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If you find the person who did that to the two screws in front of the action hinge, smack their face until they wet their pants.
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Old April 23, 2013, 08:41 PM   #12
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Almost all of the screws look like that. The two lock screws are already replacements. I have never seen screws as bad as these. Makes taking things apart VERY fun!

TK
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Old April 23, 2013, 09:20 PM   #13
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Best of luck TK

I don't envy you trying to get them out.
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Old April 29, 2013, 09:58 PM   #14
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I installed the front sight (Thanks, Doc) and shortened the barrel to 26". Still waiting on some parts and the will to finish getting the firing pin nut out.

TK
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Old April 30, 2013, 04:26 AM   #15
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50-70 at the gun show

I can spot a trapdoor a mile away. Guy had a .50-70 at the gun show in shootable but not great condition.

He was asking 900.00 for it.
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Old April 30, 2013, 07:41 AM   #16
4V50 Gary
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There's a lot of potential in that gun.
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Old April 30, 2013, 07:40 PM   #17
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Gary + 1

If I could find one for the same price TK paid for it, I'd be on it like a wolverine on a pop tart!
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Old May 6, 2013, 10:03 PM   #18
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Any ideas on crowning the barrel with hand tools? I've got it nice and square, but I'm not real sure where to go from there. I would like get it to look like the one on Doc's rifle, but I can't chuck the barrel/receiver in a lathe.

TK
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Old May 7, 2013, 05:12 AM   #19
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Several ways to go

You can get a hand crowning tool for about 75.00. THere is a video online that shows you how to do it. I think it is from MidwayUSA so they ought to have the crowning tool.

You can take it to a gunsmith and I think they will only charge you about 20.00 to crown it.

You might also try just smoothing it up with sanadpaper and shooting it. You may find that it shoots fine just as it is.
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Old May 11, 2013, 09:49 PM   #20
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Ok here is a status update. I am still waiting on several parts. Swivels, lower band, and several lock parts. I finally gave up on eBay. Got few things, but last second sniping is driving me crazy. Thanks to Ed at Trapdoorcollector.com and S&S Firearms, things are coming together. I won't go into what it all cost just yet.
So far I have replaced the firing pin, spring and nut, hinge pin and nut. hinge plate screws, front sight (thanks, Doc), found a rear sight, various lock parts and screws and hammer screw. I also cut about four inches off the barrel.
Pictures:





TK
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Old May 12, 2013, 05:24 AM   #21
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TK...

Excellent progress!

The replacement of the receiver screws was very successful
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Old May 14, 2013, 08:03 AM   #22
Tidewater_Kid
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Well It's should be shootable now. Still need to find a couple of things, but the lock is complete and everything seems to function. I need to get some brass and a mold. Had to take a couple of deck pictures this morning in the sun light.





It will always be collection of parts, but I am happy so far.

TK
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Old May 14, 2013, 08:16 AM   #23
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Ooooh Yeeeaah!

That is looking very good.

I recommend slugging the bore before buying a mold.

In the absense of the right sizes ball to slug the bore, other shooters on this forum might offer some suggestions as to which mold is right.

I found that mold sold for .45-70 are not right for my trapdoors. At .457, the bullet is too small. It needs to be .459 at a minimum.

My problem was not so much the mold as it was the sizing die.
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Old May 14, 2013, 08:32 AM   #24
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By the way....

It is very likely that the front sight is too tall.

I hope you can file it down far enough that it shoots POA in terms of elevation.
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Old May 14, 2013, 11:31 AM   #25
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I think that turned out nice... I'd really like to add a trap door to my collection... I have an old ratty Enfield Martini in 5070, that I shoot mild smokeless loads in... I'd probably part with some of my old balloon head cases, if you guys thought they might be useable ( some were shot, not by me, & not rinsed after with water, so some may be pitted beyond use... but since I only shoot smokeless, the balloon head cases are just taking up space in my 50-70 stuff

interesting thinking, if a guy would have known what this stuff would be selling for, & how volatile those 401K's were going to be, i'd have done some heavy investing in brass
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