INDIAN WARS Antique U.S. SPRINGFIELD M1879 Trapdoor Rifle w/BAYONET & SLING
Master Armorer SAMUEL W. PORTER Inspected
Here we present an antique U.S. Springfield Model 1879 Trapdoor Rifle, made circa December of 1880 at the Springfield Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts. After the Civil War, the War Department wanted a breech-loading rifle. To be specific, it wanted a breech-loading rifle that would chamber a self-primed, metallic cartridge. These were initially chambered in .50-70 caliber as compared to the .58 caliber percussion Minié ball using the Allin Conversion. In 1873 the caliber of the “Trapdoor” rifle was again reduced, this time to .45-70 GOVT. Since it was not practical to convert .58 caliber muskets to this small size, the Springfield Armory began new construction of the “Trapdoor” rifles. They remained in production, with modifications, until 1893. This was the weapon, both rifle and carbine, that served the U.S. Army so well during the Indian Wars on the Western Frontier and in the Spanish-American War. In twenty years of production almost half of a million .45-70 caliber weapons were manufactured at Springfield.
Amazingly, despite the adoption of the ill-fated Model 1882 Chaffee-Reese Bolt Action Magazine Rifle, as mentioned above, new models of trapdoor rifles continued to be produced and used all the way through the mid-1890s, until finally, the Krag-Jorgensen was adopted. The U.S. continued to see unrest and conflict with the displaced Native Americans during this time, including the Wounded Knee Massacre on December 29th, 1890. Trapdoors continued to see use all the way through the Spanish American War.
This example has an inspector cartouche with the initials “SWP”, for Master Armorer and Ordnance Inspector Samuel W. Porter.
The overall condition is very good. Original patina. The action is excellent. The bore is bright with strong rifling. The walnut stock shows use and remains solid; there is a visible cartouche on the left stock flat. The leather sling, bayonet, and scabbard remain in good condition.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 32-5/8 inches.
Caliber: .45-70 Government
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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