Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 37: U.S. Springfield Model 1873 Trapdoor Sporting Rifle

Auction Date: December 4, 2020

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $1,500 - $2,250

U.S. Springfield Model 1873 Trapdoor Sporting Rifle

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: 1873
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 45-70
Barrel: 24 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: brown
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 2939
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 34
Class: Antique
Description:

This distinctive rifle began its life as a standard Model 1873 Trapdoor and was converted in the period for use as a hunting/sporting rifle. Similar rifles are known to have been made by Gemmer in St. Louis and Spangenberg & Co. of Tombstone, Arizona Territory, for sale to clients for use in the West, and modified Springfields are known to have been popular with buffalo hunters. "Wild Bill" Hickock and "Buffalo Bill" Cody are two legendary western figures known to have used these rifles. This rifle's barrel has a dovetailed "Rocky Mountain" blade front sight and dovetailed "U-notch" rear sight and has the partial marking "E RIFLE/EPORT CONN" visible at the breech. The bottom of the barrel is fitted with two dovetailed wiping rod pipes. The serial number and model markings were removed from the breech, but the block has a high arch and is marked "C" and "63" inside. The lock has the U.S. seal and "U.S./SPRINGFIELD" markings and has an added sear screw. The stock has a pewter forend cap similar to those common on half-stock percussion rifles and Sharps sporting rifles and a checkered steel buttplate.

Rating Definition:

Fine "frontier issued" condition overall with a dark brown blend overall with some patches of oxidation, general moderate wear appropriate for a rifle used on the frontier over a century ago, and overall an authentic Western look. The stock similarly is fine and has some minor chips and dents from actual use, typical scrapes and dings, and smooth oiled finish. Mechanically excellent. Provenance: The John Fox Collection.



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