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Auction Date: November 30, 2012

Lot 3239: Springfield Armory U.S. - 1873

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Rare Early Production Springfield U.S. Model 1875 Trapdoor Officer's Transitional Type I/Type II Rifle
Estimated Price: $20,000 - $30,000
Item Views 217 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Springfield Armory U.S. - 1873 ManufacturerSpringfield Armory U.S. Model1873
TypeRifle Gauge45/70 Govt. Catalog Page81
Barrel26 In FinishBlue/case-hardened Grip
Stockwalnut ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThis is a fine example of a highly desirable U.S. Springfield Model 1875 Officer's Rifle manufactured between 1875 and 1877. This particular rifle shares characteristics of both Type I and Type II Officer's Models, they are as follows: lockplate dated 1873 (Type I), round base variant tang sight which is found on very few Type II's (see page 41 of "The 45-70 Springfield" by Frasca and Hill) and the "U.S./ Model/ 1873" stacked markings on the breechblock which are most definitely Type II as referenced by the aforementioned book. The rifle has a sporting style half-stock with checkered panels on the wrist and forearm, metal nose cap and a single barrel band. A folding combination globe front sight and a Model 1877 rear sight are mounted on the barrel and a Springfield Second Style round base, folding, tang sight is mounted on the stock wrist. The rifle has a high arch breechblock marked: "U.S/.MODEL/1873" and a single set trigger. A hickory wiper with nickel-plated brass tip and slotted ferrule is attached to the barrel by a single ramrod pipe and a stud at the muzzle. The lockplate is roll-stamped with the Springfield Eagle and Shield motif followed by "U.S./SPRINGFIELD/1873" in three lines. "U.S." is stamped on the heel of the buttplate. The left side of the barrel is stamped with "V/P/ Eagle Head/P" proof and inspection marks. A circled script, "P" proofmark is stamped on the underside of the stock behind the wrist checkering. The rifle is correctly not serial numbered and is not stamped with the Ordnance final inspection mark on the stock wrist. The barrel is blue and the nose cap, barrel band, receiver, breech block, lockplate, hammer, tang and buttplate have a color casehardened finish. The nose cap, barrel band, top of the receiver and breechblock, hammer, lockplate, cam latch, bottom of the trigger guard and heel of the buttplate are all decorated with well executed open scroll engraving. The stock has polished oil finish. The stock lacks a provision for the detachable checkered half pistol grip found on Type III Officer's Rifles. The Model 1875 Officer's Rifle was designed to provide Army officers with a high quality sporting rifle that utilized the regulation .45-70 cartridge. Springfield Armory manufactured and estimated 125 Type I Trapdoor Officer's Rifles.

ConditionFine. The rifle is all original and retains 80% slightly faded original blue on the barrel. The finish on the casehardened components have faded to a silver gray patina. Stronger case colors are present on the tang and protected areas of the lockplate, breechblock and receiver. The contact points on the top of the hammer, breech block and the bottom of the trigger guard and buttplate are a mottled silver-gray. All of the markings are sharp and the engraving is very crisp. The stock is very good overall. The forearm checkering shows moderate handling wear; the checkering on the wrist is sharper. There are a few minor handling marks on the stock and forearm. This a fine all original example of the scarce and very desirable Springfield Model 1875 Type I Officer's Rifle.
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