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Trapdoor Trivia

Posted by John on Thursday, 11 November 2010, at 8:15 p.m.

Trapdoor parts show up in all sorts of strange places.

John M. Browning apparently needed some sort of rear sight for his prototype of what became the Model 1895 "Potato Digger" machine gun. He ended up using a M1873 trapdoor rifle rear sight base, apparently leaving the elevation steps unaltered, but fitted it with an extra tall folding ladder. I do not know what was used on the later production guns, but this was on the hand made prototype.

Many other trapdoor rifles (or their parts) were used in later reincarnations. Most of us are familiar with the fencing muskets cut down to simulate the M1903 Springfield and the later cut downs which were smoothbored for use as line throwing guns. And, don't overlook the "movie prop" pirate pistols, and the rifles with heavy cast brass bands and fake flintlock hammers.

Of course, you could go crazy and get into the candlesticks which Bannerman made from trapdoor bayonets.

Where else can we find trapdoors, either more or less intact or one or more small parts recycled?


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