Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 200: Springfield Armory Officer's Model 1875 Trapdoor Rifle

Auction Date: December 2, 2016

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $9,500 - $16,000

Springfield Armory Officer's Model 1875 Trapdoor Rifle

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: 1873
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 45/70 Govt.
Barrel: 26 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut checkered
Item Views: 5130
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 81
Class: Antique

Type I Springfield Armory Officer's Model 1875 rifle manufactured circa 1875-1877. This Officers Model rifle has the distinctive sporting style stock with checkered wrist and forearm, fancy scroll engraving on the lock plate, hammer, breechblock, thumb-piece, receiver, barrel band, buttplate heel, trigger guard and forearm tip, 26-inch barrel with single cleaning rod pipe and hickory cleaning rod, single set trigger, two-notch tumbler, vernier tang sight, globe front sight and service rear sight, carbine style trigger guard and barrel band without sling swivels. The early Type I features on this rifle include: high arch breechblock, "1873" dated lock plate, Model 1873 rifle rear sight, and modified Sharps Rifle Co. vernier tang sight. The scroll engraving on this rifle is slightly more detailed than the engraving found on Type II and Type III Officer's rifles and conforms very closely to the Type I scroll engraving illustrated on pages 42 and 43 of "THE .45-70 SPRINGFIELD" by Frasca and Hill. The hickory cleaning rod has the nickel plated brass ferrules found on Type I and Type II rifles. The stock lacks the checkered pistol grip fitted to the wrist of Type II and Type III rifles and is, correctly, not stamped with proof or final inspection marks. The lock plate is roll-stamped with the Springfield eagle and shield motif in front of the hammer followed by "U.S./SPRINGFIELD/1873" in three lines. The top of the high arch breechblock is roll-stamped "MODEL/1873" above an eagle head and crossed arrows and "U.S.". The left side of the barrel is stamped with "V/P/Eagle Head" proof and inspection marks just ahead of the receiver. "50" has been carefully added to the range markings on the right side of the rear sight base. The buttplate heel is stamped "U.S" ahead of the top screw. The receiver is, correctly, not serial numbered. A monogram "CD" has been carefully hand carved in the left side of the stock between the lock plate screws. The rifle has a blued barrel, rear sight and trigger guard with color casehardened barrel band, receiver, breechblock, lock plate hammer and buttplate. The engraved stock tip is German silver. The straight grain walnut stock is oil finished. Springfield Armory manufactured the Officer's Model 1875 rifle in response to requests by serving officers for sporting versions of the standard service rifle that utilized the .45-70 cartridge. Springfield manufactured 477 Officer's Model 1875 rifles between 1875 and 1885. Approximately 125 Type I Officer's rifles were manufactured between 1875 and 1877.

Rating Definition:

Very good. Traces of the blue is present on the barrel and trigger guard with light to moderate handling wear. The blue finish has aged to a plum patina. The proof and inspection marks on the barrel are crisp. The case colors on the barrel band, receiver, breechblock, lock plate, hammer and other receiver components show handling wear and have faded to a silver-gray patina with scattered age discoloration. The buttplate has a dark patina with considerable age discoloration and some light pitting. The well executed scroll engraving on the casehardened components is sharp. The breechblock and lock plate markings are sharp. The cleaning rod ferrules retain about 30% of the nickel plated finish. The walnut stock is also in very good condition overall with moderate handling wear. The checkering on the bottom of the forearm shows wear while the checkering on the stock wrist is generally sharp. The stock has a dull patina. The action is crisp and tight and the set trigger functions well. This is a solid, original representative example of a U.S. Springfield Armory Type I Officer's Model 1875 rifle.

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