1884 Trapdoor

1884 Trapdoor

This is a discussion on 1884 Trapdoor within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Went down to Alabama for a quick visit to the wife's family and while I was there my Brother in Law gave me something he ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    1884 Trapdoor

    Went down to Alabama for a quick visit to the wife's family and while I was there my Brother in Law gave me something he didn't have a use for. Said he had traded a guy some work for a few items and one of them happened to be a 1884 Trapdoor rifle. I really do not know how old it is and it isn't in great shape. It is missing the rod and it needs to have the pin and piece that holds the trapdoor in place replaced but the wood isn't cracked and other than some minor surface rust, it looks to be in fair shape.

    Now I have to find someone to clean it up and maybe do some repairs and I might just fire it if it is in good enough condition to do so safely. If not, it is a heck of a cool piece to hang on the wall if nothing else.
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  2. #2
    MJK
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    Great piece to bring home Mike! I used to load .45-70 rounds for my old trapdoor...it was one fun gun to shoot! If you decide to fire it up I'd recommend having it examined by a qualified gunsmith just to be safe. The trapdoor design was not the strongest.

    Have fun!
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    [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people. ---Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

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    Lucky you - but, where are the pictures???
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    Smitty
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    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Lucky you - but, where are the pictures???
    Just got hom about 2 hours ago and about to hit the rack. I promise I will shoot some pictures in the next day or two and post them for yall.
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    Distinguished Member Array airslot's Avatar
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    If you need parts, ck here.Trapdoors Galore Guns, Parts & Accessories

    I have one also. My dad acquired it from a hitchhiker in the late 60s. It hung over his fireplace for years, until things started to go missing around the house ( youngest step brother ). Gave it to me knowing it would be well cared for.

    It's on display at my LGS. ( too tall for the safe )
    bmcgilvray likes this.
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    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    Did some research and found out that my trapdoor was manufactured in 1887. So it's 126 years old right now.

    And I got to really look it over good and I doubt I will ever fire it. It looks like the chamber is gouged so I don't think it is in any shape to ever be fired. But I will get it checked out by a qualified gunsmith to be sure.

    From my inspection, it is missing:
    Sling
    Cleaning rod
    Rear sight
    The pin and part(s) that hold the trapdoor on the gun

    and it appears that the spring that operate the firing pin no longer functions

    I would say the gun is in overall poor condition. All the wood is there and it isn't in horrible shape but it isn't in great shape either. Once cleaned up and with a few repairs it will look very good on my wall though.
    ,=====o00o _
    //___l__,\____\,__
    l_--- \___l---[]lllllll[]
    (o)_)-o- (o)_)--o-)_)

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    TRX
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    Replacement parts aren't expensive, but if you don't have any burning desire to shoot it, just clean it up and use it for display.

    I can say that, because I'm the kind of guy who can't stand to see things that are broken, and I'd wind up putting more money into it than it was worth, just to make it shoot again...
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    It does sound like it would make a great wall hanger, congrats on the find
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    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRX View Post
    Replacement parts aren't expensive, but if you don't have any burning desire to shoot it, just clean it up and use it for display.

    I can say that, because I'm the kind of guy who can't stand to see things that are broken, and I'd wind up putting more money into it than it was worth, just to make it shoot again...
    I am the same way and even if I never get it to the point where it can be fired, I am sure I will sink more money into it than it is worth. And as I said, from the look of the chamber I really don't think it will ever be in firing condition again anyway but I will get it looking good and hand it on the wall. It is still a piece of history to me and I am already loving it.
    ,=====o00o _
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    (o)_)-o- (o)_)--o-)_)

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    And as promised here are some pictures:

    9rwk.jpg vaee.jpg qzg4.jpg ypna.jpg ko58.jpg 9sra.jpg
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    dcxo.jpg gdj6.jpg 6gdw.jpg v178.jpg 6zev.jpg


    As you can see, surface rust but not terrible. I have actually cleaned off some of it in a spot or two with just paper towels. I think it will clean up nice and make a nice display rifle. It will look good on my wall.
    ,=====o00o _
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    l_--- \___l---[]lllllll[]
    (o)_)-o- (o)_)--o-)_)

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    OD*
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    Congrats, Mike, they are neat rifles.

    I'll second recommending Keith at Trapdoors Glore, great guy to deal with, and if you're lucky enough to have one that can be documented, he can get you a letter.

    SPRINGFIELD RESEARCH SERVICE

    Documentation for 1890 Trapdoor

    S/N 487964 for

    .................

    K Rush info.trapdoors.com

    July 19, 2002


    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:



    Pursuant to your request for information on Springfield model 1884 rifle serial no. 487964, please be advised that the records of the Army Adjutant General's office show that this arm was used in Co. M, 7th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, during the Spanish-American War. The records of that company show that rifle no. 487964 was issued to Pvt. James H. Fitzsimmons.



    Pvt. Fitzsimmons was born in Chatsworth, Ill., and when enrolled was 36 years of age, 5' 10" tall, fair complected, with blue eyes and black hair. By occupation he was a grain expert. He joined the 7th Ill. Vol. Inf. on May 7, 1898, at Springfield, Ill.



    Co. M, 7th Ill. Vol. Inf. was organized at Springfield, Ill., in April, 1898. They were held in reserve during the War and stationed at Camp Alger, Va., and Camp Meade, Pa. They were mustered out of Federal service at Chicago, Ill., on Oct. 20, 1898.



    The above information was found in the Company and Regimental books of the 7th Ill. Vol. Inf., which are presently stored in the National Archives under Record Group 94, Entry 116. The particular citation of no. 487964 described above appears in the Descriptive and Clothing book for Co. M. These are bound books, which under the rules of the National Archives cannot be copied on photocopying machines. Enclosed is a copy of pertinent extracts from the record of events for his company, from record Group 94 Entry 522. There is no information on subsequent use or disposal of rifle no. 487964.



    We trust the above information has been of interest.



    Very respectfully,

    Franklin B. Mallory

    Chief Researcher


    Enclosures

    Company Muster-out Roll

    (Certificate of Mustering Officer)
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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    OD*
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    Quote Originally Posted by TN_Mike View Post
    dcxo.jpg gdj6.jpg 6gdw.jpg v178.jpg 6zev.jpg


    As you can see, surface rust but not terrible. I have actually cleaned off some of it in a spot or two with just paper towels. I think it will clean up nice and make a nice display rifle. It will look good on my wall.
    That's nice enough to be worth restoring.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, donít give them a tomorrow."

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    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    That's nice enough to be worth restoring.
    I think so too. I'm really excited to see what Trapdoors Galore finds out about it. I have already submitted the SN to them and am now just waiting on them to contact me with anything they find out.
    ,=====o00o _
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    l_--- \___l---[]lllllll[]
    (o)_)-o- (o)_)--o-)_)

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    OD*
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    Good luck, Mike.

    IIRC, Keith said they can only letter about 25,000 out more than 500,000. Seems the Army destroyed a bunch of records to make room for those from WWI.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, donít give them a tomorrow."

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