Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 281: U.S. Springfield Model 1879 Trapdoor Rifle

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Rare U.S. Springfield Model 1879 Long Range Trapdoor Rifle with Desirable Bull Rear Sight

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,500 - $8,500

Rare U.S. Springfield Model 1879 Long Range Trapdoor Rifle with Desirable Bull Rear 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: 573
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 154
Class: Antique

This is one of approximately 183 Model 1879 Long Range Trapdoor rifles manufactured with special six-groove rifling and a buttplate identical to a Hotchkiss rifle. This rifle is one of approximately 127 total Long Range rifles (including the Model 1881s) fitted with Freeman R. Bull's windage adjustable buckhorn rear sight. A boxed script "SWP/1880" (Samuel W. Porter) inspection cartouche is marked on the left wrist. The Bull windage adjustable rear sight is graduated up to 1,200 yards on the ladder and is marked "R" on the left of the ladder and base. The left rear of the barrel is marked with "V/P/eagle head/P" proofs, and the top of the barrel at the breech with the letter "R" below what appears to be an upside down "F". 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 smooth trigger. Blue finish with casehardened breechblock and barrel tang, and oil finished walnut stock. A circled "P" proof is marked behind the trigger guard tang. The unique straight profile Hotchkiss buttplate has no "US" marking on the tang as normally found on standard issue Trapdoor rifles. "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes a period leather sling. Information on these long range rifles can be found on pages 94-102 of "The 45-70 Springfield" by Albert J. Frasca. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Very fine, retains 80% plus of the original blue finish and 70% plus of the original case colors with the balance having thinned to a smooth grey patina, primarily on the buttplate and breech block. The wood is also very fine with some scattered minor dings and scratches. Mechanically excellent.

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