U.S. Springfield Trapdoor Model 1888 Round Rod Bayonet Rifle- 9th Infantry 1891

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Model 1888 round rod bayonet rifles were Springfield's last attempt at producing a trapdoor rifle with a working and reliable bayonet retention mechanism. The models were produced between 1890 and 1893, when trapdoor production came to an end.

Offered in very good/excellent condition is this trapdoor rifle in 45-70 government caliber. Serial #532439 with a clear SWP 1891 cartouche, overall very good metal finish with all proofs present. The serial number indicates that it was one of 7060 rifles built at Springfield from October to December, 1891. Butt plate and bands "U" marked. The rifle features an excellent un-sanded stock with visible SWP 1891 cartouche along with regimental markings and a subinspector’s name, G.LEWIS, stamped into the underside of the stock.

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. A 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 A 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.

The most exciting marking, however, is the unit marking on the comb of the stock. This rifle was issued to the 9th Infantry Regiment (the Manchus), Company I, and was assigned rack number 75. The 9th Infantry is one of the oldest regiments in the U.S. Army, having been authorized in July, 1798. It saw action in most of America’s wars, both internal and external, and was probably campaigning in Arizona and New Mexico when it received this rifle. It was involved in the Spanish-American War by the end of the 1890s. The 9th Infantry is still under arms today as a Stryker force. Company I figures again and again in its history. By the way, it got its name the Manchus for outstanding service in China during the Boxer rebellion, during which the regiment won three Congressional Medals of Honor and its commander was killed by a Boxer sniper.

These guns may be found with an assortment of front sight covers; however this one has the standard third-type blade front sight.

Model 1884 and Model 1888 rifles saw service in the Spanish American War. The regular army was issued the new Krag rifles and the guard units received the trapdoor. There are a number of stereopticon pictures that show guard units armed with a mix of 1884 and 1888 rifles.

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