Original U.S. Springfield Trapdoor Model 1873 Saddle Ring Carbine serial 188174* with 1884 Updates - made in 1882

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, complete with its original Saddle Ring and Bar on the left hand side of the wood stock. The serial number is 188174*, and there is a faintly legible SWP 1882 cartouche on the left side of the wrist. The serial number indicates production in 1882, with stock inspection in the same year. The "Star" after the serial number has been a cause of debate for years, but it is generally accepted to mean that it was "made with a combination of new and salvaged parts, to be held in reserve, or issued to and/or used by groups like the National Guard." (Please See the website for more information).

There is unfortunately no way to tell whether this rifle was returned to arsenal after production, or whether it was originally produced using the "salvaged" parts. As it was produced in 1882, this carbine would have definitely needed to go back to arsenal to be fitted with the rear Buffington Sight, inlet barrel band, and serrated trigger that it has. Only the trigger guard was left in the 1873 configuration, and is still the two part type. It does however have a rare early model dated lock plate, so it really is an interesting example.

The carbine has an overall very good metal finish, with all proofs still present. The stock is in very good condition, with a lovely color. It does show some wear, but does not appear to have been refurbished at any time. The stock is still proud over the lock plate towards the front, so there is definitely minimal wood missing.

The bore is in very good condition, with a mostly bright finish and clear lands and grooves. There is just a bit of wear, and signs of light oxidation in the grooves. It did see service, but was definitely well cared for. 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. It has the correct butt stock storage compartment for the cleaning rod, though it is unfortunately empty.

The butt plate is marked U.S. and the front band/guard is U marked. The metalwork has been worn to a lovely faded blue patina overall. Center fire breechloader, .45 cal., single band, saddle-ring on sliding bar, and carbine Buffington adjustable sight. Lock is marked with an eagle and U.S. / SPRINGFIELD / 1873, manufactured by Springfield Armory, Springfield Massachusetts. This is the early pattern lock plate, often seen on "star" serial number examples.

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. 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, which are somewhat faint: 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 good example of a legendary U.S. issue firearm. Ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1882
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.
  • Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon


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