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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Spencer Shooting Society (Moderator: Two Flints)  |  Topic: 1873 Trapdoor Rifle serial number search request. 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: 1873 Trapdoor Rifle serial number search request.  (Read 8451 times)
vettime82
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« on: February 26, 2011, 09:16:37 pm »


I recently purchased  a first model 1873 Trapdoor Rifle. It has all the correct markings. Lockplate is stamped ahead of hammer, eagle and US/ Springfield 1873. Breechblock markings MODEL 1873 over eaglehead,over crossed arrows marked US MODEL/1873. Serial number is four digits, 7020, produced in 1874. My question is can anyone research its history by serial number?  I know its a long shot. Thanks for your help.

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Two Flints
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2011, 09:45:35 pm »

Vettime82,

Closest serial # I find to yours (#7020) is #7023, an 1873 Trapdoor Rifle issued to a member of 5th Infantry in October (11th), 1879.  The SRS also lists a P. Kane, but I'm not sure if this is the name of the soldier it was issued to or not;  other issued Trapdoors were issued to individuals?? also by name??...I think, according to what I read in my SRS book.

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vettime82
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2011, 07:33:33 am »

Thanks again for the information!              Bob
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Trailrider
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2011, 11:38:57 am »

Unfortunately, serial numbers were seldom, if ever recorded by the Ordnance Dept., when the weapons were issued, so that information is unusual, and fortunate. The other thing is that these arms were not necessarily shipped in the same crate with others in the same number range. However, the fact that your rifle is only three numbers away from the one that is listed could be an indication it was in the same box.  The gap in years between 1884 when the rifle was manufactured, and its being issued to the 5th Infantry in 1889 means both rifles could have been almost anywhere in the intervening years.

Often, if there was an individual mentioned as having an arm issued to them, it was either the post ordnance sergeant or officer, or a commanding officer of some kind. You might check with the National Archives to see who "P. Kane" might be. Try for a military record, and also see if there might be a pension record. Many times, even if the person's military record doesn't give much information, if they lived long enough to claim a pension, they often wrote detailed accounts to back up their claim for the pension! 

In addition to trying to track the name, is there any mention of the unit to which it was issued? If you can find that, it may help find what post the unit was assigned to. You might want to also check to see if that individual might have been an Army Quartermaster Dept. employee, rather than a soldier.  Some times these individuals "lost" or purchased the arm and had the money deducted from his pay. You might then try to track when that company (arms were usually issued by company), and to see when that outfit was issued Trapdoor Springfields. Unfortunately, the ordnance records are not known to exist after June of 1876!  Sad  If they were, no one at the Archives seems to know where they might be.

Caution: Do NOT try to shake these rifles or otherwise try to make them talk!  Wink  It would be great if they could!

Good hunting!
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irish9th
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2011, 06:56:53 am »

I dont know if post War is same as Indian Wars in the Army. At the End of the Civil War, The Union Army allowed each soldier to take home free of charge, his unifrom, his knapsack his canteen and his haversack. Everything else was turned in and accounted for by the Company Officer. If a soldier chose , he could buy his Rifle and leathers if infantry, and if cavalry his carbine revolver and saber. I understand a great many cavalrymen purchased their carbines. I tracked my Sharps carbine through the mans military records. Though his Model 1863 sharps showed up in the Sharps Book as being 3 digits off from the 6th Illinoise Cavalry this man was in the 9th Ill cavalry and purchased his carbine and the serial number was listed. He did notbuy his revolver or saber. After the war he had his named stamped in the stock and it was over stamped. The guy lived to be 94 and I had to go through the freedom of information act to get his records.See any Civil War soldier who lived into the 30's and beyond their records are like in limbo land they are not with the Civil war guys who died in the 1920's and before. After 8 months I got his pension records  180 pages just on his nursing care not one thing on hs military serive accept to mention his unit. The cheaper military records proved to be better for my search, The pension records were 75.00 dollars. As for records remember This under Grants terms, Confederate officers could take home revolvers and sabers.(sidearms) The ANV Cav and Arty guys got to take their horses. Joe Johnstons army did better under Sherman. General Sherman besides letting the officers keep their sidearms allowed 1/10 of confederate infantry to keep their rifles to march home with. Thats why you see so many enfields coming out of Tenn and Miss. I myself purchased a loaded enfield from a civil war dealer when I dropped the rammer down I knew it was loaded I pulled the ball I could read the print they used as wadding from 1860
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StrawHat
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2011, 02:55:38 pm »

I recently purchased  a first model 1873 Trapdoor Rifle. It has all the correct markings. Lockplate is stamped ahead of hammer, eagle and US/ Springfield 1873. Breechblock markings MODEL 1873 over eaglehead,over crossed arrows marked US MODEL/1873. Serial number is four digits, 7020, produced in 1874. My question is can anyone research its history by serial number?  I know its a long shot. Thanks for your help.

You could try here.

http://www.trapdoors.com/
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Spencer Shooting Society (Moderator: Two Flints)  |  Topic: 1873 Trapdoor Rifle serial number search request. « previous next »
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