View Full Version : How to value a Springfield trapdoor model 1873

12-31-2010, 8:03 PM
I'm looking to buy a Springfield trapdoor Model 1873 in 45/70. A former coworker has one for sale. What do I look for to determine the value of it?
I've always wanted one, but have know clue how to determine value and condition. I hope you can give me some advise.

12-31-2010, 9:15 PM
Believe it or not, many of these went thru arsenal rebuilds. As with any collectable gun, original condition is everything. Does it have the original buckhorn rear sight or the buffington type put on later guns and rebuilds. Hows the wood,cartushes present and clear? Any bluing left? Case colors on the trap? Hows the bore? black powder took a toll on bores.These have been going fairly cheap latley for some unknown reason. I would say a minty specimen would get $1,200 to 1,500.There are many traps out there,not many original minty ones though. My 2cents.

01-01-2011, 8:45 AM
Main thing to watch out for is "cavalry carbines". Original carbines are rare and expensive, but many being foisted on an unknowing buyer are simply cut down rifles. You should be able to pick up a decent shooter for $6-700, maybe less these days.

01-01-2011, 8:51 AM
Condition is everything. Look at Gunbroker and check out trapdoors that actually sold (closed auctions). Condition and sold amount will be your guide. Early guns are worth more than 1884 rod bayonet rifles and real carbines are worth more than rifles. Rifles chambered in the long range .45 round and so marked are worth much more than standard infantry rifles and so on.

01-01-2011, 1:18 PM
Check out this sight trapdoorcollecter.com there is guys there that can tell you anything you want to know about the trapdoor springfields,With the whole serial # they can even date it to when it was made and maybe what company it was assigned to.It may be a Custer period rifle or carbine.They can also spot a fake from pics.

Anubis Laughed
01-01-2011, 3:33 PM
Here's another good site to check out: http://www.trapdoors.com/

Ditto with all of the above comments. The Springfield Model 1873, 1884, & 1888 rifles were used by the Army between 1873 and the adoption of the Krag-Jorgensen rifle circa 1894. Reserve units and State Militias continued to use them for decades afterwards. They saw extensive service in the Indian Wars and in the Span-Am War, and the Phillipping Insurrection that followed. Some were still in use by State Militas and schools until the 1920's.

Many have been arsenal overhauled, and upgraded. And with this much time gone by, many have had pasts swapping by collectors, and of course, Bubba. Price for a rifle can range from a few hundred dollars for a mixmaster or poor conditon gun, to well over a thousand for a superior, excellent example. Carbines are higher, but be aware there are many more fakes and cut-down rifles out there than there are surviving original carbines.