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springfield 45-70 bpcr...?1873? is it safe?

slugoslugo Member Posts: 45 ✭✭
Trying to help out a friend. Who asked if it was safe to shoot??
thought this would be a good place to start. Original with slight pitting iside and out??
Thanks

Comments

  • dcinffxvadcinffxva Member Posts: 2,830 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    It's hard to tell without looking at the specific gun, but the Springfield Trapdoor is a pretty robust gun, and there are still many people that shoot them (myself included) on a regular basis. If you have your doubts regarding an issue as important as safety on a specific rifle or carbine I'd recommend a gunsmith give it an in-hand approval.
  • R D HenryR D Henry Member Posts: 190 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I would have to agree wholeheartedly with DC about having a "smith" check it out first. While they are fairly stout, the actions weren't as strong as, say a Sharps.

    Be careful with your load, after having it checked out. No sense in getting yourself hurt, or the rifle either! [:p]
  • Spider7115Spider7115 Member, Moderator Posts: 29,602 ******
    edited November -1
    The early Model 1873's had a "high arch" breechblock (it looks like the underside was scooped out) and had a tendency to blow open. These were improved with a more solid block in 1879 (called the "low arch" breechblock) which were much stronger. Be sure which one you have and if a "low arch", it should be ok with light smokeless or blackpowder loads. Still, as suggested, have it thoroughly checked out by a QUALIFIED gunsmith. They're fun shooters and I used to use one for deer hunting. I once owned 35 "Trapdoors", both rifle and carbine versions, but that was when you could buy mint, unfired ones for $50 or less. [:(]
  • BlckhrnBlckhrn Member Posts: 5,136
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Spider7115
    The early Model 1873's had a "high arch" breechblock (it looks like the underside was scooped out) and had a tendency to blow open. These were improved with a more solid block in 1879 (called the "low arch" breechblock) which were much stronger. Be sure which one you have and if a "low arch", it should be ok with light smokeless or blackpowder loads. Still, as suggested, have it thoroughly checked out by a QUALIFIED gunsmith. They're fun shooters and I used to use one for deer hunting. I once owned 35 "Trapdoors", both rifle and carbine versions, but that was when you could buy mint, unfired ones for $50 or less. [:(]


    I'm going to go hurl now. I recall those days.
  • DocBAEDocBAE Member Posts: 22 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I dont shoot CAS, but I do shoot NRA BPCR Silhouette, and have many years experience in black powder cartridge rifles. As stated previously, have rifle checked my gunsmith, preferably a master smith experienced in period single shots. Head space as always is critical. For best accuracy and performance leave that factory ammo on the shelf. Stay away from jacketed bullets, the steel is soft for them. no gas checks either. USE BLACK POWDER, lead bullets, good lube. The original factory load for your rifle was 70 gr 2f black powder, 500 gr rn bullet. In modern cases, capacity will vary. experiment until you find the most accurate load for your rifle.
    I firmly believe each rifle is an individual, and when I treat it like one I always get more out of them in return.
    Hope the helps.
  • Spider7115Spider7115 Member, Moderator Posts: 29,602 ******
    edited November -1
    By the way,if that's a "Pre-Custer" carbine (serial number below 43,700), it's worth $3,000 and up - possibly WAY up depending on condition, originality and serial number. If it is, tell your buddy to buy a replica and shoot that. He can get a nice one from the profits off his original and have plenty of money left over!
  • PATBUZZARDPATBUZZARD Member Posts: 3,556
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by DocBAE
    e. The original factory load for your rifle was 70 gr 2f black powder, 500 gr rn bullet.

    actually make that at 405 grain bullet
  • oldgunneroldgunner Member Posts: 2,466 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Excellent advice from all, slugo..
  • DocBAEDocBAE Member Posts: 22 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by PATBUZZARD
    quote:Originally posted by DocBAE
    e. The original factory load for your rifle was 70 gr 2f black powder, 500 gr rn bullet.

    actually make that at 405 grain bullet


    As I understand it, the 405gr bullet and its reduced 55gr powder charge was a carbine load. However, if you have a source that indicates otherwise, please point me in that direction as I am always eager to learn something new.
    Perhaps we could get slugo to let us know if the gun in question is rifle or carbine.

    Keep yer powder dry...
  • surbat6surbat6 Member Posts: 485 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    According to my sources, you are correct, DocBAE.
    The rifle load was a 500 gr. bullet over 70 grains of FFg powder, the carbine load was a 405 gr. bullet over 55 grains. Anybody who ever fired the rifle load in a trapdoor carbine will know why!
  • fire for effectfire for effect Member Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    good luck trying to get 70 grains of powder in a modern case!! The original cases were balloon head cases, which had greater capacity. I also shoot an original action Trap door. It's serial number places it's manufacture in April of 1874.
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