Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1443: Exceptional U.S. Springfield Model 1875 Trapdoor Officer's Rifle

Auction Date: April 21, 2013

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $37,500 - $55,000

Exceptional U.S. Springfield Model 1875 Trapdoor Officer's Rifle

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: 1875
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 45/70 Govt.
Barrel: 26 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut checkered
Item Views: 1696
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 159
Class: Antique

This extraordinary U.S. Model 1875 Officer's rifle was manufactured by the Springfield Armory in 1885. This is a Third Type Model 1875 Officer's Rifle with distinctive features that include a slightly longer stock that extends 5/8-inch further beyond the barrel band, square profile nickel-silver forend cap, un-plated brass wiping rod tip and ferrule and "SWP/1885" final inspection mark stamped on the left stock wrist. Springfield Armory manufactured an estimated total of 100 Third Type Model 1875 Officer's Rifles. The Model 1875 Officer's Rifle was designed to provide Army officers with a high quality sporting rifle chambered for the .45-70 service cartridge. These unique rifles were manufactured in limited numbers between 1875 and 1885; total production was fewer than 500 rifles. This rifle has a blue barrel, barrel band, receiver and buttplate. The low-arch breech block, hammer, receiver tang, lock plate and trigger guard have a color casehardened finish. The walnut stock is oil finished with checkered panels on the forearm and wrist and detachable half-pistol grip. The round barrel has a single ramrod pipe to secure a hickory wiping rod with brass tip and ferrule. The barrel is fitted with a beach folding globe front sight and a special buckhorn rear sight. A folding vernier tang sight with oval base is mounted on the stock wrist. The rifle has a factory single set-trigger. The top of the barrel band, receiver, breech block, tang, hammer, cam latch, lock plate, trigger guard bow and buttplate heel are decorated with well-executed scroll engraving. The inlaid nickel-silver nose cap is lightly engraved. The top of the barrel is stamped with a "P" between the rear sight and the receiver and the left side of the barrel is stamped with "V/P/Eagle Head/P" proof and inspection marks. The top of the breech block is roll-stamped "U.S./MODEL/1878" in three lines. The lockplate is roll-stamped with the usual Springfield Eagle motif followed by "U.S./SPRINGFIELD" in two lines in front of the hammer. "U.S." is stamped on the heel of the buttplate. The underside of the stock is stamped with an encircled script "P" proofmark behind the checkered panel. The rifle is, correctly, not serial numbered.

Rating Definition:

Excellent plus overall. This rifle is totally original and shows only very minor storage wear. With 97% plus of the original blue and casehardened finish remaining intact. The barrel band, barrel rear sight, receiver tang sight and buttplate show only very minor finish wear. The casehardened breech block, hammer, lock plate and trigger guard have vivid case colors and show almost no wear. The excellent stock has nearly all of the original oil finish. The checkering on the forearm, wrist and half-pistol grip is extremely sharp. The Ordnance final inspection mark on the left wrist is crisp. The well executed scroll engraving is sharp and deep. The rifle appears to be un-fired and is probably one of the Third Type Model 1875 Officer's Rifles that were not sold in 1885 and was held by Springfield Armory to later be sold as surplus. It would be very difficult to find a better example of a U.S. Springfield Model 1875 Officer's Rifle than this exceptional example.

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