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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) H&R Trapdoor Rifle (Read 27671 times)
trapdoor Dick
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #15 - Feb 2nd, 2011 at 12:29pm
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Told ya I was back. The original H&R and the newer Italian repo's have a lot of issues as  far as I am concerned. The primary one being the auto-eject feaure some, not all, but many have. An original breech block (trapdoor) can be made to fit,cuz I've done it and put the pix here a while ago. I am totally in agreement with an original. Unless the bore is totaly erroded, most will shoot very well. I'll help anybody I can. 

Dick
  

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb. - Benjamin Franklin
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SSShooter
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #16 - Feb 2nd, 2011 at 3:18pm
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trapdoor Dick wrote on Feb 2nd, 2011 at 12:29pm:
I'll help anybody I can. 
Dick
Can you hook me up with a nice, complete 1884 rifle with an excellent bore for not much money? Would really appreciate your doing so. PM me if you have something to offer. I would also be interested in a complete action without a barrel or stock, if you have a nice one of those.
  

Glenn - CPA 44 1/2 w/22LR, 38-40RH & 40-65WCF
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mwhite49
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #17 - Feb 2nd, 2011 at 5:41pm
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I agree with Dick, the H & R are not all that well made. Several years ago several folks did a study ont trapdoor strengths and were really suprised. They rebarrled one in severalk calibers, including the 30-40. the 30-06, 270, 243, 38-55 all the way up to the mag calibers. The barrel finaly flew off with a 300 H & H if I remember correctly. The door stayed closed on all others. It is a simple design but strong. When the barrel left I think it took the threads off the barrel not the reciever.
Mike
  
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screwloosetc
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #18 - Feb 2nd, 2011 at 6:30pm
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Mike
I'm not buying the threads on the barrel failing and coming out of the receiver if it were tight to begin with. Had a gunsmith friend years ago who welded Arisaka barrels shut to show the strength of the jap receivers and the barrels always split. I think the receiver has to fail for the barrel to come loose. I agree the TD receivers are stronger than believed Im just not buying stripped threads as a failure. I read that thread also it sounded like a story to me. I also think modern heat treated aloys are stronger than originals.
Tom
  
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trapdoor Dick
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #19 - Feb 2nd, 2011 at 8:49pm
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Mikes comment on the barel tests is 100% correct. I have the test details.  In some other tests. it took twice the load that grenaded a RB and injured the shooter.  to seperate the breech block from the receiver on a TD. Only shooter damage was a pants change. Guys, there's a lot of myths out there about TD's strength, but just for a reminder, the army actually made some in 30-40 Krag, when they were short on Krag's. Never was a problem and these were smokeless loads. 

Oh, on the 1884 action. Yes I've got a few, but these are kinda reserved for custom projects, maybe another Scheutzen. Give Red Dougherty a call at 260-833-2315. I get a LOT of parts from him and he is first rate and VERY fair with pricing. Telll him I sent you. Might even help a little.

Dick
  

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb. - Benjamin Franklin
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screwloosetc
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #20 - Feb 2nd, 2011 at 9:25pm
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Dick 
Do you have the details of the barrel threads stripping and no damage to the receiver. I still find this hard to believe.
Tom
  
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mwhite49
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #21 - Feb 3rd, 2011 at 1:11am
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Hi, to understand why a barrel would loose it threads before the reciever is a metalurgy probelm. Which steel might you suppose is a  higher tensile strength, the barrel steel or a heat treated reciever? I would say the reciever every time. Now I'll show my age, I actualy talked to a person involved in the test I mentioned. It really suprised me until he explained about the metal hardness differance between the 2 types of steel, 1 heat treated and one plain. If you think along those lines I hope you can see why this is so. And yes Dick is Dead on. A roller will eat you alive if overloaded. I have seen the postmortem pictures of a dude that lost his brain in overloading a RB and it is not pretty.  I have seen others severly injured from there own stupity or a mechanical failure which most but not all can be traced to bad hand loads, or improper heat treating. But to this day I have never ever witnessed a failure that involved a Real Springfiled Armory Trapdoor. Even the old 50-70 models are safe. The last batch of the model 1888 trapdoors were some of the finest rifles ever produced and of real nice fit and finish with all of the refinements that were ever incorperated into the Trapdoor rifle.
The first trapdoors that were the Allen conversions are not even close to the later quality that was achived. If you ever get a chance read just how the armory tested these things, things such as load a primed casing, dump in 300 grain of FFFG or more and load several slugs ontop of this mess and pull the trigger with a lanyard from a distance. In some trails for different designs they actual loaded them up to the point of failure if they could get them to fail. Several models refused to fail including the Peabody sidehammer- My favorite and the trapdoor Springtfield.  Sorry if I rattled on here a bit much
Mike
  
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SSShooter
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #22 - Feb 3rd, 2011 at 8:30am
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A question about Gemmer Hawken. Or, is it more correct to say a Gemmer built in the Hawken style? What is the history of Gemmer and Hawken? Anyone know?
  

Glenn - CPA 44 1/2 w/22LR, 38-40RH & 40-65WCF
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Chuckster
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #23 - Feb 4th, 2011 at 10:17pm
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SSS,
John Baird's book on the Hawken Rifle has a detailed explanation. As Sam Hawken was retiring in the 1860's, after several hoops, Gemmer acquired the shop and rights to the Hawken name. Muzzle loaders were going out, Breech loaders coming in. Gemmer combined the Hawken name and style with the new breech loaders to stay in business. He was successful and an excellent gunsmith, stayed in business until about 1915. Dick probably has more information.
Chuck
  
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Trap4570
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #24 - Feb 5th, 2011 at 8:36am
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The article I have is a trapdoor loaded with 40 grains of unique with a 500 grain bullet.  The right side of the receiver cracked - the shell case had to be hammered out - the bullet melted it's way out the barrel.  'Guns Illustrated, 28th Edition, 1996'  Other tests were conducted in that article as well.  They blew up a few rolling blocks along the way.  The other article I can't cite, but a guy named Wayne conducted tests of his own - I'll try to get it attached here.  The trapdoor handled everything from a 30-40 until a 300 H&H barrel was screwed on the action.  The barrel pulled it's threads and scooted down range.  I do know that square threads take some expertise to do correctly and it may be that the barrel was threaded in a hasty fashion and the cutting tool was not properly ground - but that is speculation on my part.  What I did find interesting in the article is two separate comments.  One is that duplex loads causes a scrubbing action on the cases which would lead one to think case life is shortened.  The more critical comment is black powder being used with excessive air space in the shell.  It can bulge the chamber.  The only way to check for this is a chamber casting.  Over the years I've had a few older rifles and pistols brought in to see if they are safe to shoot and chamber castings is one mandatory part of the check.  The one I remember the most is a single action Colt second generation .45 that was used by a packing house for 20 some odd years.  The chambers were egg shaped and casting was the only way to detect it.  I'm sure the pistol saw far more service than Colt ever dreamed of.  I think I'll defer any further comments and try to post the articles under a new post. 
  
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SSShooter
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #25 - Feb 5th, 2011 at 8:57am
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Don't think I'll be worrying too much about the barrel flying out or the receiver cracking (hopefully). Will be building mine as a 38-56 and shooting 365gr or lighter bullets at ~1500fps.
  

Glenn - CPA 44 1/2 w/22LR, 38-40RH & 40-65WCF
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nobearsyet
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #26 - Feb 5th, 2011 at 9:33am
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Trap4570, I do believe Wayne frequents this board, maybe he'll chime in.
  

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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trapdoor Dick
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #27 - Feb 5th, 2011 at 9:42am
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OK guys. A lot of good and correct info here. You've been doing your homework. First comment.....Who in their right mind, or maybe not, suggested a load of 40grs of Unique behind a 500 grain bullet. That's not a load, thats a bomb. I have a Unique load I use for a 300gr bullet that is very accurate, and has a medium impact on your shoulder. 
13 GRAINS. More than that gets uncomfortable. For a 405, 12 gets the same results. Unique is WAY too fast burning to put behind a 500, in any thing. 

John Phillip Gemmer. Info on history shared here is basically correct . Gemmer made rifles on about any military arms he could get. Sharps, RB's Spencer's, TD,s Snyders and a version of lifting breech of his own design. All that I have seen use the barrels they came with ie: stock military or commercial. I'm sure he made some customs, but it was not practical to rebarrel every one. There are only two known TD's out there. One is in the Missouri Historical Society in St. Loius. The museum rifle, contrary to Mr. Bairds drawing and description in his second book, was built on an 1876 Cadet action. It has a conventional Hawken lock, vice Springfield, the stock barrel, vice octagon, furniture blue, not brown. I have examined and photographed this rifle. The museum curator says this is the only TD Gemmer they have ever had. After building a couple basrd on Mr. Bairds information, you can imagine what I felt when I first saw this rifle. I have been told that the one in private collection mimics this one, but I have not personally seen it to confirm. I'm running out of space for my ratchet jawing here, but a Gemmer is, as far as I'm concerned, for the sake of description is a "Gemmer/whatever action is used." The multiple barrel test description is accurate, I do have a copy of the original write-up, and the Shooting Times article too. Will share these later if you want.

Dick
  

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb. - Benjamin Franklin
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rustyrelx
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #28 - Feb 5th, 2011 at 9:59am
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SSShooter: I built a rifle from parts that looks just like the pictured one you put up minus the tang sight. I accumulated all the parts, engraved no less and bought a Treebone stock. I built mine to be a hunting rifle and with the set trigger is it ever accurate. I tried to post pix but mine were too big. Thanks for posting the one you did as its identical to mine.      I am pleased that I used a better grade of wood as it stands out very well. Thanks Treebone.     Don   rustyrelx
« Last Edit: Feb 5th, 2011 at 10:10am by rustyrelx »  
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SSShooter
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Re: H&R Trapdoor Rifle
Reply #29 - Feb 5th, 2011 at 10:23am
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rustyrelx - exactly what I'm thinking of building with a 30" barrel, Soule rear and Lyman front. Should be a fun project.

Next question is............... have been offered a complete 1884 TD action, including the 2-piece trigger guard in very good condition (no rust or pitting and strong stampings - no barrel, sights or wood) for $415. Is that a reasonable price for such an animal?
  

Glenn - CPA 44 1/2 w/22LR, 38-40RH & 40-65WCF
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