|Seller's Location||Grove City, OH|
|Shipping Weight||12 lbs|
|Packing and Materials||$0.00|
|Current high bidder||No one has bid yet.|
|Current high bid||No one has bid yet.|
|Next minimum bid||$2,200.00|
|Overseas Shipping||Seller Ships Overseas|
|ESTIMATED RETAIL VALUE:||$2,500.00|
|$1 - $100||$5|
|$101 - $250||$10|
|$251 - $1000||$25|
|$1001 - $3000||$50|
|$3001 - $6000||$100|
|$6001 and above||$200|
This is a Springfield Trapdoor Model 1873 with an interesting history. It is serial number 25057, and is identified on the Springfield Research Service listing as belonging to Private Morris of the Fifth US Infantry on a listing made October 11, 1879 at Fort Keogh, Montana Territory. There’s a great story about why this list was made, and I’ll give you a bit more info about that later. The list shows this was the rifle of George Morris of Company G of the Fifth Infantry.
The serial number of 25057 shows this was made in the year 1874. The Fifth Infantry, commanded by General Miles, had a great history during the Indian Wars – they were part of the campaign that included Custer’s Last Stand, and these troops were used by General Miles during the 1,170 mile chase by the Army to catch Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce on his epic effort to lead his people to safety in Canada.
This trapdoor, made in 1874, would have been issued well before these historic events, but we can’t know if was in the hands of the Fifth Infantry all the time until it was listed in October 1879.
The original long wristed stock still shows traces of the original ESA inspector’s cartouche, and of the firing proof (a circled P) in the wood on the bottom of the stock. These early guns were not marked with the later V and P and eagle proof marks on the barrel, and this one correctly has no marks there. It still has the early flat-headed ramrod made only in through 1874, and the early breech block, cam latch, and two click tumbler. The rear sight is not the original M1873 sight, but is an upgraded sight. Although the Lockplate is the early version, the hammer is the version used starting in early 1875. Such replacements and upgrades during service life are common. The metal is smooth brown, and if you look at the photo of soldiers at Ft. Keogh on guard duty in 1880, in their buffalo hide coats standing in the snow, you can see why these frontier use rifles don’t have any original finish.
Now, the story behind that listing. General Miles established Ft. Keogh in August 1876 as a base for preventing the victors from Custer’s Last Stand from escaping to Canada. A couple years later, General Miles started to lobby for new arms to replace the worn trapdoors his men had. He wanted the bolt action Lee rifles then being tested. He complained so strongly that his trapdoors (including this one) were defective that his superior General Terry ordered that every rifle in the 5th infantry should be inspected to see if they were defective. Most were not and Miles had to keep using trapdoors.
Miles served in all the important campaigns of the Indian Wars, from the Red River campaign of 1866 to the final surrender of Geronimo. He commanded the Fifth Infantry from 1869 to the end of 1880, and this trapdoor was with his historic unit.
I will be offering this locally, so consider using the Buy it Now feature.
All items that I sell will have a 3-day inspection with full sales price refund minus all shipping charges when returned in same condition as shipped. ALL items are sold in USED AS-IS condition and as "Collector Curios and Antiques" with NO guarantees, warranties, or liabilities implied or given for shooting or any other use. ANY inferences or comments made by me as to shooting condition is for informational description purposes ONLY and is NOT meant or intended to be a guarantee or inference of the item's safety for firing!!
Payment MUST be in either a bank Cashiers Check or Money Order ONLY. Payment must be received within ten-days of any finalized deal or ended auction.
I will ship outside of the US, but it is not possible to fully insure items once they are outside of the U.S. postal system...but if the buyer accepts this responsibility of possible damage or loss, and if he checks his Customs laws and is legal to import this particular antique weapon, then I MAY ship outside the USA, depending on the country involved. I know the federal laws about shipping antiques, and will follow them always...but you must make sure that it is legal for you where you live to receive and possess the item you want to buy. Please e-mail for any unclear terms.