View Full Version : I'm looking for info on Trapdoor repro.

August 20, 2002, 07:41 AM
Can anyone provide any info on the Harrington & Richardson Arms Springfield Trapdoor Officers model?

Cap n ball
August 20, 2002, 10:43 AM
I understand it's a pretty fine repro with the ability to fire smokeless cartridges as well. The one I own is an original 1873. Great rifle with a good punch. Sorta like a 306 on steroids. You may find some info or links at http://www.trapdoors.com/

August 20, 2002, 09:41 PM
The H&R rifles are built on the 1884 design (low arch block, wider receiver, etc.) and tend to probably be the strongest Trapdoor out there when you consider the age or originals and questionable Italian steel (though so far my Pedersoli is just fine). What is a MAJOR problem with these rifles is the locking cam and can be dangerous if not corrected! :eek:
The problem is that the originals are a one-piece affair with the thumb piece on the shaft and locking cam with the bridle between the cam and thumbpiece that screws into the side of the block, holding it all together.
The H&R and Pedersoli rifles on the other hand don't use the bridle and the cam is seperate from the shaft and thumbpiece and is instead held on by a set screw. Now the difference between the H&R and Pedersoli repros is that the shaft where this set screw sits on the Pedersoli rifles is square where the H&R is round.
Now on the Pedersoli rifles, as long as the set screw is tight, it won't move on that shaft at all since the hole in the cam is square to fit over the square section of the shaft. On the H&R however with the shaft being round, the set screw doesn't have that good of a purchase on the shaft and if it loosens just a little bit, can lead to big problems. Problems like either not being able to open the breech at all (push on the thumbpiece and it and the shaft just spin under the cam) or worse, with the tang of the thumbpiece no longer held securely under the hammer, the block can fly open under full pressure and spit the empty case back at the shooter! :eek: Yes, it does happen, I've seen it a few times both when it locked up the rifle and when it blew empty cases out.
But now for the good news. :) It's an easy fix. There's three methods you can use to cure this problem.
First is to remove the cam and slide the shaft out, file a flat spot on the shaft where the set screw sits and put it back together. The flat spot gives the screw a better area on the shaft to set against and won't allow the shaft to spin under the cam.
The second method is to remove the shaft and cam again then drill a small hole where the set screw sits so again, you have a better surface.
The third method is not one I recommend by itself but is an option if you want to keep the H&R absolutely original and that is to simply loc-tite the set scew into the cam. Yeah, keeps it from backing out but doesn't make for a better area.
Personally, I like method one and as either of the first two methods, use a bit of loc-tite on the screw too. Now you will have a flat surface so the cam can't spin on the shaft and the loc-tite will prevent the scew from backing out during use as well. See, it's an easy fix and you get the strongest trapdoor out there to boot. :)

August 24, 2002, 11:19 AM

September 2, 2002, 09:27 PM
donb, what specifically do you want to know about the H&R trap door Officers model. I own one. BTW Nodakmarine thanks for the write up about the locking cam! I will have to disassemble mine and file a flat spot. I sure don't want to eat brass or sport any sticking out of my forehead.:)

September 6, 2002, 06:51 PM
Sorry it's taken so long to respond!
I was just looking for whatever info. I could find.
I picked one up withuot knowing anything about it for some reason?
Never did that before, I was just drawn to it.
Do you know where I could get a manual or wharever for it?

September 6, 2002, 09:20 PM
Not really sure where you can find a manual for the H&R trapdoor rifles but if you check with folks like Dixie Gun works you can find collectors books and some of the old ordinance manuals for the original trapdoor rifles and carbines. Not really that much difference other than the cam being secured differently, the rear sights being different on some models and a few other minor details.

September 6, 2002, 11:29 PM
I'd be hard pressed to find whatever paperwork came with mine. I honestly don't remember what came with it. I just recommended "Loading Cartridges For The Original .45-70 Springfield Rifle and Carbine" by J.S. and Pat Wolf, to someone on the reloading forum. This book has a lot of info about the trap-door, about care, cleaning, loading , history, etc., including pages out of the original trap-door Springfield manual. It is a good read and will give you a lot to think about. I hope this helps.