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Colt 1863 to 1873 trapdoor conversion piece?

Posted by George on Monday, 31 January 2011, at 3:11 a.m.

Hi all,

I have inherited a rifle, what appears to be a trapdoor springfield, but I cannot identify the gun fully. It is in fairly good condition, no rust except on the buttplate. Bore is in good shape. The right receiver sideplate is marked '1863' to the rear of the hammer and "Colt's Pt. F.a. Mfg. Co." in front of the hammer. The trapdoor is marked "U.S. Model 1873", no other markings such as emblem/logo, etc. On the left side of the receiver, there is a saddle ring. The serial number is 21914 on both the receiver and barrel. What is unusual is that there is a carbine-length stock on the gun, and there is a wooden ramrod that extends underneath to the end of the barrel. There is no sling swivel on the trigger guard. I read on Wikipedia that some of the Springfield 1863 muskets were converted to trapdoors, and I suspect this is one of these conversions, but have no evidence to prove it. If anyone has any opinions as to the history of this piece, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance for the help.


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