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Curio & Relic/Black Powder Curio & Relics and Black Powder Firearms, Old School shooting fun!

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  #1  
Old 11-28-2017, 12:50 PM
Dynamic Dynamic is offline
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Default Real or Fake Trapdoor Carbine

Hey guys recently acquired this Carbine. I would like to know if this is a real deal carbine or a very good clone , Bannerman ? My reasons for thinking it might be a fake is the purchase price.

It has the lanyard rail , The rear sight is marked with a C for Carbine ? and the rear stock has the deep holes for a 3 piece cleaning rod that fits inside the buttstock. Top hinge is marked 1873 , the serial number is very faint but from I can make out its 346xxx .
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2017, 12:51 PM
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Pics

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  #3  
Old 11-28-2017, 1:21 PM
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What does the Lock Plate say? Should say"U.S. Springfield 1873" if it is in fact an 1873. The other thing I would check gauging the chamber. If it gauges for .50 or .58 it could be an earlier model of trapdoor like the 1865.
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Old 11-28-2017, 1:30 PM
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Very nice carbine.

Look under the barrel, where the stuck touches the barrel in front of the barrel band. Is the stock drilled for a ram rod? (Usually a dowel has been inserted, cut off and sanded flush). If there is indication of a ramrod hole, then it's a conversation/cut down stock.
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Old 11-28-2017, 1:41 PM
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That is the wrong rear sight for a M1873 (you have a buffington rear sight), however breach blocks are easy to swap. Your rear sight IS correct for a carbine (the "C" in the top right corner indicates Carbine. The same model rear sight for a rifle would be virtually indistinguishable except it was stamped with an "R" for rifle. This would make me lean towards it not being a cut down rifle barrel as I doubt most Bubba's would have that much attention to detail).

According to "The 45-70 Springfield", your serial means your rifle was manufactured in 1886, and if a correct carbine was one of 6,000 made that year. That rear sight is correct for an 1886 manufacture date.
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Old 11-28-2017, 1:53 PM
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I have an 1884 rifle trapdoor, getting a carbine is on my short list. They are super fun to shoot, easy to reload for. I cast my own bullets and, as a weird hobby, have read original manuals and have made (and fired) as accurate as reproduction round as originally carried by US troops in that time period.

Fun fact, Custer's men carried the M1873 trapdoor at the Little Big Horn; identical to that carbine except with the cruder rear sight. Little Big Horn was a wake up call, exposing horrible marksmanship, poor quality ammunition and little training dedicated to marksmanship, (due to great expense of obtaining ammunition in the West, and residual mentality from the Civil War musket days of mass gunfire in combat was better than precision shooting). The Little Big Horn massacre spurred a change in the US Army, promoting unit and Army wide shooting competitions for the purpose of improving individual shooting abilities, an upgraded rear sight on the issue long gun (the Buffington rear sight; what you have) and better ammunition (replacing copper cases, which split, with brass). That push for improved marksmanship is what brought the NRA into existence.

The Buffington rear sight is a great weaponsight, probably better suited for a shooting competition than combat and was considered probably too complex for the average Soldier. Take the time to learn that sight, it was the first US issue weapon sight with a peep sight, and is adjustable for windage and elevation to 1800 yards. You'll notice the sliding leaf is placed at an angle. This was done intentionally and to compensate for bullet drift due to rifling spin. A 500 grain lead bullet at 1100 FPS drops 600 feet over that 1800 yards, and takes nearly 7 seconds to target.

The battle zero on your carbine is about 250 yards. To get the very slow, very heavy projectile to hit point of impact/point of aim at 250, it will shoot very high at 100. My rifle shot about 18 inches high at 100. If you don't plan on sniping buffalos or indians at 1800 yards, you can buy a reproduction front sigh leaf, and file it down till you get a 100 yard zero. The front sight base is soldered to the barrel. Drift that tiny cross pin out and the sight leaf will fall out.

http://www.ssfirearms.com/proddetail.asp?prod=73S349

Last edited by IrishJoe3; 11-28-2017 at 2:21 PM..
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2017, 4:31 PM
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I think you got a good one.
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2017, 9:07 PM
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Congrats. Can't say if it's a real carbine or not, but it is very cool. Definitely a keeper and a fun conversation piece.
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2017, 10:29 PM
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Very nice,it even has the 1890 sight protector. Very rare band I have never seen one
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2017, 6:26 AM
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I don't see any place where a cleaning rod was plugged or filled in. Here are more pics . I tried a 45-70 dummy round and a .58 Minnie. Definately a .45

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  #11  
Old 11-29-2017, 6:44 AM
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Nice carbine. I certainly hope it is real, but even if not it would still fetch decent money. Finding a Trapdoor of any type in any condition for under $700 doesn't seem to happen much anymore.

To add to the Little Big Horn comments above......improved marksmanship probably would not have saved Custer, but it was true that their marksmanship and shooting in general was poor. Some Indians reported picking up rifles and nearly full ammunition belts, after a prolonged battle in which a soldier should have expended almost all of his ammo.

Many of the natives had lever repeaters which at those close ranges, would have been like machine guns vs cavalry during WWI...a real force multiplier.

I only have a Trapdoor rifle with Buffington rear sight. It is not accurate, but is a hoot to shoot. Even with "cowboy" loads, the recoil is substantial.

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Old 11-29-2017, 7:55 AM
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For what its worth, the trigger guard is carbine, and not rifle.
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Old 11-29-2017, 8:22 AM
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Default Cool collectable

Although, the were pretty much a testament to entrenched, bureaucratic incompetence.
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  #14  
Old 11-29-2017, 8:31 AM
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Dynamic, two books I'd highly recommend are these two.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/18823...or+springfield

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/15757...or+springfield
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Old 11-29-2017, 12:25 PM
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So, what is it?

Put together
Bubba
Repro
Bannerman
Original
Arsenal rebuild
Cannot confirm
Fake or Real?
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Old 11-29-2017, 1:06 PM
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I'm far from an expert, but looks legit to me
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Old 11-29-2017, 4:52 PM
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I'm far from an expert, but looks legit to me
I know significantly less than Joe, but I concur.
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  #18  
Old 11-29-2017, 5:38 PM
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I would post it on Gunboards if I were you OP....lots of pasty, basement-dwelling eggheads (no offense guys lol) over there who can probably tell you exactly what you have.

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Old 11-29-2017, 6:31 PM
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Looks good to me! This has a lot of carbine specific features my two Trapdoor rifles don't have...obviously. Very nice piece.
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  #20  
Old 11-29-2017, 7:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bainter1212 View Post
Nice carbine. I certainly hope it is real, but even if not it would still fetch decent money. Finding a Trapdoor of any type in any condition for under $700 doesn't seem to happen much anymore.

To add to the Little Big Horn comments above......improved marksmanship probably would not have saved Custer, but it was true that their marksmanship and shooting in general was poor. Some Indians reported picking up rifles and nearly full ammunition belts, after a prolonged battle in which a soldier should have expended almost all of his ammo.

Many of the natives had lever repeaters which at those close ranges, would have been like machine guns vs cavalry during WWI...a real force multiplier.

I only have a Trapdoor rifle with Buffington rear sight. It is not accurate, but is a hoot to shoot. Even with "cowboy" loads, the recoil is substantial.

Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
Indians reported that many troopers struggled with stuck cases in their carbines when the extractor sheared off the rim and left the fired case stuck, putting the carbine out of action.

Many of the troopers were reported to commit mutual suicide rather than face capture and torture by their foes. The Indians were surprised at how quickly some of the troopers killed themselves. Others fought until overwhelmed.

The battle was spread over a large area and was a running fight and didn't resemble the famous Budweiser print at all.

Benteen's group successfully held off a large attacking force of Indians with their carbines; their advantage was a defensible position.

There are are several very informative and interesting recent books on the subject worth reading as well as the archaeological report of the artifacts discovered on the battlefield after a grass fire cleared the area some years ago.

Back to the carbine: it appears to be legit although with later features added. if it is a fake, someone back in the day went to some trouble to gin one up.
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