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Re: How To Tell If My 1873 Trap Door Can Actually Be Fired

Posted by Dick Hosmer on Sunday, 4 October 2009, at 4:09 p.m., in response to How To Tell If My 1873 Trap Door Can Actually Be Fired, posted by Ted on Sunday, 4 October 2009, at 2:12 p.m.

Wouldn't give me a whole lot of confidence - especially if I had been in any way concerned about to begin with!

He should also have checked breechblock play, lock-up, hammer notches, pull-off, tightness of screws, any missing parts, possible chamber obstructions, etc. An experinced person would require about one minute to do this, unless he found a problem and had to look further in a specific area.

What is the general condition? Nice and tight, smooth rust-free metal, sound wood, nice bore with sharp rifling, etc., or something less? General serial number range (above about 75000 is quite a bit stouter)?

As we age, those actually IN the retail gun trade - often much younger than ourselves, are less and less familiar with "our" arms, so, IMHO, their assessments can tend to become less and less experienced.

A old (unmounted) tire, a stake, and a bit of rope make an excellent holder for a doubtful rifle. Stick the butt into one side and tie it down across the other. A long cord can be used on the trigger. Two or three rounds should tell the story. It is PROBABLY OK, as thousands are still being shot, but it is best to be careful.


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