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Auction Date: November 30, 2012

Lot 3261: Springfield Armory U.S. - 1873

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Highly Desirable Pre-Custer Battle U.S. Springfield Model 1873 "Trapdoor" Carbine
Estimated Price: $8,000 - $11,000
Item Views 279 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Springfield Armory U.S. - 1873 ManufacturerSpringfield Armory U.S. Model1873
TypeCarbine Gauge45-70 Government Catalog Page88
Barrel22 Inch Round FinishBlue/casehardened Grip
Stock ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThis very early production Springfield Model 1873 carbine was manufactured circa 1874. The rear sight has the early stepped pattern base graduated to 500 yards and the sight itself is graduated to 1,100 yards. The high arch breechblock has early distinctive markings of "MODEL/1873/[eaglehead/crossed arrows]/U.S." The lock plate is stamped with the eagle along with "U.S./SPRINGFIELD/1873" ahead of the hammer. The barrel, correctly, does not have the "V/P/Eagle Head" proof and inspection marks applied to rifles and carbines in the 40-60,000 serial range that were manufactured in Fiscal Year 1875. The left side of the long wrist stock has a script "ESA" oval cartouche and a circled script "P" proof is stamped below the trigger guard finial. The left side of the buttstock has an old "ML/45". The barrel band is later solid type without sling swivel; instead, there is only a stacking swivel. The carbine half stock is fitted with a buttplate correctly without a trap and is marked "US" in front of the upper screw. A sling bar with ring is mounted on the left side of the stock.

ConditionFine. The barrel retains 40% of the much faded original blue finish. The lock retains 60% original blue finish and the trigger guard and buttplate retain 40% original blue finish. The receiver, breech block and tang have 20% of the casehardened finish, mostly faded. The stock is aslo fine and shows moderate service wear with a nice cartouche and proof. The tumbler is the two-click type, aside from these very minor discrepancies this is a great example of the type of Indian War Calvary carbine model carried by the 7th Cavalry at the battle of The Little Big Horn. These 1873 Springfield Carbines are far and few between!
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