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Old December 15, 2010, 08:01 PM   #1
mober
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1884 Trapdoor Problem? Barrel plugged with solder?

I have an 1884 springfield Trapdoor Rifle and for some unknown reason
the whole barrel inside was filled with soder. Completely pluged it. Does
anyone know why this would have been done or more importantly, how
do I remove it.
I heard it could of possibly be pluged to keep the kids from shooting it back in the day? I dont really know.
If I heat it up the barrel will warp and i can try to drill it out but i would need
a 4 ft bit and couldn't get the remaining parts stuck to the inside.

Besided that the gun has no problems, it looks like I am going to have to buy
a new barrel but it seems like a waste.
Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!
thanks.
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Old December 15, 2010, 08:10 PM   #2
Howard31
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1884

If it is solder,or just lead it should come out fairly easy. The temperature needed to melt lead really is not enough to hurt the brl. If the brl is completely filled the gun must be pretty heavy.
Brls in good condition are hard to find. Maybe Trapdoors Galore can help.

A Bernz O Maitc torch should do it.

Last edited by Howard31; December 15, 2010 at 08:47 PM.
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Old December 15, 2010, 08:11 PM   #3
Hawg
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Getting it hot enough to melt solder or lead wont hurt it, just don't get it too hot. It's most likely lead. I don't think anybody would waste that much solder.
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Old December 15, 2010, 08:13 PM   #4
mober
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barrel problem

yeah, it is really heavy.

Also the barrel is really thich, how could I heat it up.

I think im going to try a blow torch, but ill go through like 5 tanks though.
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Old December 15, 2010, 08:19 PM   #5
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It might have been a drill rifle? Did you check the breechblock to make sure the firing pin hole has not been plugged or the breechblock face milled off?
I have an M1888 that I was told someone wanted to convert into a lamp. The butt trap was filled with plastic wood. ?
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Old December 15, 2010, 11:32 PM   #6
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You should be able to get the barrel and action in an oven. The oven will get it more than hot enough to melt solder.
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Old December 16, 2010, 12:27 AM   #7
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Ya know, before you fire it you might want to have it checked out by a competant gunsmith, especailly if you're gonna heat it up to remove the lead. Something about holding a pipe bomb next to your face. A gunsmith will cost allot less than a trip to the ER.
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Old December 16, 2010, 03:18 PM   #8
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Certainly done to prevent firing. Probably done to make a drill rifle or dummy display piece. Heating the metal (take off the wood!) enough to melt the solder will not harm it. Overheating the metal will.

Best bet is to strip the gun down as much as possible before heating. Don't want to cook springs or anything like that.

Its going to need a trip to a gunsmith to be checked for safety before firing anyway, I'd just pay the extra and let them clean it out.
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Old December 19, 2010, 01:08 AM   #9
mober
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Getin' the lead out! in an 1884 Barrel

With two small propane torch bottles, I managed to melt out the lead.
It took me like 6 hours and came out in sections.

I just hung up the barrel, heated it up and gravity did the work, it left a
silver pile that looked like something from Terminator 2.

The barrel seems to be in good condition and after a light cleaning I could make out the rifiling, which looked pretty good.

There were no residual signes of lead anywere in the barrel. It seemed to have maybe protected it. Except at the tips, which worries me a little.

How much should a gun smith charge to look at it and fix a few small scratches and make sure it is straight and safe to shoot?

ps. I found out the barrel was leaded becuause it was in working condition, and my great grandmother did not want any guns in the house.
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Old December 19, 2010, 08:56 AM   #10
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I get lead around 600 degrees when casting. I will bet Grand dad did not care what temperture he got the lead.


I would be concerned about the heat removing any temper from the steel and having a soft tube that might rupture.
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Old December 19, 2010, 09:17 AM   #11
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If the barrel didn't change color as it was heated, it should be okay. I once heated a handgun barrel to get four bullets out of it (not mine). There was a slight bulge where one bullet hit another, but the guy kept the gun and it shot well for many years.

It was a handloading-caused accident. Five shots without any powder. The fifth one didn't make it all the way into the barrel, keeping the cylinder from rotating to the sixth, a FULLY CHARGED one!!! My handloading rule is: NO case is ever mouth up in the block until it's got powder!!!
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Old December 19, 2010, 11:03 AM   #12
brian45auto
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and what ammo are you planning on shooting through it? it was designed well before the advent of smokeless powder.
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Old December 19, 2010, 01:15 PM   #13
mober
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84 barrel

The barrel on this gun is probably, at least twice as thick as my newer
guns, like my shotguns. When I heated It up it did not turn red, I checked
often by stoping and turning off the lights. It did not change color at all.
The thing weighs almost as much as it did with the lead still in it.
I saw some modern 45-70 rounds at the store and they had two grain sizes,
I was going to use the one that had less grain amount. It was like 100 grain less.

Can anyone recomend the proper grain level?
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Old December 19, 2010, 02:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Can anyone recomend the proper grain level?
iirc 405gr lrn was the standard for military rounds back in the day.

The weight of the bullet isn't as important as the pressure of the cartridge. After getting your rifle checked out look for "cowboy" loads. Those are low pressure loads used in cowboy action shooting.
You could also look for rounds with a muzzle velocity of 1200fps or lower.
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Old December 19, 2010, 07:59 PM   #15
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A gunsmith shouldn't charge much to look it over.
Just be SURE you tell him the barrel was filled and how you got it out.

Before firing you need to be VERY sure you got all the lead out, so you might want to buy a Lewis Lead Remover kit to make sure the barrel is totally de-leaded. Note the video on the page on how to use it.

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=2...LES___SHOTGUNS

Once the barrel is really clean, and the gunsmith says it's Okay to shoot, be smart, do a string test.

Take an old tire and stick the butt of the gun into the tire, and use rope to tie the barrel down across the other side.
Then run a LONG string from the trigger and fire a few rounds that way.
Inspect both the cases and the rifle for anything that looks wrong.
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Old December 19, 2010, 08:56 PM   #16
brian45auto
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some of the modern loadings are way too hot for that old action....which is fairly weak by its own design. current black powder loads can be found for them.
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Old December 19, 2010, 09:10 PM   #17
James K
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When those guns were sold off for a buck or so, many were bought by military academies and color guards of various organizations and deactivated to prevent accidents. Blocking the barrel was one way, but there were others. Even if the block is solder (and not a steel rod) and can be removed, the rifle may not be safe to shoot. I would advise consulting a gunsmith but I really doubt a modern gunsmith would have any idea how to check out that gun.

Jim
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Old December 19, 2010, 09:24 PM   #18
oneshot onekill
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I would definitely NOT run smokeless powder of any charge through it. This Trapdoor is one that needs to be shot with black-powder like it was originally designed.
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Old December 19, 2010, 09:24 PM   #19
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I only know one guy with an original trapdoor. And he's had it since the 1960s. I've fired it a number of times, quite nice and accurate rifle. The guy is my Dad, and he'd really suggest not taking the rifle out of the wood.

I suggest finding a better trapdoor to shoot, and hang that one on the wall
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Old December 19, 2010, 09:49 PM   #20
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The 84's are fine with modern factory loads. I fired a bunch of them through mine to get the brass but preferred the holy black. Case full of black and a 500 gr. lead bullet.
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Old December 19, 2010, 10:05 PM   #21
Jim Watson
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I can't see it and can't tell you the condition, but these are tough old miliary weapons and as long as the locking cam is good, they are at least shootable.

The original .45-70 load carried a 405 grain bullet, the later standard for longer range was 500. The commercial 300 grain load is a bit hotter hunting round for modern guns.

Lead is best.
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