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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  BROW (Moderator: Delmonico)  |  Topic: Model 1868 trapdoor bent barrel 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Model 1868 trapdoor bent barrel  (Read 2952 times)
hatman
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« on: June 24, 2017, 08:23:27 pm »


I just received a Springfield trapdoor (mfg 1869) in really good condition for what I think was a really good price.
The one thing I discovered is the barrel is ever so slightly bent downward app. 1/16" starting just behind the front barrel band.
Anyone ever heard of/seen this before?
Could a previous owner have done this purposely in order to lower the POI?

I showed it to a range buddy who is very knowledgeable with antique guns and he didn't seem too concerned.
I'd just like to hear some other opinions before I take it (if I even should) to the range.

Thanks.
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Will Ketchum
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2017, 08:30:39 pm »

That was a method of changing point of impact on muzzle loaders.  I can see where that might have carried over to the trapdoor era. I have found that the originals shoot about a foot high or so at 100 yards so perhaps a civilian, who wanted a rifle that shot more point of aim at hunting ranges bent it slightly.  I'd shoot it to see where it shoots. Stick with black powder or substitutes. I wouldn't want too shoot smokeless in this gun.

Will Ketchum
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LongWalker
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2017, 09:25:01 pm »

I'll second Will Ketchum on deliberate bending--I've seen it done by at least one old-timer.  My first trapdoor was a cut-down infantry rifle that hit about a yard high at 100 yards.  My "grandpa" (my great-uncle's father-in-law) stripped the barreled action from the stock and stuck the barrel between the box and cab on his pickup.  A few cycles of bending/test-shooting later, and it was hitting low enough I could file the front sight to adjust POI.  Grandpa was a Spanish-American war vet, so he was around when trapdoors were far more common. 

As to shooting it though. . . without seeing it, I couldn't say if I'd shoot it or not.  I'd definitely stick with black powder, but I'd do that even if the barrel wasn't bent. 
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hatman
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2017, 09:42:12 pm »

Thanks for the feedback guys.
Everything else with the rifle looks good - bore is bright, very minor pitting and good rifling.  Good lockup and firing pin.  Decent sights. 

I'll be taking it to the range on Thursday using BP loads.
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Will Ketchum
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2017, 12:55:08 pm »

Let us know how it shoots. Wink
Will Ketchum
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hatman
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2017, 10:50:23 pm »

Let us know how it shoots. Wink
Will Ketchum

Roger that!
I certainly hope it shoots well, but even if it doesn't I feel blessed to have a piece of Western history.
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Pitspitr
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2017, 10:57:48 am »

I've had 2 trapdoors with bent barrels. Both were bent right at the upper barrel band. Neither one shot worth a darned. I sold the first one when I bought the second one. I had the barrel straightened on the second one but it doesn't shoot any better. Recoil has always seemed worse in it than my other trapdoors. I'm not shooting it any more, but won't sell it any time soon.

If my experience with bent trapdoors is common, you should be able to shoot it safely, but I wouldn't expect much in terms of accuracy.

You might post your question in the Barracks too. Lots of knowledgeable trapdoor guys there.
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pony express
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2017, 05:43:37 pm »

I've had 2 trapdoors with bent barrels. Both were bent right at the upper barrel band.
Maybe from mis-using it as a handle for digging with a trowel bayonet?
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Pitspitr
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2017, 06:06:53 pm »

Maybe from mis-using it as a handle for digging with a trowel bayonet?
I've wondered about that myself
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hatman
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2017, 09:35:05 pm »

Well, here's the bad news:
It wasn't until we took a couple shots with it shooting (at least) a couple feet right at 50 yards that we noticed it's also bent to the right as well as down.    Sad
No amount of rear sight adjustment made much windage difference.
The only "good" news was we could adjust for it shooting low with the ladder sight, but otherwise, for now, it's a bust.
We took the barrel off, cleaned it, and I gave it to a range buddy who's pretty confident he can straighten the barrel.  We'll see, but in the meantime I'm deciding where I'll be hanging it on one of my walls.

I'm planning to call the vendor tomorrow - not to try and get my money back since I accepted the risk by shooting it, but to let them know of the defect and be aware of that with future trapdoors.
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Niederlander
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2017, 06:02:03 pm »

It would be expensive buy you could also consider having a new barrel made for it.  You also occasionally see barrels loose on gunbroker and ebay.
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hatman
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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2017, 10:23:52 pm »

Update:
My buddy did his best to straighten the barrel, but it sounds like he wasn't able to make it totally right.  I haven't seen it yet and we'll give it another try at the range next week and go from there.
At least I figured out where it'll go on the wall. 
I'm also keeping an eye out for another barrel.  Next week we'll know more.
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Tater Pickens
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« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2017, 10:56:00 pm »

try Al Frasca at www.trapdoorcollector.com.

A friend of mine just bought a replacement barrell from him for his 45-70 trapdoor.

Tater Pickens
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hatman
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« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2017, 09:14:07 pm »

Well, finally some good news.
We took the trapdoor out to the 50 yard range and put out a couple of clays and a 2-liter bottle on the berm.
The load was a 450gr cast bullet and 60gr of Swiss 2F.
Off the sandbags - first shot holding six o'clock on a clay, GONE!
Shots two through eight, both on the bags and standing each hit a clay or the bottle.
To say I'm shocked and delighted is a huge understatement.
Next time we'll see how she does at 100 yards.

What a privilege it is to shoot such an historic weapon.
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Tuolumne Lawman
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2017, 08:48:32 pm »

I totally understand your point about it being an honor to shoot a Historic weapon.  At one point in my SASS career, about 16 or 17 years ago, I decided I wanted to shoot originals:  I had a .38 WCF Colt SAA, a .38 WCF Winchester 1873, a .44 Russian No. 3, a Damascus hammered double, and a 44-77 Sharps Rolling block.  It was almost a religious experience to shoot them.  After about a year of breakage of original parts during matches (toggle crack and extractor on the 73, hand spring and hammer spring on the Colt, hammer springs on the double, and a couple different problems on the Russian), I decided that for shooting matches, modern replicas were best!

I do still have a few WW2 guns I shoot:  Inland M1 carbine, 1944 Walther P38, and a 1941 S&W Victory model in .38 Special.
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TUOLUMNE LAWMAN
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2017, 05:57:20 pm »

Invoke the Lords name a few times, didja?
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