View Full Version : 45/70 SHARPS VS Trapdoor

January 29, 2012, 03:12 PM
Just Picked up a Replica SHarps Carbine in 45/70 and a replica trapdoor Carbine in 45/70.. Do love them both. To me the Sharps is just a lot easier and quicker to shoot over the trap door, SOOOO

Why did the Army in the 1870s go with the Trapdoor????..

From what limited info I have found the main reason seems to be that Springfield Armory worked for the Government they knew how to make Springfields, they had the rights to make Springfield trapdoors and thus the army got Springfields... But was wondering if there was more to the story...

I assume there was a shoot out between the two designs???, I think the Army did purchase a few Sharps in 45/70 but no where like the number of Springfields

Mucho thanks

January 29, 2012, 04:55 PM
It promised to offer financial savings by converting the stock of muzzle-loaders. Of course most of them ended up being made from new ...

January 30, 2012, 07:05 AM
i own and shot both sharps and trapdoors and like them both,what i like about the sharps is the ease of mounting a long range tang sight, i don,t load either hot and only shoot case bullets out of them at modest volicities. eastbank.

January 30, 2012, 09:23 AM
After the Civil War the government had a huge supply of muzzle loading rifles that could "easily" be converted to shoot cartridges. It was easier and cheaper to convert these rifles than to develop and purchase new rifles. After the war there were only something like 20,000 troops in the army and money was tight. They started turning these into the trapdoors you're familiar with. This was the army's main rifle until the development of the Kraig rifle in the 1890s.

Ideal Tool
January 31, 2012, 05:39 PM
Hello, The British did the same M.L. to B.L. with their .577 Snider.
Isn't it amazing..with over 140 years of supposed "advancement" our gov. today is pretty poor fiscally as compared with the one after the war between the states. Nowdays..perfectly good M1's & Colt .45's are put to the cutting torch.

Doc Hoy
February 1, 2012, 12:58 PM
....I have been on about a dozen Mediterranean deployments and every time when we returned to the states we had to shoot up all of the small arms ammunition or dump it over the side before getting within 12 miles of the coast.

I have asked gunners mates and supply corps officers alike and I could never get the same story twice.

It was fortunate for us. There are several days I spent an entire watch on the fantail shooting .45, M-14 M60, or 50 Cals.

Jim Watson
February 2, 2012, 12:36 AM
Actually, the Army had Sharps convert 31,000+ percussion models to .50-70 cartridge in 1867-68 and did several hundred more at Springfield in 1870.

They also put rifle musket barrels both .58 and lined to .50 on some Remington Rolling Block actions with stocks made from cut down muskets.

Waste not, want not in the postwar slump.