Page 146 - Auction84-Book2
P. 146

 Extremely Rare Experimental U.S. Springfield Trapdoor Rifles from the George Moller Collection
LOT 1307
Rare Experimental U.S. Springfield Model 1888 “Positive Cam”
Trapdoor Rifle - Serial no. 415600, 45-70 Government cal., 32 5/8 inch round bbl., blue/casehardened finish, walnut stock. This is a fine example of a very rare, one of only 100, Springfield Model 1888 “Positive Cam” trapdoor rifles that was manufactured in 1888. The “Positive Cam” rifle was an attempt
 Collector’s Fact
This exceptionally rare U.S. Springfield Model 1888 Positive Cam Trapdoor rifle is 1 of only 100 produced.
     by Springfield Armory to modify the Springfield trapdoor breechblock to eliminate the occasional failure of the locking cam mechanism. The “Positive Cam” rifles featured a modified breechblock marked “U.S./MODEL/1888”. The breechblock has the screw that retains the firing pin located on
the right side behind the thumb piece rather than on the underside. The “Positive Cam” itself is part of the breech locking device. All known examples of these rifles fall in the 400,000 to 416,000 serial number
range and the stocks of all the rifles have the “SWP/1888” inspection cartouche. This rifle is in the correct
serial number range and has the correct configuration breechblock, correct breechblock markings, receiver relief cut on the right side for cam shaft clearance and “SWP/1888” cartouche. The rifle has the standard blade front and Buffington rear sights, and a slotted button head cleaning rod. The lock and barrel have standard Springfield Armory markings and proofs, along with an “A” on top of the barrel at the breech. There is a discreet “GDM”, George D. Moller Collection mark in the toe of the stock. These rifles are one of the rarest variations of the Springfield trapdoor rifles and were issued to the San Antonio Arsenal for testing. Most of them were subsequently issued to active units in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona where they saw active service. Includes a U.S. M1873 socket bayonet, scabbard with “US” marked leather frog, period leather sling, and wood tampion. CONDITION: Fine, retains 70% plus of the faded original blue finish overall and 50% of the original case colors with the balance having thinned to mostly a smooth grey patina, primarily at the muzzle and around the breech. The wood is also fine with some minor dings and scratches scattered throughout. Mechanically excellent. The bayonet, scabbard, and frog are all very fine with
finish, walnut stock. This example falls within the 325000-400000 serial number range of the 1,000 experimental carbines with 24 inch barrels manufactured by Springfield Armory that collectors have termed the “Model 1886” although it has some features that do not conform with the features found in the Model 1886 carbines. It differs in that it is wearing a later Model 1888 trigger guard and Model 1888 ramrod bayonet, and it does not have the “wraparound” front sling swivel or buttplate compartment as typically seen on Model 1886s. The Buffington rear sight is marked “XC” (experimental carbine) as typically seen on Model 1886s. This carbine may have been configured this way circa 1889-1893 in an effort to try to develop a “cavalry length” weapon that could also support the use of a bayonet, as evidenced by experiments with some of the rare Model 1882 carbines that preceded this example. It has the standard Springfield lock markings, breechblock marked “U.S./MODEL/1884”, and standard Springfield “V/P/eagle head” proofs along with “A” and “XC” marked on the breech end of the barrel. The barrel is secured by two bands. The left wrist of the stock is marked with a faint boxed script “SWP/1883” (Samuel W. Porter) inspection cartouche. “W/B” and circled “P” are marked on the bottom of the wrist behind the trigger guard. “US” marked buttplate tang. “GDM” (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes a period leather sling. CONDITION: Very good, retains 30% of the faded original blue finish and 50% of the original case colors with the balance having thinned to mostly a smooth grey patina and some scattered minor dings. The front half of the barrel exhibits some abrasive marks and have been browned at some point. The wood is also very good with a few hairline cracks near the buttplate, some scattered minor dings and chips throughout, and a legible cartouche. Mechanically excellent. Provenance: The George Moller Collection. Estimate: 3,000 - 5,000
minimal wear.
Provenance: The George Moller Collection.
 LOT 1308
Experimental U.S. Springfield Model 1886/88
Style Trapdoor Carbine with Ramrod Bayonet - Serial no.
364842, 45-70 Government cal., 24 1/4 inch round bbl., blue/casehardened
Estimate: 6,500 - 11,000
    Collector’s Fact
  Approximately only 1,000 experimental U.S. Springfield Model 1886 Trapdoor carbines were manufactured.

   144   145   146   147   148