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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Outstanding Selection of Springfield Trapdoors!

Rock Island Auction Company is proud to end the year with an outstanding selection of U.S. Springfield trapdoors. This November 30th, December 1st & 2nd Premiere Firearms Auction offers early U.S. martial arms collectors the opportunity to obtain high condition and extremely rare firearms.
Late 18th century American-Indian Wars are represented by a spectacular collection of nearly 20 trapdoor rifles and carbines. The Springfield trapdoor was the first breech-loading rifle of the United States Army and this collection represents the many variations of a weapon that for 20 years was the army's primary long arm. After the Civil War the U.S. government experimented with metallic cartridge rifles and developed a cost effective method of converting left over muzzle loaders into single shot 50-70 metallic breech loaders. The Allin conversion was the primary conversion method. Lot 3243 is a Springfield 1866 Second Model Allin Conversion Rifle in excellent plus condition as issued and is the finest example we have offered for auction. Several 50-70 trapdoor variations were developed before the final variation, the Model 1870, was manufactured. Lot 3240 and lot 3248 are rare examples of a Model 1870 carbine. Only 341 Model 1870 carbines were manufactured and given the fact that the U.S. was entering into a period of wars with the Native Americans out West it is amazing that any survived at all. Pay special attention to Lot 3240 as this carbine is in extremely fine condition, making this highly desirable carbine a must have for the advanced trapdoor collector.

The 50-70 caliber trapdoor eventually evolved into a successful series of 45-70 caliber trapdoors which are also represented in this sale. Lot 3261 is a highly desirable pre-Custer battle Springfield Model 1873 Trapdoor Carbine. Manufactured circa 1874, these early pre-battle of The Little Big Horn 1873 carbines are scarce in today's collector market and represent the first 45-70 caliber U.S. trapdoor. For a Custer-era Model 1873 check out Lot 3263, a carbine showing true period field use. Lot 3260 is an outstanding example of an experimental Model 1888 "Positive Cam" Trapdoor Rifle. The "Positive Cam" is part of the breech locking device and was a Springfield Armory modification to eliminate the occasional failure of the locking cam mechanism. Only 100 were manufactured and issued to the San Antonio Arsenal for testing with most of these rifles subsequently issued to U.S. units in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona where they saw active service. Be sure to check out the bluing and case colors on Lot 3260! Retaining over 98% of the original blue finish and vivid case colors, with sharp stock cartouches, Lot 3260 would make for a premier piece in the most advanced early U.S. martial arms collection! Trapdoor Officer's Rifles are also represented. Lot 3239 and lot 3259 are fine examples of Model 1875 Trapdoor Officer's Rifles that would make great additions to a martial arms collection. Only 477 of these rifles were manufactured from 1875 to 1885 by Springfield and were a quality sporting rifle in the standard 45-70 service cartridge sold to U.S. Army officers. Both rifles represent different variations of the Model 1875. Lot 3259 is a Type III and Lot 3239 is a Transitional Type I/Type II.

These trapdoor rifles and carbines are a small sampling of the exceptional collection we are offering during our November 30th, December 1st & 2nd Premiere Firearms Auction. We hope this sampling entices you to visit our online catalog to see the complete collection. This collection will surely meet the needs of collectors at all levels. Our sale contains something for virtually everyone and covers the entire spectrum from antique black powder arms to Class III Items. Our catalog is available online for free, or we can ship you one today, just complete the online order form, call 1-800-238-8022, fax 1-309-797-1655, or e-mail We look forward to any inquiries, and hope to see you at the sale!