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Special Interests - Groups & Societies => The Barracks => Topic started by: Drydock on June 11, 2019, 09:26:43 PM

Title: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Drydock on June 11, 2019, 09:26:43 PM
Found this at an antique mall, half buried under a pile of society swords.  When the lady pulled it off the shelf for me and I got my first good look at it, the first thing that popped into my head was "Jaeger".  My bore light showed a nice shiny barrel with sharp rifling

It's mostly M1884, serial number puts it in the 1st quarter of 1888.  An M1879 rifle sight, and the front sight appears to be hammered out of an old (wheat or earlier) penny.  An old conversion, but well done really,  probably started as a rifle with a bent barrel, someone did a lot of work to the stock to get everything to fit.  Barrel is 20" from breech to muzzle.  The sights appear dead on at 50 yards so far.  Trigger is good, 5 lbs or so with just a touch of creep.  A couple of minor cracks, in non load bearing areas.

Waite and Ernst have pictures of at least 3 experimental carbines that look a LOT like this, I was surprised to find.  For $300 (!) A fun walking around rifle.  It handles really well, with the balance point right beneath the block hinge.  Very lively in the hands, the longer stock feeling better in the forehand as it shoulders.

Maybe someday I'll take it down and make a heavy barrel target rifle with it . . .
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Sagebrush Burns on June 11, 2019, 10:45:47 PM
Well, didja buy it?!
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Silver Creek Slim on June 12, 2019, 07:16:16 AM
Very nice.

Slim
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Drydock on June 12, 2019, 09:50:31 AM
Yes, I bought it!
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Jake C on June 12, 2019, 12:59:57 PM
That's a fun rifle, I'm jealous of you Drydock! I hope it treats you well.  ;D
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Sagebrush Burns on June 12, 2019, 10:57:13 PM
Hope it shoots as good as it looks!  That one has some serious panache!
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Cowolf on June 13, 2019, 04:43:13 PM
an elegant weapon for a more civilized age
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: River City John on June 13, 2019, 04:46:06 PM
And it would make a well balanced club as a last resort . . .
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: smoke on June 14, 2019, 07:21:06 AM
That is cool :D!  I would have bought it in a heartbeat at the price.

I think S&S stocks a repro of one of the experimental stock.  I thought it would be cool to clone one. 
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Dusty Tagalon on June 14, 2019, 08:20:22 PM
Another thought, grappling hook gun?
Dusty
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: 1961MJS on June 15, 2019, 06:31:53 PM
Hi

No reason to think it isn't experimental, but if memory serves a lot of the old pirate flintlock pistols of the 1920's on were cut down Trapdoors. 

http://ww2.rediscov.com/spring/VFPCGI.exe?IDCFile=/spring/DETAILS.IDC,SPECIFIC=8695,DATABASE=objects (http://ww2.rediscov.com/spring/VFPCGI.exe?IDCFile=/spring/DETAILS.IDC,SPECIFIC=8695,DATABASE=objects)

Dang found it purdy easy.  Maybe someone in Hollywood cut them down for other purposes.

Later
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Drydock on June 15, 2019, 08:23:20 PM
Oh, it is clearly NOT an experimental! (I could only wish!) It is clearly a home made cut down rifle, I would guess done sometime before WW2.  But it does resemble (By accident!) a couple of Springfield experimental carbines pictured on page 156 of Waite and Ernst's "Trapdoor Springfield". 

RCJ, yeppur, it makes a dandy club!  I can spin it pretty good too!
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: 1961MJS on June 16, 2019, 10:27:20 PM
Oh, it is clearly NOT an experimental! (I could only wish!) It is clearly a home made cut down rifle, I would guess done sometime before WW2.  But it does resemble (By accident!) a couple of Springfield experimental carbines pictured on page 156 of Waite and Ernst's "Trapdoor Springfield". 

RCJ, yeppur, it makes a dandy club!  I can spin it pretty good too!

spin, ooh no, Drydock Wayne.
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Sagebrush Burns on June 16, 2019, 11:08:45 PM
Looked at the pics again - first time I've ever seen a Manlicher stocked trap-door!
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Dusty Tagalon on June 17, 2019, 11:31:10 PM
Not Manicler, forward band has groove in front for keeper, so definitely cut.
Dusty
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Pitspitr on June 19, 2019, 06:36:25 AM
I have owned 2 Trapdoors that had barrels bent at the front barrel band. (Bent during use as a spade with the trowel bayonet attached...that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

Maybe the pervious owner thought it would be easier to cut the barrel off behind the bend than to straighten it?
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Drydock on June 19, 2019, 05:27:05 PM
That would be my guess.  This is very much a bitsa rifle:  Barrel, receiver and block are 1884. Serial # to 1888.  I suspect but cannot prove that the lock is also off the same rifle.  The stock cartouche is long gone, but the fit would indicate it belongs with this action.  The sights are not correct though, and the lock bolts are M1868 or earlier!  The Lower barrel band is a mystery, the upper band probably 1884. 

The lower band is intriguing:  the only split lower bands I can find on Trapdoors are on experimentals.  don't believe this is, but where did it come from?  Is it a Sharps mid band, a civilian aftermarket band?  We'll never know.  But it does make me determined to replace the upper band with a plain one, then fit a sling swivel in the butt, to fully duplicate the experimental carbine shown by Waite and Ernst.  ( I think.  The pictures are shaved so you cannot actually see a swivel on the butt, but why have a split lower sling band?) 

That is the one nice thing about a cut down like this:  You can play with it.  I'll bring it along.
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: smoke on June 24, 2019, 08:41:55 PM
I think you need to call that one an "Engineer's Carbine"
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Drydock on July 02, 2019, 08:56:07 PM
It was pointed out to me at the Muster that the stock is of the early "Long Wristed" pattern.  An interesting collection of parts.
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Jake C on July 03, 2019, 11:39:33 AM
I can't get over how cool this is. My Trapdoor had the stock bubba'd a bit, and a part of me really wants to make it into this. I won't do it, but I'm tempted to.
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Drydock on July 03, 2019, 12:56:03 PM
One of the guys at the Muster borrowed it when his Pedersoli broke.  Had a lot of fun with it.
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Drydock on July 29, 2019, 06:12:26 PM
I used it at our local Cowboy/GAF match, paired with an 1851 Conversion revolver, dressed in USN whites, calling it (as suggested above) my "line throwing gun".  Great fun!  And a clean match.
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Drydock on October 17, 2019, 09:36:14 AM
One small mystery solved: the barrel band is one made for the 17000 or so Carbines made from 1874-1879 with stacking swivels.  Somebody at the armory thought this was a good idea?  Reports from the field disabused this notion, so most were removed/replaced, returned to the armory and destroyed.  This a fairly rare part.  Interesting that the experimentals in the Waite & Ernst book show the same barrel band?

Oh, the stories I suspect this gun could tell!
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: Major 2 on August 12, 2020, 06:03:00 AM
Found this at an antique mall, half buried under a pile of society swords.  When the lady pulled it off the shelf for me and I got my first good look at it, the first thing that popped into my head was "Jaeger".  My bore light showed a nice shiny barrel with sharp rifling

It's mostly M1884, serial number puts it in the 1st quarter of 1888.  An M1879 rifle sight, and the front sight appears to be hammered out of an old (wheat or earlier) penny.  An old conversion, but well done really,  probably started as a rifle with a bent barrel, someone did a lot of work to the stock to get everything to fit.  Barrel is 20" from breech to muzzle.  The sights appear dead on at 50 yards so far.  Trigger is good, 5 lbs or so with just a touch of creep.  A couple of minor cracks, in non load bearing areas.

Waite and Ernst have pictures of at least 3 experimental carbines that look a LOT like this, I was surprised to find.  For $300 (!) A fun walking around rifle.  It handles really well, with the balance point right beneath the block hinge.  Very lively in the hands, the longer stock feeling better in the forehand as it shoulders.

Maybe someday I'll take it down and make a heavy barrel target rifle with it . . .

Since this thread resurfaced in a link on another thread , I revisited it and can can appreciate the attraction to the above
Springfield Hybrid  :)  Drydock bought



I too have cool  short rifle, It was in a collection some 50 years and I decided it need to bark again....

Course it needed conversion from rimfire to centerfire , the bore was mint !

It is a Model 1869-71  Swiss Vetterli Boarder Carbine...and here are other variations on the theme  (Norm Sutton Collection)

and finally my rounds based on Berthier brass & made up box
Title: Re: Antique mall trapdoor
Post by: The Pathfinder on August 13, 2020, 09:49:32 AM
Got to admit I do like the look of your ... rifle? I had an 1870 Trapdoor in 50-70 so figured why not and went looking for a 45-70. Found one at the LGS in pretty good shape for $300. Took it home and started to go over it. The bloody thing had been repaired(?) at the lock area, front half of the stock was all 1873, rear half was all 1863 musket, and it was set up with a couple of inches of cast off! They even bent the trigger plate! Quick trip to OGCA and worked with the folks from Trapdoors Inc and I replaced the stock and trigger plate bringing her back to her all original (in appearance anyway) glory. Now I've seen and handled guns with cast off before, but never on a trapdoor. Someone obviously pit a lot of effort into making her that way, and if it ever does pass on the original parts will go with her. She must have made somebody a real nice hunting piece at one time.