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Old December 23, 2009, 12:16 PM   #1
Join Date: December 12, 2009
Location: Southwestern USA
Posts: 40
Blown door on a 45-70 H&R Trapdoor Carbine

Need someone experienced on repairing trap door rifles.

I have an H&R Cavalry Carbine. Door blew with a Remington .405 grain JSP factory load. It was a clean barrell, no oil in bore, ambiant temperature of about 78 degrees. Bullet cleared the barrel and struck and pierced the target on the mark. The breech popped open and the case glanced off of my left eye brow (I am a left handed shooter most of the time) cutting me, though not deeply. Very minor wound. No stitches. The hammer was now sitting at half-cock. The case looked normal when I picked it up off of the ground. Primer was seated OK, and the case was not ballooned or split.

Took it to a gun smith who had never repaired on a trapdoor. He looked it over and said he could do the work. He re-worked the cam, made his own shaft for it, used a dremel tool to hog out the wood under the lever (this was strange, because the cam lever never touched the wood before) on the stock. He said he test fired it. I believed him.

I took it to Europe. Was on a range in Europe. I had not test fired the weapon either. On the first shot since the gunsmith, I dropped a Remington facatory load into the breach. I pulled the trigger. The bullet cleared the barrel and struck the target as before. Breech flew open. A bystander said he saw a small bit of flame at the breech. Casing flew out of the breech, missing me this time. Hammer was again sitting on the half-cock. The Schutzenhaus Meister told me to get that thing back into the case and not to pull it out again.

Brought it back to the USA and gave it a good cleaning. On inspection, the cam appears to be slipping on the shaft, and the clocking of the shaft versus the cam lever and cam, seems to be off. In addition thereto, it appears the gunsmith made himself a hinge pin for the breech. The hinge pin seems too small in diameter as the breech block rattles and shakes from side to side on this pin when the breech is open.

What I need, is someone who has repaired many trapdoor rifles, who knows his **** on these weapons. Parts appear to be very limited in availability for the little H&R. Some parts will probably have to be made.

DOES ANYONE KNOW OF A GOOD TRAPDOOR SMITH OUT THERE? I really like this rifle and want to put it back in shooting order.
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