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SSShooter
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H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Feb 1st, 2011 at 9:14am
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Am looking for a rifle to shoot my club's our 2011 BPCR 600yd events: 
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and am wondering about the H&R Trapdoor rifles, which were made in the '70s. Are they a decent rifle? There are several availabe on the internet and I've always thought it would be nice to own a Trapdoor.
  

Glenn - CPA 44 1/2 w/22LR, 38-40RH & 40-65WCF
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John in PA
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #1 - Feb 1st, 2011 at 9:26am
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Frankly, an original trapdoor rifle with buffington sights in fine mechanical and bore condition would be a better choice if you're wanting a trapdoor.  The H&R Officer's Model is a bit too light, rear sight is mounted on the wood rather than the action, and has no graduations for windage or elevation.  You could get around that with a vernier caliper checking adjustments, but might be annoying.  The H&R's are nice to own and shoot, but maybe not for match purposes.
  

John Wells
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #2 - Feb 1st, 2011 at 10:07am
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My only problem with an original Trapdoor is knowing that I bought a good one. Can you recommend a 'Trapdoor knowledgeable' person who would check out and give a 'clean bill-of-health' to an original if I purchased? Could that be you?
  

Glenn - CPA 44 1/2 w/22LR, 38-40RH & 40-65WCF
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John in PA
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #3 - Feb 1st, 2011 at 12:20pm
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I'm knowledgeable about trapdoors, plus have both of Frasca's books, and the Poyer and Reisch book to refer to if needed. Also more than willing to help out a friend.  Spence Wolf's book on shooting trapdoors probably gives the best info on shooting original military loads in the trapdoors and details on what to look for in a shooter. 

The issue I guess will be one of geography. Are you near Altoona/Hollidaysburg PA?  Otherwise, it might be a challenge getting together.
  

John Wells
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nobearsyet
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #4 - Feb 1st, 2011 at 1:46pm
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There is always the option the option of buying a receiver, block, lock, etc. and putting together a "parts gun" with a new manufactured barrel.  I am going this route with one I'm building up for BPCR in the not so distant future and can tell you vtigunparts.com can sell you a pedersoli lock and set trigger assembly for not a ton of money, and it'll go into a treebone pistolgrip stock that shoots very well offhand.

I might add that a Sharps action with DST can be had from Dixie gun works rather inexpensively and would make a superb BPCR silhouette gun.
  

I'm for any sport that burns powder, I just look down a different set of barrels than most folks.  __Elmer Keith
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #5 - Feb 1st, 2011 at 3:52pm
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What is Treebone asking for a 90% stock in standard grade wood?
And, yes....... I certainly would not mind ending up with something like this.
  

Glenn - CPA 44 1/2 w/22LR, 38-40RH & 40-65WCF
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #6 - Feb 1st, 2011 at 4:02pm
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I had one 20 years ago and used it in 200 yard offhand matches. Recoil was the problem, as finished the H&R officers models are 7 lb guns stocked for offhand shooting only and have a rear sight that is no much use for match shooting.

Stick with Origional Trapdoors is my advice.

Boats
  
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screwloosetc
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #7 - Feb 1st, 2011 at 4:52pm
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I have an H & R Officers model and I use a lace on recoil pad and have replaced the rear sight with a more positive one. If you limit yourselfe to BP and cast bullets I would go for an original. I think the H & R will hold up better with the modern powders and bullets.  If I were capable my gun would be competitive. It is capable of as much acuracy as anything else I have in BP. I realy like the treebone stock pattern. Have you looked at any of the repro highwalls?
Tom
  
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sportslube
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #8 - Feb 1st, 2011 at 5:23pm
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those early H& R trapdoors looked nice but have seen a couple them that upon firing they self ejected the spent case.  very unnerving to see that big piece of metal fly open in front of your eyes
bill
  
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #9 - Feb 1st, 2011 at 5:36pm
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I have to disagree with screwloose. The originals are way better made than the repros.
  

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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #10 - Feb 1st, 2011 at 7:06pm
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Mine worked good no problems with the the lock up you often hear about but overall the gun was not real shootable. Orgional Officers models were built to be hunting rifles. One shot every so often. Shoot a 40 shot match with one you will wish you had a full rifle Origional.

Buffington sight is way better than the 10 dollar sight on the H&R's  I see one unfired on Cherrys sight 1000 bucks. 600 buys a real nice Trapdoor all day long

Boats
  
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #11 - Feb 1st, 2011 at 7:32pm
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Thanks for all the input. I've purchased an original 1884 in reasonable condition for $650, which seems to be about the going rate on these. Agreement is I can return for any reason after being checked out by a gunsmith. I can stand shooting the 45-70 for the two matches we hae this season. I'll also try to find a good complete Trapdoor action in the meantime so can start on my Treebone style build. Will build it in 38-55, 38-56 or 40-65 for 600yd. Any opinions? That gun sure is good looking.
  

Glenn - CPA 44 1/2 w/22LR, 38-40RH & 40-65WCF
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John in PA
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #12 - Feb 1st, 2011 at 7:58pm
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That "Treebone-style" is actually a Marksman's Rifle (or copy).  It is the Holy Grail of trapdoors.  From Frasca's website:


"Marksman  Rifle
NRA Very Good = $35,000
NRA Excellent = $50,000

Only nine Marksman rifles were produced as prizes for the Army marksmanship program. However, the winners preferred medals rather than rifles, so the Marksman rifle was discontinued after the first group of nine were awarded.

The arm is heavily engraved and features a peep sight and hooded/ bubbled front sight. The rear barrel sight is stamped, "M.R." to denote it as a marksman calibrated rear sight. The rifle is the only trapdoor rifle that Springfield made with an integral pistol grip in the burl walnut stock. The silver plate at the base of the pistol grip was to be engraved with the name of the winner.

Today these arms are very hard to find. Most reside in museums or old collections. Because of their rarity, they are quite valuable."



The amazing thing to me is that they were the Second Prize in the matches, not First, and the shooters who won them wished they had a medal instead!!!  I would love to know the whereabouts of an original just to be able to handle it (and drool a bit, maybe!)  
  

John Wells
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #13 - Feb 1st, 2011 at 9:39pm
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For 600yd I'd stick with either a 38-55, 45-70 or 50-70.  Don't underestimate the Pedersolli parts, those set triggers are nice.  And not having ot cut a noriginal tumbler is a plus.
  

I'm for any sport that burns powder, I just look down a different set of barrels than most folks.  __Elmer Keith
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mwhite49
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #14 - Feb 2nd, 2011 at 2:14am
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C Sharps will sell you a double ste triiger assembly for about 200, and way better quality than the Italian crap. Plus with the Euro being up those parts from overthere are getting pricey.
Mike
  
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