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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  BROW (Moderator: Delmonico)  |  Topic: Had to do it...45-70 Trapdoor Springfield circa 1878 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Had to do it...45-70 Trapdoor Springfield circa 1878  (Read 2050 times)
Tuolumne Lawman
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« on: March 21, 2017, 05:32:35 pm »


Well, since I got back into the game, I decided to get a .45-70 to do side and Buffalo matches.  Picked up a really nice 1878 vintage trapdoor rifle for $400!  Decent bore, and functioning.  Another $125 spent on brass and dies, and I am set.  It is intact with original cleaning rod, and cartouched stock.  It does looklike it could use some Raw Linseed Oil on the stock, though!  I am not a serious competitor, and will probably only shoot it a couple times a year for fun.  Still nice to pass onto the grandkids, though.  

I was absolutely amazed how cheap trapdoors are compared to rolling blocks, Sharps, and H&R Buffalo Classics.  Back when SASS was booming exponentially 2000-2006, you could not touch a Springfield for under $1,000!  Now gunbroker is flooded with them.  I figure at $400, even if I ave to replace a spring or two, what the heck.... Roll Eyes
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2017, 06:03:04 pm »

Pictures from auction:



















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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2017, 06:21:14 pm »

Raw Linseed Oil will take forever and sill won't completely dry....try Skidmores  http://skidmores.com/categories.asp
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Tuolumne Lawman
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2017, 08:20:29 pm »

I was actually thinking a thin coat cut 50/50 with mineral spirits to sink in, then use BLO over it.  I have done this with a dry M1 Carbine stock.  I mixed it, brushed it on, put it in the sun, then after a day or two, did a second coat of 50/50 RLO/mineral spirits.  After about a week, I used straight BLO.  After that I keep it fresh with Ballistol.
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2017, 05:42:59 am »

if that works for you...then by all means... Smiley

I used to use boiled linseed oil ....  found I liked Skidmores better....the Wood Restoration & Leather treatment is the same product ( they advertise that )
I use it on both
 
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Tascosa Joe
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2017, 08:04:54 am »

Nice find.
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2017, 11:33:56 am »

Trapdoors are thankfully underrated and under appreciated.   I see it has the Buffington sight too and thats a plus.  Here's some info you may be interested in.   PS there is a link to Jack Jaquette on sight calibration.  Alas, my old friend is deceased. 
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Tuolumne Lawman
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2017, 02:01:30 pm »

Well, I am set:  I have a Lee four die set (including powder through expander and Lee factory crimp), a 50 round web 45-70 belt, and a pound of FFG Triple 7.  In route, I have 100 rounds of Starline nickel plated brass, some 420 grain RNFP hard cast bullets, and a five pack of Cheyenne Pioneer Cartridge 45-70 bowes. 

I feel 100 rounds of brass is enough, as it will only be used once or twice a year in side matches at annual matches.  In the past for a Sharps and H&R Buffalo Classic, I used 60 grains volume (46.3 grains weight) of the Triple 7 with the 420 grain bullet, and loved it. It was incredibly consistent and very accurate.  I am sure it will do just fine in the trap door.
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2017, 12:27:44 pm »

You might also want this book:

https://www.amazon.com/Loading-cartridges-original-Springfield-carbine/dp/157579019X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490808431&sr=8-1&keywords=j.s.+pat+wolf
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I remain, Your Ob'd Servant,
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Tuolumne Lawman
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2017, 07:05:40 pm »

thanks!  I'll probably get that and the Poyer book.  Hodgdon's lists 4 CC (60 grains volume) of their FFG Triple 7 as their "Trapdoor Springfield load.  When I was researching loads, I was amazed that 4198 can safely be used to push a 300 grain JHP at over 2100 FPS from a 24" Trapdoor!  3031 gives 2000 FPS.
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2017, 12:47:21 pm »

Wow, I'm in love!  I got my Springfield yesterday.  Holy Cow!  I don't believe what great shape it is in for $400! No pitting or rust on the exterior metal, just a brownish blue patina.  Traces of case color on lock work, and breech block and chamber are 99% with no rust or pitting and 75% original finish inside breech well. Firing pin is intact, and extractor functions very well.  All three cock notches engage.

The bore has very strong rifling, but there is some superficial roughness and frost in the grooves. Muzzle end shows wear on the lands from the steel cleaning rod for the last 1/4" or 1/2," but the long 45-70 bullets should counteract that to some degree.  I'll try a bronze brush and see if I can clean the bore up some more, but is should shoot well.

The cleaning rod appears to be original, about 60-70% finish in tact, and 100% straight.  The stock has not been sanded, and cartouches very visible.  No oil rot or cracks.  I gave the stock (and all the metal) a good coat of Ballistol for now.  I'll do a detail clean.

I am 110% satisfied. back 15 years ago, when CAS was booming, I bought and later sold one in not quite as good of condition for $1,000 with dies when I went to a 44-77 Rolling Block.

Now I need to load some rounds and shoot this old girl.
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2017, 01:13:49 pm »

One thing I noticed about your cleaning rod is that it is the earliest type (read most rare) cleaning rod used in the M-1873 and really isn't proper for your M-1878. You might be able to sell yours and buy back a later version and make some money on the deal.

About your load you might want to buy some soft cast 500gr bullets sized .460 (or there about). Hard cast bullets usually won't bump up to fill the larger bore on original Springfield's. By going with 500 gr. bullets the rifle should shoot to point of aim with the Buffington sight.

You should really think about bringing it to Nebraska in June!  Cool (Shameless plug)
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I remain, Your Ob'd Servant,
Jerry M. "Pitspitr" Davenport
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2017, 10:00:11 pm »

It's been a while since I read J.S Wolfe's book on shooting trapdoor Springfield's but I believe that in originals he recommended hollow base bullets to bump them up  to fill the bores which are oversize compared to modern rifles.
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Tuolumne Lawman
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2017, 10:28:05 pm »

Thanks,

I have some 420 grain .459s, and I will see how they do (I just got  100 round sample pack).  Years ago, Buffalo Arms had a really great 500 grain round nose that was sized .460 for trapdoors.  I wonder if they still have them?
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2017, 02:10:37 pm »

Years ago, Buffalo Arms had a really great 500 grain round nose that was sized .460 for trapdoors.  I wonder if they still have them?
I bought some last year or the year before.
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I remain, Your Ob'd Servant,
Jerry M. "Pitspitr" Davenport
(Bvt.)Brigadier General Commanding,
Grand Army of the Frontier
BC/IT, Expert, Sharpshooter, Marksman, CC, SoM
NRA RSO, RVWA IIT2; SASS ROI, ROII;
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« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2017, 03:56:13 pm »

Looks like this thread planted a seed in my mind. Went to the Tulsa show today and came back with a Springfield  trapdoor . Was looking for reloading stuff but got this at a price I could afford. Looks like it was made in 1875. Lock screws are not original and it has a carbine rear sight.
Rear sight has the C mark. I have shot reproductions but not an original so will be breaking out my copy of shooting originals by Wolfe.
This is going to be fun!
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treebeard
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« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2017, 02:24:40 pm »

For those recommending Skidmores do you use the cream or liquid version?
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