Friday, January 16, 2009

Looking for Trapdoors

The "trapdoor" Springfield was the principle long arm of the US Army from late 1865 to about 1890. Even with the Spanish-American War in 1898, some US troops were armed with this slow-to-load, but reliable weapon.

In reenacting circles, there are several models that could potentially be used for Indian Wars era impressions, including the M1866 Springfield trapdoor conversion. The good and bad of this is that originals go for a relatively reasonable price, but the reproductions are more expensive and only a couple models are available. Of those, only one is a rifle version.

Pedersoli is one of two manufacturers of a replica rifle version of the trapdoor, the M1873. They make a trapdoor carbine model also. The other is Uberti, and they have the same M1873 version of the rifle and carbine. Harrington & Richardson replicas of Springfield trapdoors are in circulation, but the company is defunct. Dixie Gun Works and Navy Arms companies both sell H&R replicas.

Dixie Gun Works sells many original versions, most notably the M1866, M1873, and M1884. Armchair Gun Show has several originals, too. TrapdoorDave can guide you in buying a trapdoor Springfield and Trapdoor Collector is a great one-stop resource.

Lastly, here's a great video on the M1873:

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