Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1078: Experimental Repeating Springfield Model 1873 Trapdoor Carbine

Auction Date: September 12, 2020

Incredibly Rare Jones Dakota Territory Attributed Experimental Repeating U.S. Springfield Model 1873 Trapdoor Carbine

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $8,500 - $16,000

Incredibly Rare Jones Dakota Territory Attributed Experimental Repeating U.S. Springfield Model 1873 Trapdoor Carbine

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: 1873
Type: Carbine
Gauge: 45-70
Barrel: 22 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1857
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 94
Class: Antique
Description:

This carbine was originally a U.S. Model 1873 Springfield trapdoor carbine and was converted in the period into a repeating carbine by installing a tubular magazine under the barrel and modifying the breech mechanisms so that opening and closing the breech also operates an elevator to ready the next shot. A switch in the "arch" of the breechblock allows the shooter to manually load single shots and then switch over to the magazine if necessary. The carbine has a blade front sight, standard rear sight, "MODEL/1873/eagle head/crossed arrows/US" on the breechblock, "R/117" in place of a normal serial number, "U.S./SPRINGFIELD/1873" and the spread wing eagle motif on the lock which has a three-click tumbler, no front lock screw or front trigger guard screw due to the magazine mechanism, sling ring on the left, and "US" marked buttplate. The design has been attributed to A. Sheridan Jones (first initial sometimes listed as "J" in records) of Menno, Dakota Territory, around the time of the 1882 rifle trials. He was born in Missouri in 1840, fought in the Civil War, moved to the Dakota Territory in 1872, served as the territorial auditor in 1874-76, was a member Dakota Territorial Council in 1885-86, served as superintendent of public instruction in 1885-1887, and died in 1893. The design he presented at the rifle trials appears to have been somewhat different and to have fed through the butt based on the details given in the "Annual Report of the Secretary of War, Volume 3" from the United States War Department.

Rating Definition:

Good with mostly brown patina, traces of blue and casehardened finish, stronger blue on the barrel band, mild oxidation/pitting, and general moderate wear. The stock is about good and has cracks and splits in the forend from the magazine tube, slight cracks in the butt, and general mild dings and scrapes. Mechanically fine. This is both a unique and historical firearm and would make an outstanding addition to the most comprehensive antique American martial arms collection.



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