Original U.S. Springfield Trapdoor M1884 Rifle Converted to Saddle Ring Carbine with Brass Tack Decoration - serial 294875 made in 1885

Item Description

Original Item: Only One available. Here we have what is a VERY interesting example of a Springfield trapdoor Saddle Ring Carbine, which actually started its life as a Model 1884 RIFLE! It was later modified by having the barrel cut down to carbine length and re-crowned, while the stock was cut down and re-profiled the carbine style, and even had a saddle ring bar with ring added to the left-hand side of the rifle. We do not know where or when this modification occurred or why, but it definitely would have taken a high level of skill to execute properly.

At some point, probably after this alteration, it had numerous brass tacks attached on the both sides of the stock, which are often associated with ownership by Native Americans. In this case the location may have also helped with holding the carbine. Definitely a very interesting example with lots of research potential!

The Springfield trapdoor Saddle Ring Carbine was 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 converted carbine in .45-70 government caliber, fitted with a Buffington rear sight, though it is the original RIFLE version, not the carbine version. It also comes with the retrofitted Saddle Ring and Bar on the left hand side of the wood stock.

The carbine bears Serial # 294875 on the rear of the receiver, which indicates production in approximately September 1885, per U.S. Government records. This is definitely a weapon that saw some level of service, based on the overall condition, which unfortunately has removed the cartouches stamped into the stock. The stock is in very good original condition, with the expected light wear from age and service. It is now below the level of the lock plate in most areas, indicating that it has been cleaned and probably reconditioned at some point. There is a crack running back into the wrist area from the lock plate, and another running from the front saddle bar attachment up to the inlet for the breech block pin. The cleaning rod channel can still be seen on the front of the stock.

The bore on the carbine shows significant use, making the rifling relatively faint, and there is evidence of past corrosion and fouling, now removed. This is somewhat typical of arms used by Native Americans. The breech block moves correctly, and the extractor is still present and functional, though we have not tested it with real brass. The saddle ring bar is still present, with the correct saddle ring present. There is no storage compartment on the butt plate, as it is definitely from a rifle.

The butt plate is marked U.S. and the front band/guard is U marked. The metal finish is good, but does show evidence of past oxidation and pitting, which was removed when the carbine looks to have been refinished before it saw much further service. Center fire breechloader, .45 cal., single band, saddle-ring on sliding bar, and carbine Buffington sight. Lock is marked with an eagle and U.S. / SPRINGFIELD, manufactured at the United States Armory and Arsenal at Springfield, in Springfield, Massachusetts.

There is still 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 capital W on top and a V over a P over a faint 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 excellent opportunity to pick up a very interesting converted example of a legendary U.S. issue firearm with some great decorations and history. Ready to research and display!


Year of Manufacture: 1887
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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