Page 148 - Auction84-Book2
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      LOT 1313
Rare Documented U.S. Springfield Model 1879 Long Range Trapdoor Rifle with Desirable Bull Rear Sight and Springfield Research Service Letter - Serial
no. 114229, 45-70 Government cal., 32 5/8 inch round bbl., blue/casehardened finish, walnut stock. This is one of only 33 total manufactured Model 1879 Long Range Trapdoor rifles manufactured in the year 1879 with six-groove rifling and a buttplate identical to a Hotchkiss rifle. This rifle is one of 127 total Long Range rifles (including the Model 1881s) fitted with Freeman R. Bull’s windage adjustable buckhorn rear sight. Included Springfield Research Service letter from Frank Mallory states, “Pursuant to your request for information on Springfield cal. .45 rifle serial no. 114229,
please be advised that the records of the U.S. Ordnance Dept. indicate that this arm is one of 183 Long Range rifles made in 1879 and 1881. Rifle no. 114229 is one of 33 made in 1879. It is believed that rifle no. 114229 was either used
or exhibited at the Creedmoor national rifle matches in 1879. A letter dated Oct. 20, 1879, from Col. Joseph C. Audenried
[scanned copy included] requested permission to purchase this rifle; however, the Commander of Springfield Armory declined to sell it, stating that there were only four of these
special rifles on hand at the Armory and all were needed for experimental purposes. There is no information on subsequent use or disposal of this rifle.” A boxed script “SWP/1879” (Samuel W. Porter) inspection cartouche is marked on the left wrist. 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”. 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 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. CONDITION: Exceptionally fine, retaining 90% original blue finish with some light muzzle wear and some areas of light freckling. Retains 70% original case colors, strongest on the barrel tang, with gray patina on the balance. The middle barrel band is refinished. Stock is fine as lightly sanded and re-oiled with some light scratches and dents, a chip at the toe, and
  Collector’s Fact
One of only 33 U.S. Springfield Model 1879 Long Range Trapdoor Rifles produced in 1879 with six-groove rifling a Hotchkiss buttplate.
a defined cartouche. Mechanically excellent.
Provenance: The George Moller Collection.
Estimate: 6,500 - 11,000
LOT 1314
    Unique U.S. Springfield Model 1880/82 Experimental Trapdoor Rifle with Ramrod Bayonet - Serial no. 187796, 45-70 Government cal., 32 5/8 inch round bbl., blue/casehardened finish, walnut stock. This rifle presents itself as an anomaly in having a triangular sliding ramrod bayonet in the form of the rare Model 1882 experimental rifles now with square locking holes as opposed to round holes on the Model 1880 that precedes it and with no projecting ears on the sides of the bayonet retaining spring, and it does not have the friction fit breech block found in the Model 1882. The serial number of this rifle places it inside the accepted Model 1879 range of 100000-280000, after the 1,001 Model 1880 experimental ramrod rifles in the 154000-158000 range, but before the 52 Model 1882 experimental short rifles in the accepted 197000-199000 range. The serial number “187796” has a star marked to the right of it, which is typically attributed to rifles that have gone through an arsenal rebuild. This was likely built as a one-off experimental trial piece with the improved bayonet system. Initials “JG” (possibly John Greer, Captain of Ordnance) marked on the left of the rear barrel band. “U.S./MODEL/1873” marked low arch breech block. Faint boxed script “SWP/1881” (Samuel W. Porter) inspection cartouche on the left of the stock. “GDM” (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Model 1880 buttplate with compartment containing a Model 1879 combination tool and shell extractor tool. Includes leather sling. CONDITION: Very good, retaining 50% arsenal refurbished blue finish on the barrel with mottled brown patina on the balance and areas of light surface corrosion, traces of original case colors in protected areas with mild spotting on top of the breech block. Stock is also very good as sanded and re-oiled with scattered scratches and dents. Mechanically excellent. A truly unique Springfield Trapdoor rifle that would make a fine addition to any advanced U.S. Military collection! Provenance: The George Moller Collection. Estimate: 4,500 - 7,000

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