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Re: Springfield Trapdoor Serial Number

Posted by John on Sunday, 24 October 2010, at 12:22 a.m., in response to Re: Springfield Trapdoor Serial Number, posted by Peter Mitchell on Saturday, 23 October 2010, at 7:34 p.m.

A number of trapdoors (and also earlier muzzle loading muskets) were converted for "cadet" use by youngsters in "Boys Brigades" or military schools. Such schools were all the rage in the 1880s-1914 era. The younger kids could not handle the weight of real guns, so the barrels were replaced with wooden substitutes, often with a real (or cheap cast iron substitute) breech section and maybe a piece of original barrel at the muzzle so they could take a bayonet. (Surplus dealers were also in the bayonet selling business!)

The number of "good" parts as opposed to salvaged unserviceable scrap in one of these guns varies greatly. The wooden barrels earned the nickname "Quaker guns" but also cut costs for the dealer when making them, and they could sell the unused barrels as scrap.

Every trapdoor collector should have one of these non-armory guns, just because it is a trapdoor, and it is different, I guess. However, they are definitely NOT military made or military used. Value depends on how bad you want one, or the potential value of any parts that can be salvaged, but remember that the surplus dealers seldom wasted good parts if they could use something cheaper!


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