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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  BROW (Moderator: Delmonico)  |  Topic: H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted... 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted...  (Read 7644 times)
Trailrider
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« on: January 18, 2007, 11:12:59 am »


I have posted this over on "The Barracks", but thought maybe someone else would see it here.

I just acquired an H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor Springfield rifle.  I have heard and read stories about some of the H&R models (NOT a Pedersoli) blowing open on firing, but can't recall if this applied to the Carbines or the Officer's Models or both.

If this IS a legitimate concern, is there a way the rifle can be repaired?  Do original Trapdoor parts interchange?  Is the problem in the cam cut in the rear of the receiver, or on the cam iteself?  Do Pedersoli parts interchange with the H&R's?

Any input would be appreciated.

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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2007, 03:48:42 pm »

Do a search over at the Trapdoor Forum.  This question has been dealt with several times over there.  Or ask it again.  Mine has never blown open.  Evidently some do eventually and some don't.  I know you can replace the block and latch with original Springfield parts but I've not done it.  I think you can also use Pedersoli parts but I know they are different from the H&R.  Anyway, the guys over there should be able to point you in the right direction.

http://
http://www.jouster.com/cgi-bin/trapdoor/trapdoor.pl
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Sgt. Eli
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2007, 11:02:37 pm »

I have had a couple of the H&Rs a rifle and a carbine. The rifle I had no trouble with. The carbine was unfired when I got it. After a few hundred rounds it began to pop open. I purchased parts from Pedersoli because it was my understanding they bought H&Rs tooling for the Trapdoor. The Pedersoli Thumblatch and cam were different then the  H&R. i had to do quite a bit of fitting and machined a small bushing, but got them to fit and have fired over 500 rounds thru it with no trouble. The H&R had a round shaft that the locking cam slid on and was held with a set screw, the Pedersoli had a square shaft that the cam went on. According to Drydock i could have replaced the entire breechblock Pedersoli for H&R, but i had already corrected the problem.

Mine is a great shooter, you can ring a 15" plate at a 100 yards all day. The farthest I have shot mine is about 400 yards in a State side match. 3 years in row I've hit every shot at that distance. Pretty satisfying when I'm doing it with a little carbine and a ladder sight, and the boys with the Sharps and Hi-walls with sights costing more than I paid for my gun are missing Grin
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2010, 08:16:09 am »

I have one of the little big horn (LBH) models and it was unfired when I got it. On the 16th shot the block popped open and the case ejected and landed on the ground near my feet. The bullet hit just where I was aiming. My load is 15 grains Trail Boss with a home cast 350 grain 30:1 alloy lubed with liquid alox and sized to .457. That should give 1100 fps and is technically a trapdoor safe CAS load. 

The action of the block opening was quite gentle, just a click and the case came out. No damage to anything. On examination, the thumb lever was rotated anti-clockwise relative to the cam and hence the lever prevented the action from being closed. By applying a firm upward push on the lever, it rotated back around to the correct position and the block closed normally.

The shaft had already been lock-tighted by a gunsmith even though I was skeptical about its likely effectiveness and really wanted him to drill a locating hole for the end of the grub screw just the way H&R should have. Lock tight was not enough although there are several lock tight formulas some tougher than others. My other gunsmith is booked to drill the locating hole and use the tougher lock tight around the entire shaft so I don't expect that to move again.

I don't regret for a moment getting the rifle, the only disappointment is that flip up rear sight which was missing the actual eye cup and the sight is not much good anyway. I scored an original 1879 carbine rear sight in excellent condition from eBay and had it mounted on the barrel. Its a nice looking sight indeed and makes a good sight picture. I am a bit of a sucker for colour case hardening and the LBH has awesome colour case hardening so couldn't be happier there. 

I removed the useless H&R sight and put it aside but unfortunately that leaves and unattractive hollow in the grip.

The Metal pistol grip is a strange looking addition I am still undecided if I like it or not but it works rather well I think. Makes it easier to pull into the shoulder perhaps.

Based on my limited observations I would expect all H&R trapdoors have the potential to malfunction in this way. Obviously there is not a huge rotational force on the cam or they would all malfunction on the first shot. The grub screw is much more tiny than I would ever have expected so H&R were only expecting very minor forces.

   
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2010, 11:20:56 am »

As far as what's been mentioned about the reliability of the Officer's Rifle - the only time I ever heard anything about that was when parts were being used up to produce as many saleable weapons as possible when H&R was closing its doors.

From what I remember - these weren't supplied with the big foam box or the small handout - they were supplied as-is.

Numrich bought tons of spares - as did Pedersoli - who had been buying complete Officers Rifles for a couple of years before, from what was said among the dealers, and this was before they started producing Trapdoors.

Find an eyecup and reinstall that rear tang sight - the originals all had them, and though somewhat difficult to adjust - once adjusted to particular loads and the appropriate mark filed on the 'ladder' - they work well.

I believe that the piece was originally sighted at 100 yards when at the lowest position - the aperture being 3/4" up from the receiver line.

Your 'using' rear sight should be marked with an 'R' - since all of the originals were 'Rifle' sights and not 'Carbine' and the accuracy derived is from that data, when using an issue service load.

If you want a copy of the little manual - go to www.rediscovered-shooting-treasures.com.

It isn't much, but it was what was supplied when the rifle first came upon the scene in 1971.

If you get tired of the metal pistol grip - mine was lifted some years back and I need another H&R one, since originals are 1/4" wider to accomodate the wrist, and I'd be interested.

Vaya,

Scouts Out!









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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2011, 08:16:08 pm »

I recently purchased an H&R Carbine.  Someone removed the ring from the sling bar.  Does anyone know where to find this part?

Thanks,
T-Joe
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2011, 09:24:38 pm »

T-Joe
I got mine at Dixie Gun Works
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2011, 10:06:35 am »

I've got a pair of H&R Trapdoors - a carbine and an Officer Model. Both are great shooters and I've had no problem with BP or smokeless loads using the 40% rule with 4198, Varget, 5744 and 3031.
They are accurate and don't have the problems associated with getting an original to shoot well.

I put original sights on both and a pistol grip on the carbine. Check with S&S for parts, original and repro.
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2012, 08:46:34 pm »

OK Guys.......You may not like what I have to say but the Trapdoor so here goes.  The H&R Officers Model 45/70 trapdoor has one major flaw.  The bore is under sized.  I have had mine since they first came out .  I killed my first deer with it.  However since I couldn't afford the jacketed bullets I switched to cast and that problably saved the gun.  The bore should be around .456 on my rifle it is .451.  I have been sizing the builts to .458 on my Lyman.  The trapdoor has of the last 10 years been blowing open.  I attributed it to the poor release design.  I bought a 1873 door with original release and had it machined to fit the original door for the H&R and it has fixed it.  For those of you that haven't shot the rifle you may not want to change it over. In any case I have a new sizing die and have sized my bullets to .454 and it shoots great.  I may attempt to take another deer next year. And I will have a shooter again.  For now it looks great above my mantel.  Anyway good luck for you all and happy hunting.
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2012, 10:46:59 am »

Like I said above - I've never had a problem with my H&R Trapdoors.

If the bores are undersized, I'm unaware of it, but you've got me interested enough to check it out by slugging the bores.

Way back, I used to shoot as-cast 405s in them, lubed with bicycle wheel bearing grease. They shot great with BP and duplex loads.
Those days of ignorant bliss are gone. Now I size to .457 and lube with SPG.
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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2012, 11:48:20 am »

First I have heard of undersized bores also.  Couldn't H&R get anything right?  The originals had oversized bores and the replicas undersized!  Another reason to cast your own bulelts.  If it is truly .451, consider some of the 300 grain bullets for the Casull and similar rounds.  There might be some heavier ones out there also.

The breech popping open is a relatively easy fix and those I know who have done it like their trapdoors.  I have a couple of originals and of the two, prefer the 1866. 
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« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2012, 01:16:04 pm »

I bought my H&R Officers Model new in 83' for $346, out the door. Had trouble with loose cam latch and sent it back to H&R and they repaired it. I don't know what they did, but haven't had any trouble with it since. I didn't like the stock sights so I looked through my parts drawer and found a Pedersoli mid range tang sight and a tall Lyman globe front sight with Lee Shaver inserts. I had to remove a little wood to fit the tang sight but I'm much happier with this set up. I shoot a .459 cast lead 405gr. bullet behind 25 gr. of 5744 with great results. I love mine.   JW


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