Original U.S. Early Springfield Trapdoor M1873 Rifle made in 1875 with 2 Notch Tumbler & Long Wrist - Serial 45923

Item Description

Original Item: Only One available. This is a VERY early example of the classic Springfield trapdoor rifle, with some features that were removed in the subsequent years. The most noticeable of these are the early 1st pattern "stepped" rear sight and "long wrist" on the stock. This is the weapon used, in its carbine form, by the troopers of the 7th Cavalry that met their fate at the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876. The breech block is marked:


In the years following, the stamping on the breech block was simplified, removing the Eagle and Arrows, and the block itself lost the "high arch" underneath.

Offered in very good condition is this trapdoor rifle in .45-70 government caliber, with low serial 45923, overall good metal finish with most proofs still present. The serial number indicates production in early 1875, only the third year of production for this famous long rifle. This also means that it is definitely a "Pre-Custer" example, possibly seeing service in the conflicts with Native Americans.

The stock is the correct early pattern "long wrist" style, which was only used on Cadet Rifles after the first few years of production. There are some small dents and scratches in the wood, as expected on a rifle this age, but the stock does not appear to have had any major repairs. The stock is only partly proud over the lock plate, indicating it has been worn down or arsenal reconditioned during its long life. This has unfortunately worn away the original cartouche on the left of the stock. The stock has the lovely deep red brown color that only cared for oiled walnut can achieve.

The bore is in excellent lightly used condition, with clear lands and grooves, and a mostly bright finish. There is just a bit of light haze in areas. The butt plate is marked U.S. and both barrel bands are U marked. Metal finish is a nice lightly worn gray color, with very minor peppering in places. Center fire breechloader, .45 cal., two bands, two sling swivels with stacking swivel, and standard early "stepped" sliding sight. The cleaning rod was replaced long ago with another that we do not recognize.

The lock is marked with an eagle and U.S. / SPRINGFIELD / 1873, manufactured by Springfield Armory, Springfield Massachusetts. This marking only appears on the earliest of Trapdoors, and later they removed the date. The lock is fully functional and has the correct early tumbler with only two notches for half and full cock. Later examples would have a third notch. The ejector is present and fully functional, though we have not tested it on spent brass.

A very faint stylized P in a circle under the wrist of the stock indicates that the rifle passed all of its overpressure proof testing. The rear sight on this example is the correct very early 1st pattern, and does not have ramped profile of the later ladder sight, or the "R" Marking. It has the correct 4 steps, numbered on the right side.

This is an excellent opportunity to pick up a VERY EARLY and interesting example of a classic U.S. issue firearm, in original unmessed with condition. Ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1875
Caliber: .45-70 Government
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 32 Inches
Overall Length: 52 Inches
Action type: Hinged Breechblock with side action lock.
Feed System: Single Shot

NOTE: This gun is NOT considered obsolete calibre, so we are not able to ship to the United Kingdom. Please note that for international shipping, these MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services. International customers should always consult their country's antique gun laws prior to ordering.

  • This product is not available for shipping in US state(s): New Jersey

    This product is available for international shipping.
  • Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon


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