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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks,

Is there a place/reference where i can track the serial number for a US Model 1884 Springfield Trap door?? Just looking for a little history on it. I have tried Google and looking for reference books etc without much luck. Curiosity is getting the best of me...I know there are folks in here with a lot more knowledge then myself..Thanks
 

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Two excellent books are: 'The .45-70 Springfield' by Frasca and Hill, and 'Trapdoor Springfield' by Bud Waite. Both have serial number charts. If you give me your number, I'll look it up for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, Thank You!!! I will have to look for those books you mentioned. The serial # for the one I have is 181184
 

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According to the charts, your number, 181184 was made in July-Sept. 1882. Production of the '84 didn't actually begin till 1886, in the 300k range. Is yours stamped '1884'? Does it have the Buffington sight? It is possibly a re-work? I have several Trapdoors but am far from an expert on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It appears I was wrong on the serial number, I cleaned the serial # up a bit and it appears to be 131184 and not 181184. Hopefully these pictures will help and Thank You for your info so far!! DSCN1363.JPG DSCN1362.JPG DSCN1364.JPG
 

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131184 made July-Sept 1880. I seem to recall that a little 'star' behind the serial number designates a re-work. I think one of mine has that. I don't see it on yours. There were so many changes made to these over the years that it is hard to keep straight.
 

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Hey, Thadd. While you still have the book out, when was my 1884 model rifle (not carbine) made? It's # 111745.
April-June 1879. It will take some reading to figure out why your serials aren't kosher....it may be that later (1884) breechblocks are installed on your 1873 Rifles.

Another little handy book on these is Joe Poyer's. It identifies every little part on these.
 

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The latest thinking on the star behind the serial number is that the arm that was made with a combination of new as well as salvaged parts (other than the receiver), and was to either be held in reserve or issued to troops like the National Guard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
131184 made July-Sept 1880. I seem to recall that a little 'star' behind the serial number designates a re-work. I think one of mine has that. I don't see it on yours. There were so many changes made to these over the years that it is hard to keep straight.
Thank You for the info!!! Now on to figuring out who or if it was issued to anybody/ unit etc
 

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Thank You for the info!!! Now on to figuring out who or if it was issued to anybody/ unit etc
I just looked through my SRS books. Nothing real close to your number came up, but Wyatt, #111744 shows up along with a bunch of others in that range as going to Co I 2nd MO Volunteer Inf in 1898 for the Span AM War.
 

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I just looked through my SRS books. Nothing real close to your number came up, but Wyatt, #111744 shows up along with a bunch of others in that range as going to Co I 2nd MO Volunteer Inf in 1898 for the Span AM War.
Hey, I like that. Should I assume then that that rifle, and probably mine which is only one number higher, actually saw action in Cuba? Didn't some companies never even get to go to Cuba? I'll try to track down that CO. my gun was in and get the lowdown. Thanks, Thadd, and thank you, sflercrazy, for investigating your gun bringing this all up.
 

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Hey, I like that. Should I assume then that that rifle, and probably mine which is only one number higher, actually saw action in Cuba? Didn't some companies never even get to go to Cuba? I'll try to track down that CO. my gun was in and get the lowdown. Thanks, Thadd, and thank you, sflercrazy, for investigating your gun bringing this all up.
Yeah a lot of units never left stateside. Further research would be needed. 111755 went to Co. E 1st US Volunteer Inf in '98 for Span Am War. Among those near your rifle that went to Co. I, 2nd MO, were: 111616, xxx621, xxx704, xxx744, xxx769, xxx773, and a lot more both lower and higher numbers.

Since it's raining and i can't be in the field, today is a good day to research my Trapdoors, Krags, Spencers, etc, etc. Funny that the only US guns of mine that I've looked up were the Colts.
 

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No, it didn't.

A lot of the Volunteer units were mustered in a patriotic fervor, but never even got to the debarkation point for one reason or another - and the SAW was pretty short-lived, as conflicts go.

Many remained on the State rolls as National Guard units and would eventually form the nucleus of what would become the National Guard in time for their service in the Great War - being numerically redesignated in the '100-series'.

At that time, their armament was upgraded to the M1903 Springfield (some with the M1917) and uniforms and field equipment of current issue were supplied.
 

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We might as well post some pictures. I've often checked prices online for model 1884 trap door rifles and they have been pretty inexpensive, even compared to new Uberti repros. Mine has a repaired and refinished stock, but a tight hinge and excellent bore. I think my dad got it in the local want ads in the early 70s. Price might have been $175. He found the bayonet much later at a garage sale around the corner.



 

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Plus - the Model of 1884 was never really considered a 'combat rifle' like its earlier cousin.

Many of the originals had Buffington rear sights installed by artificers - look for the screw slot on the sight base, indicating non-factory installation - and outside of a couple of select Volunteer units - they didn't go to Cuba or the Philippines, since the issue rifle to the Regulars was the Krag, so they never saw the rigors of active campaigning.

Given the tepid collector pursuit due to a scarcity of associated 'romance', an awful lot of 'nice' versions are available across the board and are very reasonably priced today.
 

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I have always loved the Trapdoor Springfield and they are one of the sweetest shooting rifles made. Back years ago, Ihad a 1st Allan Conversion in .50 caliber. The base rifle was an 1864 Springfield that probably never been issued. Off hand, I could shoot my reloads with BP at a paper plate atr 200 ytds and hit it! On a quiet day, i could hear the bullet hit the burn, LOL! I sold my last one about 6 years ago to a friend of mine and now I have none. A Great Rifle!!!
 

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Yeah a lot of units never left stateside. Further research would be needed. 111755 went to Co. E 1st US Volunteer Inf in '98 for Span Am War. Among those near your rifle that went to Co. I, 2nd MO, were: 111616, xxx621, xxx704, xxx744, xxx769, xxx773, and a lot more both lower and higher numbers.

Since it's raining and i can't be in the field, today is a good day to research my Trapdoors, Krags, Spencers, etc, etc. Funny that the only US guns of mine that I've looked up were the Colts.

Chaffee

If you still have your SRS book handy would you please check out my rifle's number: 261062
 
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