December 19, 2005

December Playmate Of The Month

1873 M73 Trapdoor Springfield

(Click for pic source)

1. (click)

2. (click)

3. (click)

4. (click)

5. (click)

This is an 1873 45-70 Trapdoor Springfield model M73, this particular one was made in 1879. That was the last year it was produced.* It is named for its distinctive "Trapdoor" breech loading system designed by Allin. It is a Berdan style and was made to replace muzzle loading muskets with a center fire cartridge firing rifle. Exploded View

Overall Length 52"
Barrel Length (in bore) 32.6"
Cleaning Rod Length 35 9/16", 3" of Cannelures
Muzzle Diameter .73"
Rifling 3 Lands and Grooves
Caliber .45 CF .45-70-405/500 Cartridge
Barrel Bands 2
Cartouches 1, Oval ESA, Oval ESA/Date, or Rectangle SWP/date
Breech Block Model/1873/Eagle/Arrows/U.S. or U.S./Model/1873 or 1884
Firing Proof Circled Script P
Lock Plate Dated 1873 or undated
V/P/Eagle/p stamp post SN35,000
Serial Number Receiver
Rear Sight M73, M77, M79, M84
Front Sight 1 1/4" from muzzle, 5/16" long

This example has the rear Buffington sight (pic 4) and the Socket bayonet with mortise and locking ring (pic 5). It is an interesting rifle with a great history. Most notably the use of the carbine version at the battle of Little Bighorn. This example was used there and sold for over a quarter of a million dollars! Contemporary scholars now feel that Custer was out gunned by indians carrying repeating rifles, the Springfield were slow to load and sometimes tore the rim off of poor quality copper or brass army issued cartridges.

My Dad used to shoot this one when he was a kid. It has not been fired for over sixty years.

Cool Site Here


Good Little Big Horn Article

* In this paricular configuration, the model continued until 1888 with many modifications.

Next up: January, M1842 Harpers Ferry Musket

Posted by BillyBudd at December 19, 2005 04:47 PM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?