Original U.S. Springfield Trapdoor M1873 Rifle with 1st Model Lock Plate & Buffington Sight - Serial 85398 made in 1878

Item Description

Original Item: Only One available. This is a very nice early example of the classic Springfield trapdoor rifle, 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:



Offered in very good condition is this trapdoor rifle in .45-70 government caliber, Serial # 85398, indicating production in 1878, quite early in production. At some point, it was returned to Springfield Armory, and updated to 1884 standards, a common practice in the late 19th century Government arms supply chain. This involved swapping out the rear ladder sight for the new adjustable "Buffington" rear sight, along with the correct inlet lower barrel band. At this time the model 1873 smooth trigger was also replaced with an 1884 pattern serrated type, though the two part trigger guard was left as is. The cleaning rod is of the early type, which looks similar to the ramrod of a P-1853 British Enfield.

Regarding condition, the stock and metalwork are quite nice. They show wear and age, but not to an excessive degree. There are some cracks near the toe of the buttstock, and the stock exhibits dings, scrapes, and superfluous damages, as expected with a firearm which had a lengthy service life. There is also a trace of an inspector cartouche by the lock screws, but we cannot quite make them out. A P proof stamp is visible underneath the tang of the trigger guard, along with a letter D.

The metal, while exhibiting a good degree of original patinaed blued finish has faded to a lovely dark brown/black patina, with some areas of finish wear. The bore has strong rifling, but shows wear. This is definitely a rifle that saw extensive use and service. The ejector is present, and functions correctly, though we have not tested it with real brass. The Buffington rear sight works well, with no issues to note.

The butt plate is marked U.S. and both barrel bands are U marked. As with all Springfield 1873's, it is a center fire breechloader, .45 cal., two bands, two sling swivels with stacking swivel, Buffington sight, and a standard Allin conversion cleaning rod. Lock plate is an early first model type, marked with an eagle and U.S. / SPRINGFIELD / 1873, manufactured by Springfield Armory, Springfield Massachusetts.

There is a ghost of the stylized P in a circle under the wrist of the stock indicates that the rifle passed all of its overpressure proof testing. Additional marks of interest include inspectors' and proof marks around the breech end of the barrel: 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 R to indicate that the sight graduations are for a rifle and not a carbine.

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


Year of Manufacture: 1878
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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