View Full Version : Springfield Trapdoor Carbine .45/70

August 25, 2001, 06:32 AM
I have an original Springfield Trapdoor carbine, .45/70, that I always referred to as an 1873 but, after reading the most recent article in the American Rifleman, I'm thinking that it may be an 1877. Or, a bastard of the two!

Would anyone know if this can be established by the sserial number? It is 144,XXX.


August 25, 2001, 08:58 AM
It's impossible to tell what it is now just by serial numbers. Many Trapdoors have been rebuilt (arsenal or commercial). There were different variations of breech blocks, sights, sight placement etc.
If you have photos it would be easier to identify. There are also several books available on the Trapdoor, look for them at most gunshows. They're very informative. I can't find mine at the moment though.

August 26, 2001, 07:23 AM
Go to www.trapdoorcollector.com. Excellent site with very friendly and knowledgeable folks.

August 26, 2001, 08:28 AM
Thanks for both replies. Much appreciated.

August 26, 2001, 01:09 PM
Joe Poyer and Craig Riesch wrote a book titled "THE .45-70 SPRINGFIELD" through North Cape Publications, copyright 1991. If it's still available, it is an excellent reference and does list dates of manufacture and serial numbers. If your serial number starts with 144, that would make the year of manufacture 1880 or 1881, depending on the last three numbers. The last serial number listed for 1880 was 144,791. If, however, the gun was made over from parts of several guns and not original, as was pointed out, then the year estimate is up for grabs.
I hope this is helpful.
Good luck.:cool: