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1873 Springfield Trapdoor Parts Gun?

Posted by Russ Norwood on Monday, 26 June 2017, at 4:16 p.m.

I inherited an 1873 Springfield trapdoor from my grandfather in 1961. Nobody else in my family knew anything about where he got it and back then I wasn’t curious enough about history to do any research, but my perspective is different now. I recently took a seminar called “The History and Heritage of the American Rifle” in which I learned about, and got to shoot, reproductions of many rifles, both older and newer than my old Springfield.

So I got the old trapdoor out of storage and discovered this site while looking for information. I’d intended to post a description and ask for help, but the more I read the more obvious it became that I’d need pictures and a lot more knowledge before I could even frame halfway intelligent questions. Following a tip I read here, I bought Joe Poyer’s book on the .45-70 Springfield, and I’ve just finished photographing the gun. I’m posting my theories here in hopes you’ll help me spot my errors and fill in the gaps.

I think it may be a parts gun from Bannerman’s in New York City, in part because my grandfather worked in the city in the early 1900s, but mainly because of what the photos seem to suggest about the rifle’s components.

You can see the photos at the following links, which you can copy and paste in your browser. My theories and reasoning and questions are in the text at left on each page, and you can click each small photo to display it large enough to see considerable detail.

I plan to keep the rifle and, if I can find a knowledgeable gunsmith I might even decide to shoot it. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to learning more about how to clean and preserve it. I’m not going to do any disassembly until I learn enough to do it properly.


The Rifle Overall:

No Serial Number:

Lock Plate:

No Cartouches:


Receiver & Barrel:

Breech Block:

Trigger & Bow





Thanks, Russ Norwood


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