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Old January 6, 2013, 06:08 PM   #1
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1884 Trapdoor Springfield

Just traded for this 1884 Trapdoor. I had one of these many years ago and have regretted selling it almost as soon as I let it go. This one came my way via a trade for a handgun that I haven't used in years and really had no real use for.

Anyway, this is as nice a trapdoor as I have ever seen. I would rate the wood at 98% and while the metal has generous traces of bluing with the rest being basically a smooth patina, you can tell it is mostly just due to some age and handling. The cartouches are crisp and it bears the marks of having been issued to the New Jersey State Militia. The bore is bright and has sharp rifling.

Marks on the forestock in the first picture are actually fingerprints.

Last edited by highpower3006; January 6, 2013 at 06:48 PM.
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Old January 6, 2013, 06:12 PM   #2
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Old January 6, 2013, 07:26 PM   #3
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An excellent find.
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Old January 7, 2013, 12:46 AM   #4
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Looks great!

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Old January 7, 2013, 01:28 PM   #5
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Looks like its time to start loading with black powder.
No such thing as a stupid question. What is stupid is not asking it.
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Old January 7, 2013, 02:28 PM   #6
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That is a real beauty. While black powder would be ideal in many ways, I have seen a few guns damaged by the cleanup efforts. I would hate to think of a gun like that being subjected to the boiling water treatment.

There are plenty of good lead bullets and smokeless powder loads that will be perfectly OK in that gun should the OP choose to fire it.

Jim K
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Old January 7, 2013, 06:08 PM   #7
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A gem like that should only be fired with black powder, IMHO, that 120 year old metal is really not up to higher burning temperatures and pressures.
Cleaning a breechloader with boiling water is much easier than cleaning a muzzle loader, cork the muzzle, set the rifle at an angle, pour the water into the breech, let it sit for a few minutes, then uncork, drain, brush, dry, oil.
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Old January 8, 2013, 09:01 AM   #8
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That's really a nice looking rifle.

The "NJ" stamped on the receiver has got my curiosity up.

Prior to WWI or after the deployments of NG troops during the Spanish American War, Governors had more control of their National Guard units.

When the Army came out with a new rifle (this occurred up and through the Krags, I don't know about the Springfields) a few rifles would be sent to each Governor of respective states and territories. These were so the Governor could check them out before they were issued to NG units. Of course what ever happened to these guns was depended on the Governor.

I read reports of the Colorado Governor giving one of his Krags to a newspaper guy who didin't know much about shooting and his writing started the Krag out with bad reviews.

Anyway, Seeing the NJ stamp makes me wonder about your rifle. If It was me, I would drop a letter off the the New Jersey Dept of Military Affairs to see if they keep a history of these rifles.

Maybe you could find some interesting information about your rifle.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
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Old January 8, 2013, 09:12 AM   #9
Hunter Customs
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That's a nice old rifle.
I have one complete with bayonet.
I don't shoot mine, however I bought some cowboy loads that's claimed to be safe in them.
I considered taking it deer hunting, but I never have.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter
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Old January 8, 2013, 09:39 PM   #10
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The rear barrel band needs to be flipped over,

as when the rifle is vertical all the "U's" will read correctly.

Very Nice condition aare you going to use commercial ammo? reloads with Cowboy data? or blackpowder??

Just at local shop and they have a H&R Commemorative Carbine model and it would LOOK NICE over my fireplace!

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