Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1227: Prototype Springfield Armory Hammerless Trapdoor Rifle

Auction Date: September 11, 2021

Rare Experimental Prototype U.S. Springfield Armory Striker-Fired Trapdoor Rifle with Bayonet

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $7,500 - $13,000

Rare Experimental Prototype U.S. Springfield Armory Striker-Fired Trapdoor Rifle with Bayonet

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: Trapdoor
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 45-70 Government
Barrel: 32 5/8 inch round
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1060
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 178
Class: Antique

This striker-fired trapdoor rifle appears to have been manufactured at Springfield Armory, and is very likely the creation of Master Armorer Erskine S. Allin circa 1885-1890 as an attempted improvement on the primary issue U.S. Springfield Model 1884 Trapdoor then in military service. It features a spring-loaded striker-fired firing pin that cocks itself upon opening the trapdoor breechblock. The trigger interacts with a sear located on the underside of the breechblock. On top of the breechblock is a manual safety mechanism, which blocks the firing pin when engaged. The stock appears to originate from the same blank as the standard issue Trapdoor, without a section removed for fitting of a lock plate. The underside of the stock has a flat section that appears to be a mounting point for some sort of a magazine cartridge holder. The "V/P/eagle head" proofed barrel, blade front sight, cleaning rod, barrel bands, and "U.S." marked buttplate are all of the standard pattern found on a Model 1884 Trapdoor. The 1,200 yard windage adjustable rear sight is of it's own type. The inside left track of the receiver is marked with serial number "1". "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes a US socket bayonet, scabbard, US leather frog, Rock Island Arsenal leather sling, and wood tampion. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Very fine, retaining 60% plus original blue finish with some light thinning the length of the barrel and scattered light freckling. Stock is also very fine with some light dents and handling marks. Mechanically excellent. Included bayonet is excellent, scabbard is good with some mild pitting, and the frog is fine. A truly one-of-a-kind Trapdoor prototype rifle!

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