Original U.S. Springfield Trapdoor M1873-90 Saddle Ring Carbine with Rear Sight Guard & Partial Cleaning Rod - Serial 139803 made in 1880

Item Description

Original Item: Only One available. This is a very nice example of the classic Springfield trapdoor Saddle Ring Carbine, the weapon used 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:


Offered in very good condition is this trapdoor rifle in .45-70 government caliber, fitted with a Buffington rear sight and original Saddle Ring and Bar on the left hand side of the wood stock. It also includes the correct Saddle Carbine band guard, which cradles the rear sight ladder and prevents it from getting caught in the saddle bucket. Most of the carbines we see do not have these, and they are somewhat hard to find.

Carbines so equipped are considered by many to be "Model 1890" carbines, and many 1873, 1877, and 1884 carbines were altered in a similar fashion. How much modification they received would depend on the current configuration of the carbine when received back at arsenal. Earlier carbines would have the entire stock replaced, while model 1884s would mainly have the rear band replaced with the sight protector, and a front sight protector equipped as well. Details of the aforementioned modifications were referenced from the Joe Poyer and Craig Riesch publication, The .45-70 Springfield, fifth edition.

The carbine bears Serial # 139803 on the rear of the receiver, with a very nice "boxed" SWP 1886 cartouche on the left side of the stock. The serial number indicates production in approximately November-1880, per U.S. Government records. The carbine probably had the stock replaced at some point, and had a new stamp applied. This carbine definitely started life in the "Model 1877" configuration, and still has the original two part trigger guard, as well as an early style dated lock plate. This differs from the original Model 1873 by the addition of the cleaning rod compartment in the butt stock.

The stock is in good original condition, with the expected wear from age and service. It is still partly "proud" over the lock plate, with other areas worn a bit so they are even with it, however very little is below. This indicates that the stock was not majorly cleaned or reconditioned while in service. It still has a lovely look and a great color, showing strong grain. There is however a crack on the toe of the butt stock, most likely from the butt plate securing screw, and there are some significant gouges on the right side of the stock just behind the wrist.

The bore is in very good condition, showing clear lands and grooves, and a mostly bright finish. There is a wear and oxidation in the grooves however, so this is definitely a carbine that saw service. The spent cartridge ejector is present and functional, though we have not tested it on actual brass. This carbine is correctly fitted with the butt stock storage compartment, where a multi-piece cleaning rod and tools would be stored, and it still retains the two identical pieces of the cleaning rod, while it is missing the end piece and ruptured shell extractor. The carbine has also lost the front sight protector that model 1890s were equipped with, and the front sight blade was replaced.

The butt plate is marked U.S. and the front band/guard is unmarked, as is correct. Metal finish has faded to a lovely plum patina, with some areas of the original blue maintained. There is also some of the original case hardening present on the breech block. There is not any major oxidation or rust that we can see. Center fire breechloader, .45 cal., single band, saddle-ring on sliding bar, and carbine Buffington sight. Lock is marked with a Federal Eagle to the left of U.S. / SPRINGFIELD, manufactured at the United States Armory and Arsenal at Springfield, in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The elegant script SWP belongs to Samuel W. Porter, who was the Master Armorer and Chief Inspector of Springfield Armory from 15 September 1879 to 18 June 1894. Additional marks of interest include inspectors' and proof marks around the breech end of the barrel: a capital R on top; and a V over a P over an eagle's head over another P on the left side just above the stock. The upper right corner of the Buffington sight leaf is marked C to indicate that the sight graduations are for a carbine and not a rifle.

This is an excellent opportunity to pick up a very nice example of a legendary U.S. issue firearm. Ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1880 - updated later.
Caliber: .45-70 Government
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 22 Inches
Overall Length: 41 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.
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