This is a very fine condition, probably unissued, and all original Springfield Armory Model 1884 Trapdoor Rifle. The serial number on this rifle is 369191, which places its date of manufacture to 1886. Springfield Armory produced only 34,162 service rifles in 1886. The Model 1884, which was the second model of the .45-70 trapdoor service rifles, was only manufactured at Springfield Armory from late 1886-1890.
The Barrel on this Rifle is in mint condition. The barrel is 32.60” long with a 0.730” barrel diameter at the muzzle. The barrel retains 99% of its original blue finish throughout. There is slight wear near the muzzle and on the top of the barrel between the barrel bands, but the balance exhibits the bright, polished blue finish. The left, rear side of the barrel has the serif “V” view proof stamp over the serif “P” firing proof stamp over the eagle head over the second serif “P” firing proof stamp, indicating proof firing with a special 80 grain cartridge of the assembled barrel, receiver and breech block. The top of the barrel has a serif “A” barrel inspector’s stamp and another, a serif “D” on the right side adjacent to the receiver. The bore of the rifle is in mint, unissued condition with a mirror finish and crisp rifling. This bore looks just like it did the day it was manufactured at Springfield in 1886. The chamber is also in mint condition and retains a mirror finish. The Breech Plug and Tang both retain 100% of the original color case-hardened finish. The Tang Screw is the correct single-slot type and is unmarred, retaining all of its original blued finish.
The Front Sight Stud remains tightly brazed to the barrel. The Front Sight Blade is the correct Fourth Type with rounded top rear that was used from August 1887 until the end of production. The Front Sight Blade is still tightly pinned into the stud, and it retains all of its original blue finish. The bottom o the barrel, just forward of the receiver, has a serif “Z” stamp, a serif “P” stamp and an “~” stamp.
The Rear Sight is the mint condition and correct Model 1884 Rifle Sight, also known as the Buffington Rear Sight. This particular sight is the Second Variation. The sight is graduated to 2,000 yards with the leaf marked in 25-yard increments from 200 to 1,400 yards on the right and in 50-yard increments from 15,00 to 2,000 yards on the left. The right, top of the leaf has the correct serif “R” for rifle stamp. The open “buckhorn” sight is on the slide, which was used for rolling fire set at 266 yards. The top of the slide has the second open sight, which is a “u” shaped aperture. The bottom of the arrow shaped opening at the bottom of the slide is the third “u” shaped open aperture. There are two closed apertures, one at the top and one at the bottom. Both arrow lines, (on the right for the right-side range markings; and the angled line on the left for the left-side range markings) are still crisply stamped. Both the original Windage Knob and Binding Knob are present and retain all of their original blued finish. The single-slot base screw is present and is unmarred. The binding knob works correctly with the slide at any elevation and the windage knob still crisply adjusts for left and right corrections. The rear sight is in mint condition and retains all of its original blued finish throughout.
The Lower Band is the mint condition and correct Model 1885 Lower Band with the dish at the top to accommodate the Model 1884 Rear Sight. The Band is correctly marked with the serif “U” stamp, and it still retains 99% of its original blued finish that remains bright. The Lower Band Spring retains 98% of its original blue finish. The Upper Band is the correct Model 1874 Rifle Upper Barrel Band with the larger “U” stamp, which was incorporated in 1879. The Band also retains the vast majority of its original blued finish with one ding/wear mark adjacent to the “U” stamp. The sling swivel and stacking swivel are present and both move freely, and both retain virtually all of their original blued finish. The Front Band Spring retains all of its original blued finish and both bands remain solidly on the stock.
The Breech Block is a mint condition Seventh Type that is crisply marked “U.S./MODEL/1884,” adjacent to the hinge point. The Breech Block retains 100% of its beautiful and original color case-hardened finish on both the top and bottom. The breech face is very clean.
The Cam Latch is the correct Third Type with the unground rivet properly exposed leaving the square-shanked rivet visible. The Cam Latch retains the vast majority of its original blue finish with wear noted on the thumb latch release portion. The Cam Latch works perfectly, and the breech block is very tight when in battery with no movement noticed. The original firing pin is present with a still sharp, pronounced striker end.
The Receiver is the correct .45-70 type with gas ports milled into both the left and right sides. The chamber area is in mint condition and retains all of its original dark oil finish with no firing wear noted. The rear of the Receiver has the full serial number “369191,” with no wear of the last digit, which is usually worn from operation, indicating this rifle was never issued. The Receiver retains all of its original dark oil finish on top and bottom with minor wear on the sharp points. The bottom of the receiver has a serif “V” stamp and a serif “T” stamp.
The Lock Plate is in mint condition and is the correct Third Type with the large shield on the eagle. Both the eagle and the serif “U.S./SPRINGFIELD” stampings remain crisply stamped. The lock plate face retains all of its original dark oil quenched finish. The Hammer is the correct Third Type with beveled lip. The cross hatching on the thumb piece is still crisply cut. The Hammer retains virtually all of its original oil case-hardened finish as does the Hammer Screw, which is the correct single slot type that is unmarred. The interior of the lock is also in mint condition. The Mainspring retains all of its original finish and remains strong. The Bridle, three-position Tumbler, Sear and Sear Spring all retain all of their original dark finish as do all three interior screws. The Tumbler has a serif “H” stamp, and the sear has a serif “Z” stamp.
The Trigger Guard is in mint condition and is the correct two-piece type used up until the Model 1888 Rifle with the single-piece design was adopted. The Trigger Guard Plate is the correct Model 1863 pattern with rounded pads, which was used almost exclusively on Model 1884 production. The Trigger Guard Bow is the correct Model 1863 pattern that is somewhat unique in that it was threaded for a screw, which is how the lower sling swivel is attached. The Trigger Guard Plate, Bow and Sling Swivel all retain 98% of their original blue finish, which was introduced on furniture at Springfield in 1885. There are only a few minor storage dings present. Both single-slot wood screws are present, and both retain all of their original finish with unmarred slots. The Trigger is the correct Second Type with longitudinal grooves and an angled tip that points to the bottom of the guard with cross-hatched grooves. The Trigger retains the majority of its original oil case-hardened finish. The trigger release is still crisp.
The Stock is in mint, antique condition and is its original Model 1873 Rifle Stock. On the left stock flat is the correct, clipped corner, boxed, script “SWP/1886,” cartouche of Springfield Master Armorer Samuel W. Porter, who held this position at Springfield from 1879-1894. The cartouche is as crisp as the day it was stamped. All of the interior mortises are also as crisp as the day they were made. The bottom of the stock wrist has the correct circle, script “P” firing proof stamp as well as a serif “S” stock maker’s stamp. The stock exhibits a few minor dings and scratches but there are no chips or cracks noted. The stock retains its original oil finish.
The Nose Cap is still solidly in place, and it retains virtually all of its bright and original blue finish. The cap screw is unmarred and is also in mint condition. The correct Model 1877 Rifle Butt Plate is present and is in fine condition. Overall, the butt plate retains 95% of its original bright blue finish with wear noted at the bend and towards the very bottom of the plate. The tang is stamped with the serif “U.S.” stamp. Both convex, single-slot butt plate screws are present, and both are in mint condition. The stock carries the correct Model 1878 Rifle Ramrod, Second Type, with cupped end. The ramrod retains 95% plus of the original blued finish on the exposed portion and still attaches securely when stowed. All of the original finger cannelures at the other end of the ramrod remain crisply machined. The ramrod is secured by the original spring-loaded ramrod latch. The spring retains all of its original blued finish, and the latch is correctly polished to the white.
This rifle is in remarkable condition for being over 135 years old and was undoubtedly never issued given its mint condition. This rifle is museum quality and is about as close as one can get to seeing how a rifle looked right off the production line at Springfield Armory in 1886. This rifle still functions perfectly.