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Springfield Armory M1873 Trapdoor Rifle with Metcalfe Device

About the object

This is an example of a highly sought after early Springfield Armory Model 1873 Trapdoor rifle, that has been fitted with the highly desirable Type IV Metcalfe reloading device. This series of rifles was the standard U.S. service rifle used from 1873 through the late 1880s with some even found in National Guard Armories in the early 1900s. This Metcalfe device was an early invention, intended to allow the soldiers to have 8 additional rounds readily available on the side of the rifle for quick reloading. The additional rounds were held in a small wooden box that attached to a metal bar located on the right side of the stock in front of the lock plate. These wooden boxes proved to be fragile, easily lost and so eventually they were all removed and the rifles converted back into the standard stock configuration. Original early rifles are very difficult to obtain as they went through many upgrades and revisions. This example has the early features such as: the early narrow receiver that is the same width as the barrel, with the early narrow/smaller gas ports that is fitted with the early high arched breech block marked "MODEL/1873/eagle head/crossed arrows/U.S." on top. It is the original barrel that is marked with the earlier and smaller "V/P/eagle head" proof on the breech end and is fitted with the first model rear sight graduated "1-4" (100-400 yards) on the side of the base with the face of the leaf marked: "5-12" (500-1200 yards). The lock plate is marked with the Springfield Armory "eagle/shield/clutching arrows" over "U.S. SPRINGFIELD 1873" and is still fitted with early two click tumbler. This rifle still retains its original 1873 stock that has the short comb, the long wrist, an oval "ESA" inspector's cartouche on the left side, and the circled script "P" behind the lower tang. It has the original sling swivels and still retains the correct iron cleaning rod with serrated slotted head and the original non-butt trap buttplate marked "U.S." on top. Flayderman states that 1,008 Model 1873 Rifles were fitted with the device in 1876 (estimated serial range 60000-74000) and were never issued or tried. Most were disassembled and sold as surplus.
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Show Bids Estimate
11,536 GBP

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