Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1231: U.S. Springfield Model 1884 Experimental Trapdoor Rifle

Auction Date: December 3, 2016

Scarce U.S. Springfield Model 1884 Experimental Trapdoor Rifle with Ramrod Bayonet

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $3,500 - $5,500

Scarce U.S. Springfield Model 1884 Experimental Trapdoor Rifle with Ramrod Bayonet

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: 1884
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 45-70 Government
Barrel: 32 5/8 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1399
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 151
Class: Antique

Springfield Armory produced 1,000 of these Model 1884 rifles with experimental ramrod bayonets and hooded front sight. They were manufactured for trial use and very few of them have survived and made it into private collections. This examples falls right in the 320000 serial number range and has the correct experimental front sight cover, experimental ramrod bayonet without notches, and retention arms without "ears" extending over the top of the rod. It also has a standard blade front sight, Buffington "R" marked notch and ladder rear sights, 1873 marked breechblock, standard Springfield markings, and a standard stock with "SWP/1885" cartouche on the left and script "P" within a circle stamp by the trigger guard tang. The butt compartment is empty. These rifles were the second group to utilize the much maligned ramrod bayonet that later received scorn directly from President Theodore Roosevelt who thought the concept when used with the early Model 1903 rifles was "about as poor an invention as I ever saw." The rifle is also fitted with a later leather sling.

Rating Definition:

About good as arsenal refurbished. There are traces of original finish on the lock plate and breechblock, and extensive moderate pitting along the barrel. The stock has some scrapes and small dents with a lightly visible cartouche. The lock functions fine, and the markings are clear. This example is usually absent in most collections!

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