Image Lot Price Description


RARE SPRINGFIELD MODEL 1873 TRAPDOOR RIFLE WITH METCALFE EXPERIMENTAL CARTRIDGE BLOCK ATTACHMENT. SN 63522. Cal. 45-70. Usual configuration with 32-5/8″ bbl, barleycorn front sight/bayonet lug and 1,200 yard musket rear sight. Top front of the receiver is stamped “MASS”. Breech block has the standard “MODEL / 1873 / eagle head / US” markings and the lockplate has the standard “1873” dated marking. Right side of the stock, forward of the lockplate, has the Metcalfe cartridge block bracket inletted into the wood. This device utilizes a pre-loaded 8 or 10-rd wooden block which is secured by a small lever on the base of the device giving the shooter access to the cartridges for quick reloading. Invented by Lt. Henry Metcalfe between 1873 & 1876, he produced 100 of the devices for the Model 1870 rifles and 1,008 for the Model 1873 rifles. After the test trials in 1876 it appears that most of the special Metcalfe parts were removed and either destroyed or disposed of as surplus. Many of those surplus devices later appeared on the market retroactively installed on rifles which is not the case here. Close examination of the recess in the stock, under the device, discloses a patina consistent with the condition of the lockplate cutout. According to Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms only 1,008 Trapdoor rifles were equipped with this device, most of which were destroyed after testing. Original examples are extraordinarily rare and seldom encountered today. Accompanied by one orig 8-rd Metcalfe wooden cartridge block. CONDITION: Rifle is fine with the bbl showing mostly a mottled blue/brown patina; breech block has mostly faded case colors; lockplate & hammer retain strong orig blue. Stock is sound with crisp cartouches, a few light nicks & scratches and retains most of its orig oil finish. Metcalf device base & cartridge block are very fine. Mechanics are crisp, very bright shiny bore. 4-47740 JR270 (3,500-5,000)

Auction: Firearms - Spring 2013
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.