This classic frontier sporting rifle was collected by famed western arms collector John Fox in Montana over 50 years ago and sold to the current consignor around 20 years ago. It is fine quality sporting rifle built by a talented gunsmith using a Model 1873 Trapdoor from 1875 manufactured prior to the famous Battle of the Little Bighorn to create an excellent frontiersman or rancher's version of a Springfield "Officer's Model." The barrel remains the original 22 inch length but the front sight blade has been replaced with a silver blade likely made from a coin and an under-rib has been installed. It correctly has no markings at the breech and is fitted with an early Model 1873 carbine rear sight. The action has the early "high-arch" breechblock with the early marking "MODEL/1873/eagle head/crossed arrows/US." The rifle also has the early trigger. The three-click tumbler lock's markings were removed. The hammer is also re-profiled and has the early 1st style square face and nicely curved spur. The saddle ring bar was removed creating two flush lock screw plates. The stock has been nicely modified to a half-stock, slimmed down to lighten the weight, re-profiled giving it a more sporting appearance, checkered at the wrist, and fitted with a pewter forend cap and brass buttplate and toe plate. A wooden pin to lighten the trigger is visible at the tail of the lock. Provenance: The John Fox Collection; Property of a Gentleman
Fine with lots of frontier character. The barrel 40% of the aged brown finish. The lock has attractive period case color patterns and gray and brown patina. The breechblock has mottled gray and brown patina. The iron furniture is mostly brown patina with some traces of original blue. The buttplate and toeplate have attractive aged patina. The stock is also fine and retains most of the varnish, raised grain, and checkering and has minor dings and scratches, a few tiny slivers absent, and a very attractive look overall. Mechanically excellent. The .45-70 Trapdoor became very popular in the West, and this is definitely one of those western artifacts that looks like it has a great story to tell.
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