Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1302: Springfield 1877 Trapdoor Rifle with Bull/Experimental Sights

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Rare U.S. Springfield Model 1877 Transitional Trapdoor Rifle with Desirable Bull Rear Sight and Experimental Tang Sight

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,000 - $7,500

Rare U.S. Springfield Model 1877 Transitional Trapdoor Rifle with Desirable Bull Rear Sight and Experimental Tang Sight

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: 1879
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 45-70 Government
Barrel: 32 5/8 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 628
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 142
Class: Antique

This example features standard lock and barrel marking, An upside down oval script "ESA/1878" (Erskine S. Allin) inspection cartouche is marked on the left of the stock wrist. It is fitted with a hooded blade front sight, Freeman R. Bull's windage adjustable Buckhorn rear sight graduated up to 1,100 yards on the ladder and marked "R" on the left of the base, and a period experimental elevation adjustable notch sight mounted to the left of the upper tang that runs all the way through the bottom of the stock and is graduated up to 900 yards and marked "500" at the bottom likely in reference to use with 500 grain bullets. This tang sight has not been witnessed on any other examples by this describer at the time of writing. The left rear of the barrel is marked with "V/P/eagle head" proofs. Three-groove rifling. The breechblock is marked "U.S./MODEL/1873" and the lock plate is marked with the eagle/shield motif and "U.S./SPRINGFIELD". Three-click tumbler and serrated trigger. Blue finish with casehardened breechblock and barrel tang, and oil finished walnut stock. "R.D." inspection initials ahead of a circled "P" proof is marked behind the trigger guard tang. "US" marked buttplate tang. The stock has a dished checkered thumb oval relief on top of the wrist and is fitted with a period checkered steel pistol grip. "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes a period leather sling. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Very fine, retaining 70% original blue finish with the muzzle and front sight hood turned to a smooth brown patina. The blued base of the rear sight has been refinished. 60% original case colors on the breech block with gray patina on the balance and some scattered freckling. Stock is fine with attractive raised grain, some scattered dents and scratches, a few minor chips ahead of the lock, a few minor chips at the toe, and a crisp cartouche. Mechanically excellent. Included sling is good with light cracking and a torn area.

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