UPS just left me a nice 1873 Springfield Trapdoor.
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Thread: UPS just left me a nice 1873 Springfield Trapdoor.

  1. #11
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    When I got into black powder cartridge rifle competitions, one guy shot a Trapdoor at the matches. Did pretty good too, so I bought one. It was a Cadet model, slightly shorter. I loved the very basic action: lift the lever and block, drop a cartridge in the chamber, close the action, cock. It did kick harder than I expected, they're really not as heavy as they look. Compared to my 12 lb Sharps...

  2. #12
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    Thanks all for the nice comments and pictures of your own Springfield's.

    I thought some might find the attached scan amusing. It's from a novelty reprint of a 1908 Sears & Roebuck catalog that I've had for years. It's over a 1000 pages of the typical consumer goods that the American public would have been ordering between the turn of the century and WWI. Clothing, hats, ladies' corsets, patent medicines, wood burning cook stoves, furniture, saddles, harnesses, farm wagons, and even all the pre-cut materials and plans to build a 3 bedroom house.

    Included in the firearms section were some surplus Springfield's--both a two band musket and a carbine. One could get the musket, 20 rounds of military surplus ammo, and a bayonet (if one wanted it) for the grand total of $2.75 plus shipping. The copy states that they bought a large quantity of the rifles from the Rock Island arsenal. The carbines were a dollar more because Sears had gone to the trouble of having them made by cutting down some of the muskets.


    The listing on the rifle claims that these were the same guns used in the civil war, and the illustration looks more like an M 1866 due to the early leaf sight. However the picture of the carbine looks like the model 1884 since it has the later Buffington rear sight. Obviously, at those prices the accuracy of the illustrations and information were not that important.

    To put this in perspective--in the same section of the catalog, a new Winchester model 94 sporting rifle in 30 WCF with a 24 inch octagon barrel was listed at $15.53 while a Colt SAA standard model or Bisley style were listed at $15.50--both in either 7.5 or 5.5 barrel lengths.

    Using an inflation calculator from 1908 to 2019 that I found on the net.

    $2.75 is $76 in today's dollars
    $15.50 is $430 in today's dollars

    There must have been a recession in 1908 since the calculator I used shows inflation at a negative 2.13 %.

    I have an original Winchester catalog from 1905 which shows that same rifle priced at $18. Sears only offered the single configuration mentioned, so they may have gotten a discount from Winchester by ordering a single model in volume. Anyway, Sears was sort of the mail order version of Walmart at the time, so it was hard to beat their discounted prices on anything.

    Cheers
    Last edited by forward_observer; 05-16-2019 at 09:17 PM.
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  3. #13
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    I musta missed that sale.
    Socialism is like a Jedi Mind Trick...it only works on the weak minded. SnidelyWhiplash
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  5. #14
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    Real Nice Score Sir...!!


    Damn...Now I Want One !!



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    I've tried everything from 552 grains down to 165 grain collar buttons. Still use the old standard 405 most of the time
    Detectives, and Cobras, and Agents
    Oh My!

  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFrame View Post
    I've tried everything from 552 grains down to 165 grain collar buttons. Still use the old standard 405 most of the time

    I stumbled across an old Ideal single cavity mold for one of those collar button .45's. It was part of a lot of mostly Winchester single cavity molds that came with several of the Winchester branded nut cracker style reloading tools, so I bought the whole lot. Most had minor surface rust on the exteriors, but the mold cavities were untouched. I ended up with several individual vintage pieces worth
    as much as I paid for the whole lot, but that one Ideal mold with handles was the only thing related to the .45-70.

    Are you shooting smokeless or black powder, and if smokeless, which powder?
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  8. #17
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    That's a beauty. My very common Model 1884 has a repaired and refinished stock. I love the look of the wood on your rifle. I think my dad paid $175 for this in the mid 70s then found the bayonet at a garage sale up the street around the same time. These rifles look very unwieldy but aren't at all really. To me, anyway. I'm amazed that modern Uberti copies sell for much more than lots of originals, especilly like my '1884.


  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyatt Burp View Post
    That's a beauty. My very common Model 1884 has a repaired and refinished stock. I love the look of the wood on your rifle. I think my dad paid $175 for this in the mid 70s then found the bayonet at a garage sale up the street around the same time. These rifles look very unwieldy but aren't at all really. To me, anyway. I'm amazed that modern Uberti copies sell for much more than lots of originals, especilly like my '1884.
    Nice! Prior to the early 70's those old trapdoors were a dime a dozen. In 1963 when I was a freshman in college, my dad bought a second car for my mom and I to share, so I sold my old 57 Chevy to help pay college expenses. The buyer came up short $50 on the price I was asking and offered me two 1873 trapdoors to make up the difference--a carbine and a musket. I had already gotten what I needed out of the car, so the two rifles were gravy. I really didn't know much about them at the time and did not bother to even learn much. I think sold both a few months later for $100 or $125 total, and was pleased at making a profit.

    Of course who knew that they would someday become as collectable as they have. That's pretty much true of any mil-surp's that have flooded the market at one time or another initially for peanuts--only to become very expensive just a decade or two later when the initial import or surplus quantities dried up. It just took the trapdoors a lot longer than most.

    I got mine for a very reasonable price compared to some and certainly a lot less than Uberti is getting for their reproductions

    Cheers
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  10. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by forward_observer View Post
    Nice! Prior to the early 70's those old trapdoors were a dime a dozen. In 1963 when I was a freshman in college, my dad bought a second car for my mom and I to share, so I sold my old 57 Chevy to help pay college expenses. The buyer came up short $50 on the price I was asking and offered me two 1873 trapdoors to make up the difference--a carbine and a musket. I had already gotten what I needed out of the car, so the two rifles were gravy. I really didn't know much about them at the time and did not bother to even learn much. I think sold both a few months later for $100 or $125 total, and was pleased at making a profit.

    Of course who knew that they would someday become as collectable as they have. That's pretty much true of any mil-surp's that have flooded the market at one time or another initially for peanuts--only to become very expensive just a decade or two later when the initial import or surplus quantities dried up. It just took the trapdoors a lot longer than most.

    I got mine for a very reasonable price compared to some and certainly a lot less than Uberti is getting for their reproductions

    Cheers
    That '57 Chevy is of course coveted over today much more than a trap door, but your education afforded you later lots of cool stuff. Here's a typical scene I saw in Havana in February. 55-57 Chevys were the most prominent old american cars there that we saw and old american cars were everywhere, though their engines are now Japanese and Russian. This picture taken from the '55 Ford we were in.

    22_Matt likes this.


 
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