Author Topic: H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted...  (Read 4725 times)

Offline Trailrider

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H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted...
« on: January 15, 2007, 11:33:24 am »
Gentlemen:

I take keyboard in hand, to solicit your comments on the H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor Springfield clone.  I may have an opportunity to acquire one, but have several questions that need to be answered before spending the money:

First, I have heard that SOME of the H&R Trapdoors had problems with the breechblock popping open due to an improperly cut locking cam, either on the cam itself or in the cut in the receiver.  But I don't recall if this was with the Officer's Model or the Carbines or both.  Also, I have heard of rifles that worked properly originally, but began to pop open on firing after a number of rounds were fired, possibly due to soft parts.  IF so, are ORIGINAL Trapdoor parts interchangeable with the H&R pieces?

Second, would this be a "legal" rifle for use in the Military Battle Rifle catagory for GAF matches?

Your opinions, especially with direct experience, are urgently solicitied.

Ride to the sound of the guns, but watch out for bushwhackers! Godspeed to all in harm's way in the defense of Freedom! God Bless America!

Your obedient servant,
Trailrider,
Bvt. Lt. Col. Commanding,
Southern District
Dept. of the Platte, GAF

Offline St. George

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Re: H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted...
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2007, 01:55:58 pm »
I've owned on for quite some time - using smokeless factory loads, and it's a strong, accurate weapon

A surprising number of original parts were used by Harrington and Richardson in construction of their rifles - purchased from S&S Firearms and W. Stokes Kirk, to name but two suppliers, and at that time - Trapdoor parts were amazingly common.

I've never heard of any failure, whatsoever.

I 'had' heard that they were in demand by Davide Pedersoli when that firm decided to produce that model - though I can't put my finger on the data.
The thought was that the very 'early' Pedersoli offerings were re-worked H&R's.

The Model 1875 Officer's Rifle originally featured the model of rifle sight and base that was then-current when it was purchased - quite often the Model 1879 sight - but it could be the earlier one as well.

It was also fitted with a Beach Combination folding front sight - the type with the little bead atop the round sight guard.

The vernier tang sight was also graduated.

The H&R has none of the barrel-mounted rear sights - and has a post front.

Both can be replaced easily - though finding a very 'clean' Model 1879 Rifle rear sight may be difficult.

I'd happened to have one - so...

Installation is straightforward, should you so choose - drilling and tapping was how Springfield Armory did it, so you can, as well.

The thing is - 'if' you do mount the rear sight - the bottom of the sight base will occlude the very top of the lettering found on the barrel.

You may or may not want that.

As to the vernier tang - you can scribe your own gradiations, as was done from time to time.

These H&R Officer's Rifles are rising rapidly in value - so if yours is priced reasonably - getting it is a good idea.

As to answering the 'Battle Rifle' question - someone else will have to say yea or nay, since it was designed as a 'sporting' rifle for private sales to Officers - and not as a 'battle' rifle by any stretch of the imagination.

The barrel measures 26", while that of the standard rifle was 32".

Vaya,

Scouts Out!



"It Wasn't Cowboys and Ponies - It Was Horses and Men.
It Wasn't Schoolboys and Ladies - It Was Cowtowns and Sin..."

Offline Bull Schmitt

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Re: H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted...
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2007, 06:53:15 pm »
This topic has been discussed in the last couple days on the BP-L group at yahoogroups. The early H&R trapdoors did have a problem with some of the breech blocks poping open when fired. Pedersoli bought some tooling from H&R. H&R did not use forged parts but Pedersoli  uses only forged action
frames and major parts on the Sharps, Rolling Block and Trapdoor. Pedersoli modified certain of the H&R dimensions and angles to make the Pedersoli Trapdoor absolutely fail-proof insofar as the breech block blowing open.

For more info I suggest you contact Dick Trenk (Dicktrenk@aol.com) who works for Pedersoli here in the US.
Bvt Col Bull Schmitt
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Offline Trailrider

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Re: H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted...
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2007, 11:33:51 pm »
Obliged, Gentlemen!  I just e-mailed Mr. Trenk.  Hope he is encouraging!
Ride to the sound of the guns, but watch out for bushwhackers! Godspeed to all in harm's way in the defense of Freedom! God Bless America!

Your obedient servant,
Trailrider,
Bvt. Lt. Col. Commanding,
Southern District
Dept. of the Platte, GAF

Offline Four-Eyed Buck

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Re: H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted...
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2007, 09:30:52 am »
You might want to talk to Drydock as well, Trailrider...................Buck 8) ;)
I might be slow, but I'm mostly accurate.....

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Re: H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted...
« Reply #5 on: Today at 06:59:21 pm »

Offline Trailrider

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Re: H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted...
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2007, 10:02:54 am »
Obliged, Gentlemen!  I just e-mailed Mr. Trenk.  Hope he is encouraging!

Well, I got a "kickback" on that e-mail!   ISP said it was undeliverable!  :-[ 
Ride to the sound of the guns, but watch out for bushwhackers! Godspeed to all in harm's way in the defense of Freedom! God Bless America!

Your obedient servant,
Trailrider,
Bvt. Lt. Col. Commanding,
Southern District
Dept. of the Platte, GAF

Offline Bull Schmitt

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Re: H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted...
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2007, 02:14:19 pm »
Trailrider,

Sorry about that email address not working. That is the one he used in the past but I guess he has changed it. If you join the BP-L group at YahooGroups you will find him there. He seems to be very willing to answer questions about anything related to Pedersoli. He works closely with the company and has been to their facilities in Italy.

Col Bull
Bvt Col Bull Schmitt
GAF Adjutant General
GAF Commander Department of the Atlantic
GAF Webmaster
SCORRS President & Webmaster
SASS #9535, SCORRS, GAF, NRA

Offline Trailrider

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Re: H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted...
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2007, 10:07:05 am »
Bull,

I've been trying to make contact with Dick T., even signed up at Yahoo! and onto the BPL board, but can't seem to figure out how to get my message posted.  (Just posted a second time.)  I'm not sure whether he would know about the H&R guns, though there were a couple of post by others about some of the guns blowing open, sending the brass past the shooter's ear!  :o  One shooter mentions the fact that this happened with an H&R CARBINE, so maybe I'm "safe".  It will be awhile before the ranges open up within striking distance of Denver, so I won't know by experience.  I will probably tie the rifle to a tire or something and fire it a few times with factory .45-70 ammo before risking my head.

Would appreciate any other input...

Your obdt servant
Ride to the sound of the guns, but watch out for bushwhackers! Godspeed to all in harm's way in the defense of Freedom! God Bless America!

Your obedient servant,
Trailrider,
Bvt. Lt. Col. Commanding,
Southern District
Dept. of the Platte, GAF

Offline mtmarfield

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Re: H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted...
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2007, 09:31:50 pm »
   Greetings!

   I bought an H&R Officers TD in the early 90's used; the wood had a gouge in it, and I got it relatively cheap.
   I've never had a lick of trouble with it; the only funny thing about it is the casehardening: it has a "tiger-striping" similar to that found on the Stevens rifles! Other than that, it's a fine shooter!

     Be Well!

                M.T.Marfield:.
                   1-20-07

Offline Trailrider

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Re: H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted...
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2007, 10:17:44 pm »
   Greetings!

   I bought an H&R Officers TD in the early 90's used; the wood had a gouge in it, and I got it relatively cheap.
   I've never had a lick of trouble with it; the only funny thing about it is the casehardening: it has a "tiger-striping" similar to that found on the Stevens rifles! Other than that, it's a fine shooter!

     Be Well!

                M.T.Marfield:.
                   1-20-07

Obliged, Sir!  I have gotten various opinions, and I think I will have to wait until the snow quits and I can get to a range and test fire the piece, and see if there is a problem or not.  Might be about August!  ::)

One thing I have observed, and that is the original design, with the milled cut in the right rear side of the breechblock, which accepts the sideplate through which the cam shaft penetrates, is far superior to the H&R design, though not as cheap to make nowadays. The sideplate on the original breechblock is held to the block by a single screw.  The thumbpiece, camshaft and cam are forcefit together, with square cuts to keep the cam from rotating on the shaft.  My concern with the H&R design is that the setscrew can either loosen with vibration or shear altogether.  Probably won't, but I prefer a bit of overdesign, when possible.

Were it not for the beautiful casehardening, I would be tempted to swap the breechblock assembly for an original. But, of course that can entail all sorts of problems, such as headspace and cam engagement.

But, again, much obliged! 
Ride to the sound of the guns, but watch out for bushwhackers! Godspeed to all in harm's way in the defense of Freedom! God Bless America!

Your obedient servant,
Trailrider,
Bvt. Lt. Col. Commanding,
Southern District
Dept. of the Platte, GAF

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Re: H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted...
« Reply #10 on: Today at 06:59:21 pm »

Offline mtmarfield

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Re: H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted...
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2007, 01:35:07 pm »
   Greetings, TrailRider!

   Yes, neither the H&R or Pedersoli have the "breech-block cap and screw" that retain the "cam latch and thumb-piece"... Not an 'exact' replica. I grabed my old "chopped" 1866 .50-70 and my copy of Waite & Ernst's book, as well as my beat-up "Description ... Springfield Rifle, Carbine, and Army Revolvers. Caliber .45 - Washington 1898" to 'refresh' my memory. The little hex-screw in the replica's "cam" is probably there to make the owners feel better; mine is a PRESS-FIT!, and it's not going anywhere!
   Although I prefer "exact" replicas, I'll settle for the fact that they're modern steel, and made to be enjoyed by anachronists like us!
   For a great overview of the Springfield Trapdoor, look for one of the modern softcover reprints of the 1898 booklet mentioned above; it dispells a lot of misunderstandings on how and why the Trapdoor action works well and safely within its design / cartridge parameters.

   Be Well!

              M.T.Marfield:.
                  1-21-07

Offline Sgt. Eli

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Re: H&R Officer's Model Trapdoor-Opinions wanted...
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2007, 08:57:05 am »
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. ;D
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