Original U.S. Springfield Trapdoor Model 1873/84 Cadet Rifle made in 1892 with Bayonet - Serial 535218

Item Description

Original Item: Only One available. This is a nice example of the rare Springfield 1873 trapdoor Cadet 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:


This example has a ghost of an inspection cartouche, and has characteristics of both the Springfield model 1873 and 1884.  The production year would usually indicate that it be a model 1884, but the Cadet rifles may have not conformed to that standard. It has the Buffington Sight of the model 1884, but the standard ramrod, smooth trigger, and two part trigger guard of the model 1873.

The 1873 Cadet Model Trapdoor Rifle is identical to the Standard 1873 Infantry Rifle, from the butt plate up to the rear or lower barrel band. The obvious difference is the overall length of the barrel, and thus the rifle. The standard Infantry barrel length was about 31 1/2" whereas the barrel on a Cadet Rifle was just about 2 inches shorter coming in at about 29 1/2".

Not a great deal but this did reduce the weight and presumably allowed raw Cadets to get used to the substantial .45-70 Caliber. Between 1874 the first year of the Standard Model 1873 Models were constructed and 1886 when the Model of 1884 took over the ratio of Infantry Rifles manufactured was 20-1 TWENTY TO ONE. In fact in the 12 years 203,182 long Rifles to 9,188 Cadet Rifles.

Later Model 1884 Rifles and Cadet Rifles were still being made or converted from long to short until about 1900. The fact remains that the MODEL 1873 Cadet Rifle is twenty times harder to find than the standard 1873 Infantry Rifle.

This information all comes from a wonderful Book :- THE .45-70 SPRINGFIELD written by Albert Frasca and Robert Hill in 1980. 381 pages of invaluable information, published by Springfield Publishing of Northridge, California.

Condition notes:

The stock on this example has been sanded down a bit, so the lock plate is now proud over the stock. There are some dents in the wood, as expected on a rifle this age, but the stock does not appear to have had any major repairs or damage, and still has a lovely color.

The butt plate is marked U.S. and the lower band is U marked. Metal finish is good, but there has definitely been some light corrosion on the metalwork, however the finish is still nice in most places. The bore is in fair to good condition, with clear lands and grooves, and a partly bright finish, however there are also areas of corrosion.

Center fire breechloader, .45 cal., two bands, two sling swivels, Buffington sight, and standard ramrod. Lock is marked with an eagle and U.S. / SPRINGFIELD, manufactured by Springfield Armory, Springfield Massachusetts. The included socket bayonet is in good condition, though the blued finish was removed by cleaning and polishing, with a clear U.S. stamp on the ricasso. Bayonet has a nice aged bright steel finish, with some staining.

Additional marks of interest include faint inspectors' and proof marks around the breech end of the barrel: a capital I 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 R to indicate that the sight graduations are for a rifle and not a carbine.

This is a great example of a rare Springfield cadet rifle with original issued bayonet, ready to add to your collection!


Year of Manufacture: 1892
Caliber: .45-70 Government
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 29.5 Inches
Overall Length: 49 Inches
Action type: Hinged Breechblock with side action lock.
Feed System: Single Shot

Note: This gun is NOT considered obsolete calibre, so we are no able to ship to the United Kingdom. Please note that for international shipping, these MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services.

  • 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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