SOLD FOR: $2534
Make: Springfield Armory
Model: 1884 Trapdoor Rifle
Year of Manufacture: 1888, in the period between April and June
Caliber: .45-70 Govt.
Action Type: Single-Shot Forward Pivoting Breech-Block “Trapdoor” Rifle
Markings: The left barrel shoulder is marked with a “V” over a “P” over an eagle head and “A”, a poorly struck “B”, and “R”. The top of the breechblock is marked “U.S. / MODEL / 1884”. The top rear of the receiver is marked with the serial number, “407040”. The lock plate is marked with an American Eagle and “U.S. / SPRINGFIELD”. The right side of each barrel band is marked “U”. The buttplate tang is marked “U.S.”. The left side of the wrist features an inspector’s cartouche, “SWP / 1888“, and the belly of the buttstock features an encircled “P” cartouche.
Barrel Length: Approximately 32 1/2”
Sights/Optics: The front sight is a blade pinned to a base by the muzzle. The rear sight is a model 1884 Buffington folding ladder.
Stock Configuration and Condition: The stock is a one-piece smooth wood with a sheet steel crescent buttplate, a straight comb, a straight wrist, a guard-mounted sling swivel, a rear sight protector barrel band, a forward barrel band with a sling swivel and a stacking swivel, a metal nose-cap, and a ramrod. The stock has only light wear throughout, just small nicks and compressions that have been oiled over. The LOP—length of pull—is approximately 13” from the front of the trigger to the rear of the buttplate. The buttplate has minor surface oxidation throughout along with minor nicks and minor edge thinning. Overall, the stock is in Fine-plus condition, as antique.
Type of Finish: Blue with a Case Color Receiver
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with very well-defined rifling. There is no apparent erosion, but minor fouling can be seen in spots. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates an 8 out of 10!
Overall Condition: The rifle retains 97% of its metal finish. The barrel tip has thinned due to the use of a bayonet (please note, a bayonet is not included). The barrel has a minor dusting of surface oxidation. The barrel bands have thinned considerably. The receiver’s forward edges have thinned a bit. Case coloring is strong throughout, vibrant on the interior, and a bit muted on the exterior. The markings remain clear. The screw heads are lightly tool marked and remain serviceable. Overall, the rifle is in Fine-plus-to-Excellent condition, as an Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. There are quarter- and half-cock hammer positions. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box Paperwork, and Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The Springfield Model 1873 “Trapdoor” was the first standard-issue breech-loading rifle adopted by the United States Army and was one of the main service rifles of the U.S. Military until it was gradually replaced by the Springfield Model 1892 bolt-action rifle. George Custer’s troops were armed with them at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and they were still used by secondary units during the Spanish-American war in 1898. This rifle is a Model 1884 produced in 1888 according to serial records, and a cartouche on the left side of the wrist. This example is by appearances original, with very little meaningful wear, and some of the strongest finish we’ve seen on a Trapdoor in quite some time—this is a truly gorgeous example of a historically significant rifle. That said, this rifle could serve as a restoration project. Now, ready, aim, bid!