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    Member LeadSnowstorm's Avatar
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    New purchase - Model 1873

    Greetings all,

    I recently purchased my first trapdoor, an 1873 with SN 237815. It was very much an impulse purchase - found it online and got it for (hopefully) the reasonable price of $700 - and what little I know about trapdoors, I've only learned *after* the purchase!

    Specific questions - could a stock cartouche SWP/1883 be correct for this rifle? If I'm interpreting some online databases correctly, the serial should date to 1884.

    Also, when I received it, the rear sight was completely frozen, I think from a century's accumulation of crud, to the point that the sight gradations on the ladder were nearly completely obscured. Also, there seems to be a notch in the bottom part of the sight that fits over a...plunger of some sort? not sure...but that plunger seems frozen up as well. I got it loosened up a tad with some Kroil, but figured (discretion being the better part of valor) before I did anything else I'd do better to get some expert knowledge or advice on how to freshen up this old gun without messing it up.

    Buncha pics - let me know if any other photos would be helpful:




















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  4. #2
    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    "Specific questions - could a stock cartouche SWP/1883 be correct for this rifle? If I'm interpreting some online databases correctly, the serial should date to 1884"

    No Problem!

    According to Frasca & Hill, "The 45-70 Springfield" - a very authorative work - the designation on the receiver was only changed from 1873 to 1884 in fiscal year 1886.

    The number 237815, according to the same source, would put it in the 1st quarter of 1884. However, bearing in mind that the quoted "end of year" serial numbers are estimates related to calendar years, I wouldn't worry about it. Maybe someone can explain what exactly the fiscal year period was?

    Later: it appears that the US fiscal year runs from October to September of the following year. Since the fiscal year is designated according to the calendar year in which it ends, not when it begins (!), rifles made from October-December 1883 would have been attributed to fiscal year 1884.

    I would guess that in old records this may lead to some statistical confusion. Like I said, don't worry, it looks like a proper Trapdoor, even if the bean counters caused confusion with the calendar!
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 07-13-2019 at 06:03 PM.

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    Contributing Member usabaker's Avatar
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    Wow nice! I hope to have one of these someday. Thanks for putting up pictures.
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    Member LeadSnowstorm's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Chadwick View Post
    Later: it appears that the US fiscal year runs from October to September of the following year. Since the fiscal year is designated according to the calendar year in which it ends, not when it begins (!), rifles made from October-December 1883 would have been attributed to fiscal year 1884.

    I would guess that in old records this may lead to some statistical confusion. Like I said, don't worry, it looks like a proper Trapdoor, even if the bean counters caused confusion with the calendar!
    *Smacks head*

    Would you believe I had the same fiscal year vs. calendar year issue just a couple of weeks ago with my Kragicon? Clearly it didn’t really percolate into my brain. I can be kinda slow on the uptake sometimes. Thanks!

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Glad to be of help. Now stop worrying and get it to shoot!


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