1873 Trapdoor Serial Numbers

Serial Number 45 (Total quantity 477) One of small group bearing 1881 inspectors' mark A superior early production example; subsequently became the US Model 1875 Very fine plus - SOLD. This is an excellent example of a Type I Officer's Trapdoor Rifle that was manufactured by Springfield Armory between 1874 and 1881. Trapdoor Production Data for Models 1873, 1875, 1877, 1884 and 1888 Calendar Year Rifles Carbines Cadet Rifles Ramrod Bayonet Rifles Officer's Model 1875 Forager Shotgun ONLY New Arms Produced Observed Final Ser.No. 1873 5 1,942 0 0 0 0 1,947? 1874 22,397 10,873 1 0 0 0 35,218? 1875 17,393 7,211 499 0 10 0 60,321? 1876 11,369 2 2,517 0 115 0.

(Redirected from Springfield Model 1884)
Springfield model 1884
TypeBreech-loading rifle
Place of originUnited States
Service history
Used byUnited States Army
WarsIndian Wars, Spanish–American War, Philippine–American War
Production history
ManufacturerSpringfield Armory
Length51.875 in (1,317.6 mm)
Barrel length32.625 in (828.7 mm)
ActionHinged breechblock
Rate of fireApprox. 10 rounds a minute
Muzzle velocity1,315 feet per second (401 m/s)

The Springfield model 1884 was one of the 'Trapdoor Springfield' rifles. It was an improved replacement for the previous longarm of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Springfield model 1873.


The model 1884 traces its roots back to the design of the Springfield 1873. The model 1884 incorporated a significant number of improvements that had been made between 1878 and 1879. It also featured a serrated trigger that had been incorporated into the Springfield rifle design in 1883.

1873 Trapdoor Serial Numbers
The Buffington rear sight raised on a model 1884
Springfield model 1873 trapdoor serial numbers
Model 1884 lock work

The most dramatic change to the rifle design, which is often considered to be the identifying feature of the model 1884, was a new rear sight which had been designed by Lieutenant Colonel Adelbert R. Buffington of the U.S. Army Ordnance Department. This sight however was not perfected until 1885.

The principal feature of this new sight was a rack and pinion style windage adjustment. Unlike previous sights, the base was not used for any position other than point blank. The raised leaf had graduations from 200 to 1400 yards. A new barrel band was also designed to accommodate this new sight so that it could lie flat in the point blank position.[1]

Marksmen generally favored the new sight, but general troops were less enthusiastic about it and often considered it to be an annoyance.

The model 1884 was also produced in a carbine version. It was found that the rear sight could be easily damaged when removing the rifle from the carbine boot. The rear barrel band was therefore modified in 1890 to include a rear sight protector.

A round-rod bayonet model was also produced, designated the Model 1888. This, like the Springfield model 1880, was an attempt to combine the cleaning rod and bayonet into a single unit. The Model 1888 included an improved retaining mechanism, as the Model 1880's retaining mechanism had proved to be problematic.

See also[edit]


  1. ^'Uniforms, arms, and equipment: the U.S. Army on the Western Frontier, 1880-1892' By Douglas C. McChristian
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Similar to the carbines carried by General Custer's troopers,this carbine is a single shot arm. Although there is no officialdesignation for the Model 1879, certain features, such as aslightly different breech from those used on earlier models, anotably thicker and wider receiver, as well as its serial number,identify this carbine as one produced between 1879 and 1885. SN131991

1873 Springfield Trapdoor Carbine Serial Numbers

U.S./Springfield Armory Model 1873 Trapdoor' Carbine(single-shot/ breech-loading/ black powder/ cartridgeammunition)
During the Civil War, General George A. Custer led U.S. Cavalry,armed with Spencer repeating carbines, in many charges againstConfederate forces. After the war, however, the Army selected newguns. Strangely, single-shot Springfield 'trapdoors' prevailed.Custer, who by then was fighting Natives, was continuing to enjoysuccess with his Spencers. He objected to the single-shot guns, buthis argument did not prevail. Later, armed with 'trapdoors,'Custer, though out-numbered, led his troops in an attack at theLittle Big Horn against Natives armed with repeaters. He lost bothhis command and his life. This specimen attests to Army logic ofthat period, which thought repeaters to be wasteful of ammunition.Losses such as Custer's eventually convinced U.S. military thinkersthat repeating arms should be adopted.'

The town of Springfield, Massachusetts, located on the banks ofthe Connecticut River, was settled in 1636 by emigrants fromRoxbury. The town was nearly destroyed during King Philip's War in1675, but it was quickly rebuilt. As early as 1776, ContinentalArmy colonel and future Secretary of War Henry Knox recommended theestablishment of public laboratories, magazines, arsenals andfoundries in secure locations for the production and repair ofarms, ammunition, and other ordnance stores.
Both George Washington and the Continental Congress concurred withthis recommendation, under which an ordnance depot was establishedat Springfield in 1777. The town's access to raw materials, sourcesof water power, and transportation, as well as its inland locationwhich provided security against seaborne attack, made Springfieldan ideal location. Over the following year, buildings were rentedor erected for use as barracks and storehouses. In addition toordnance stores, the depot at Springfield also handled otheraspects of army supply, including equipment, uniforms, tents, food,and fuel.
The end of the War for Independence also brought a decline inmilitary activities at Springfield. In 1794, an Act of Congressdirected that national armories be established for the fabricationof small arms. President Washington selected Springfield andHarpers Ferry, which was then located in Virginia, as the sites forthese facilities. In addition to the advantages that contributed tothe presence of a Revolutionary War depot in the town, many skilledarmory workers were still living nearby. The government acquirednearly 300 acres and constructed a dam to furnish power to thearmory complex, as well as shops, offices, and storehouses. Thefirst permanent structure to be constructed on the site was a brickpowder magazine, which was torn down in 1842. Additional buildingshave been constructed as necessary over the yearssince.
Production of arms at Springfield began in 1795, with 245 musketsmanufactured during that year, and approximately 80,000 were turnedout before production was discontinued in 1814. The Model 1795muskets were the first standardized U.S. martial arms to beproduced and were patterned after the French Model 1763 Charlevillemusket. Harpers Ferry Armory also produced a Model 1795 musket, butthese were distinctly different from those manufactured atSpringfield. The first known Springfield Armory-marked specimenswere manufactured in 1799, and feature dated lockplates which bearan eagle stamp and the word 'Springfield.' The Model 1816 was firststandardized U.S. martial arm to be manufactured at bothSpringfield and Harpers Ferry.
These arms enjoyed the longest production run in U.S. history,lasting until 1844, with nearly 700,000 muskets turned out duringthis period. Both armories also produced the Model 1842 percussionmusket and Model 1855 percussion rifle-musket. These arms aresignificant in that the Model 1842 was the last U.S. regulation .69caliber smoothbore, as well as the first to be made at botharmories with completely interchangeable parts, while the Model1855 rifle-musket was the first rifle-musket to be produced by theUnited States, the first to be produced in the new regulation .58caliber, and the last arm to be produced at both governmentarmories.
In addition to commonly produced arms, each armory was the soleproducer of certain other designs, such as the Model 1855percussion pistol-carbine and various musketoons and cadet musketsthat were produced solely at Springfield, or the Model 1803flintlock rifle, and the Model 1841 percussion, or 'Mississippi'rifles, both of which were produced only at Harpers Ferry. Model1861 and 1863 rifle-muskets, which were based on a modification ofthe earlier Model 1855, were produced in great quantitiesthroughout the Civil War. These were the last muzzle loading, papercartridge percussion arms to be produced by the U.S. Erskine S.Allin, Springfield's Master Armorer, designed a method forconverting many of these into metallic cartridge breech loaders.This conversion consisted of a modification to the breech to permitthe installation of a 'trap door' breechblock with a self-containedfiring pin. The famous .45-70 government caliber 'trap door'Springfield rifles and carbines of the Plains Indian Wars werebased on Allin's work, and these accounted for much of the Armory'sproduction during the 1870s and 1880s.
Springfield Armory was also involved in improving the state of theart in military rifle design, and toward this end,limited-production long arms including the Ward-Burton, LeeVertical Action, Hotchkiss, and Chaffee-Reese rifles weremanufactured there. These efforts culminated in the 1890s with theArmy's adoption of the smokeless powder Krag-Jorgensen bolt-actionrepeating rifle as its standard longarm. These rifles, as well ascarbine versions, were manufactured at the Armory through the turnof the century. The Spanish-American War proved the superiority ofthe German-designed Mauser, and the .30-'06 caliber U.S. Model 1903bolt-action rifle, which was built at Springfield Armory and RockIsland Arsenal under a license from Mauser, replaced theKrag-Jorgensen as the Army's new standard rifle.

1873 Trapdoor Serial Numbers

Over one million were manufactured before production wasdiscontinued in 1941, and many of these, as well as rebuilt orcontract model Ô03s, saw action in both World Wars. Prior to theFirst World War, Springfield also manufactured the M1911 .45caliber semi-automatic pistol under license from Colt, andthroughout this period, Armory workers continued to experimentwith, produce, test, and maintain various other ordnance materielincluding rifles, pistols, machine guns, and relatedequipment.
During the interwar years, John Garand, a Canadian-born designengineer and Springfield Armory employee, worked on a design for anew gas-operated semi-automatic rifle. After overcoming severalproblems, both with his designs and with Army brass, the U.S. Rifle.30 caliber M1 was adopted by the Army in 1936. The Marine Corpsfollowed suit, and during the Second World War, over three andone-half million M1s were produced at Springfield. An additional500,000 were manufactured by Winchester Repeating Arms Co. Thisrifle, which General George S. Patton called, 'the greatest battleimplement ever devised,' gave American troops a significant edgeover their German and Japanese enemies, most of whom were stillequipped with bolt-action arms.
After the war, Springfield ceased manufacture of the M1 and turnedits efforts to the overhaul and long-term storage of these rifles.The outbreak of war in Korea in 1950 caused a resumption inproduction at the Armory, as well as by International Harvester andHarrington & Richardson. The return of peace brought a secondand final discontinuation of M1 production. Springfield Armory'scontinuing efforts at advancing military rifle designs yielded aseries of improvements to the M1, culminating in production of the7.62mm NATO caliber selective-fire M14 rifle, which replaced theGarand in the Army's inventory.
In 1968, the Ordnance Department ceased operations at SpringfieldArmory. The Armory grounds, buildings, and museum, with itsextensive arms and accouterments collection, have becomeSpringfield Armory National Historic Site and are now maintained bythe National Park Service.