Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Rifle's Story

 Back when Dad was a kid (he was born in 1924), his father operated a furniture store in downtown Miamisburg. In the basement of the old building were two items leaning against the wall. He and a friend were told to each pick one. Dad chose the rifle (I forget what the other item was).

 All these years (close to 80), the rifle went with Dad wherever he moved. We're on our fourth house. So, too, the rifle. And in all those years, Dad never was to learn a thing about the rifle. We surmise it's Civil War era; certainly it's been modified; probably it has little actual value beyond a conversation piece. About all we know for sure about it is that it is a Springfield.

 I measured the length of the gun - tip of the muzzle to bottom of the butt - and I show 56.5". The barrel itself is a smooth-bore. It's inside diameter appears to be 9/16" and the outside diameter 11/16".

 Above is the sole identification that I can find on the rifle.

 Above is a wider view of the same area showing the firing mechanism. The large bolt, top right, seems very suspect to me. Surely the rifle was not manufactured in this way?

 Here's a top view of that same part.

 This is a top view of the gun-sight. I also question whether this was an original part ... but perhaps. The metal seems identical to other parts.

 And here's a close up of the trigger.
 The rifle is made of a dark wood (though it could simply be stained a dark color). I'd guess walnut. The metal parts of the gun appear to be painted black.

 Anyone have any idea what this rifle is? An approximation of its age? I'd welcome any suggestions.

Note: I got a response within an hour and this appears to be a Springfield "Trapdoor" Rifle. Now that I know where to look for the date, I find it pretty well covered in paint but I can read the "18". The rifle length is the give-away. Only in 1865 were these rifles 56" long. To read more, click here or here.

1 comment:

  1. Bill,
    There are a couple Springfield Rifel websites with photo's of each model.This was thier first bolt action attempt, maybe the 1870 Model? Think it made Custers Last Stand, The troops didn't like it due to jamming in battle,