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Re: 1873 Trapdoor to clean or not to clean
Posted by Ernie on Saturday, 28 August 2010, at 12:04 a.m., in response to Re: 1873 Trapdoor to clean or not to clean, posted by Dick Hosmer on Friday, 27 August 2010, at 8:22 p.m.
Dr. Hosmer hit the nail on the head.
If you want a toy to play with & do not give a hoot about collector value, clean the weapon to suit yourself.
On the other hand, if you place value on the historical importance of the weapon, you will do the absolute least amount of harm the the "patina" as it is commonly called.
Cleaning the wood as described by Dick is the most you want to do. On the metal parts I use STAINLESS STEEL wool pads only on my projects & customers arms.
Stainless Steel pads are available online & at every Gun Show.
There is NO way to improve the bore other than a thorough cleaning with hot soapy water & solvents. Any product that will dissolve the lead residue will do the trick on the bore.
The key to ownership of ANY antique weapon is respect for & care of the arm. The Trapdoor Springfield was an important part of the American Military weapons program & marked a giant transition in weapons development. Being the first mass produced Breech Loading weapon for the U.S. Military puts the Trapdoor on a par with any mechanical improvement of the 19th century.
I say all this to stress the importance of caring for & preserving what you have in this fine weapon. We have seen attempts to "improve" firearms that have left the owner with a "tent peg" of no value to anyone except a dealer in parts.
Be kind to you arm & enjoy it. Get some safe loads & go out & shoot it. Clean it well after each use. It will out live you & be something to pass on to the next generation.
Good luck & be safe.
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