Gun Report

Springfield Original 1873 Trapdoor .45-70 Gvt.

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This original 1873 Springfield Trapdoor, value about $600, was our basis for comparison with the new versions by Pedersoli. Our sample was missing its ramrod. It also had a problem with its extractor that prevented our shooting it.However, all the handlingcharacteristics were just likethe new rifle.

Springfield Original 1873 Trapdoor .45-70 Gvt.

Gun Details

Model Name
Model Number
Caliber Plus Cartridge
Weight Unloaded
Length of Pull
Action Type
Action Finish
Barrel Finish
Trigger Pull Weight

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This was a well made and attractive rifle, though our sympathies go out to the troops who had to contend with its 32-inch barrel. That’s a long tube to use in close quarters, and a lot of pipe to keep clean. The barrel was near-perfectly inletted into a piece of good-quality walnut some 49 inches long. It was fine work, and also a fine job of finding such good and long pieces of wood to offer these on a production rifle. We’ve seen photos of Trapdoor copies that had a separate piece of wood used to extend the stock, but we nudged the barrel band forward on the Pedersoli and confirmed this was one piece of excellent wood from stem to stern. A close examination of this Italian-made Pedersoli rifle against an original Springfield Trapdoor rifle revealed the Pedersoli to be an extremely close copy of the real thing. There were a few contour differences in various pieces of metal, but by and large the new one is a gratifyingly close copy. The feel and overall balance of old and new were essentially identical. The biggest differences were in the rear sights, the original having a tiny square-bottomed notch, while the new one had a wide-angle V. Both gave excellent sight pictures, and we suspect the two types of sights were most likely seen on originals as well.
This one had class, but shooters would appreciate a new version, we felt, more than resurrecting an older one such as this. The lock mechanism inside and out was still sound, despite this rifle's age.
Nicks and dings were all along the stock, and the metal was a uniform dark brown. Some variants of the old Springfield Trapdoor are quite rare, bringing several times what this one cost.

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