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Gard72977
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1884 Trapdoor. Shoot it or save it
Jan 13th, 2018 at 8:36pm
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I have a nice 1884 Trapdoor. It was made in 1889. There is nothing rare about this gun. Im at a delima about shooting it. The gun is very tight and obviously not fired very much.

Should I shoot it or keep it locked up in the safe?

« Last Edit: Jan 13th, 2018 at 8:45pm by Gard72977 »  
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Gard72977
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Re: 1884 Trapdoor. Shoot it or save it
Reply #1 - Jan 13th, 2018 at 8:43pm
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Here is a better pic of the lock

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« Last Edit: Jan 13th, 2018 at 8:51pm by Gard72977 »  
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calledflyer
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Re: 1884 Trapdoor. Shoot it or save it
Reply #2 - Jan 13th, 2018 at 8:48pm
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I had one just as nice, shot pretty good. Traded it for a Colt revolver that I wanted more. Should have kept the Sprgfld.
As long as you don't go overboard what's the harm?
  
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Gard72977
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Re: 1884 Trapdoor. Shoot it or save it
Reply #3 - Jan 13th, 2018 at 9:36pm
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I guess I just really want it to be alright to shoot it.
  
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beltfed
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Re: 1884 Trapdoor. Shoot it or save it
Reply #4 - Jan 13th, 2018 at 9:43pm
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I have shot TDs mostly with BP LOADS, but also
CAREFULLY with low pressure smokeless loads for years.
Does not hurt them a bit.
Much fun to shoot, and they shoot Well.
I mostly use the Lyman 500 gr  457125 "Government bullet"
Unsized. The TDs often have larger bore/groove diameter
up to 0.462", so, as usual get big enough bullet to fit if its hard cast. Otherwise classical  20+1 Lead tin that will bump up to groove dia

beltfed/arnie
  
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Schuetzenmiester
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Re: 1884 Trapdoor. Shoot it or save it
Reply #5 - Jan 14th, 2018 at 12:54am
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It will be OK to shoot it.  I have one like that that still has the cartouche. They like to get pout in the fresh air once in a while  Cool
  

"some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence
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ballardhepburnmich
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Re: 1884 Trapdoor. Shoot it or save it
Reply #6 - Jan 14th, 2018 at 7:41am
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By all means shoot it. If you are sensible with your loads and treat your gun with respect it will do no harm.
Lee
  
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Joe_S
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Re: 1884 Trapdoor. Shoot it or save it
Reply #7 - Jan 14th, 2018 at 10:11am
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I see no reason why you should not shoot it unless it is in such pristine condition with all the casehardening, etc, that shooting will put a lot of wear on it.
Perfectly safe to shoot with mild smokeless powder loads, Accurate Arms 5744 and IMR 4759 are good powders to work with. Shot thousands of rounds through my trapdoors with smokeless. Just make sure the reloading data is safe for trapdoors.
Joe S.
  
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coljimmy
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Re: 1884 Trapdoor. Shoot it or save it
Reply #8 - Jan 14th, 2018 at 8:42pm
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I believe that the original military bullet was about 15-1, but for old guns, especially as cast, softer is better.  20-1 sounds good to me.  I would shoot it, just don't use it for a pickup gun.

James
  
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John Boy
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Re: 1884 Trapdoor. Shoot it or save it
Reply #9 - Jan 14th, 2018 at 9:26pm
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Gard - the rifle  deserves to be taken to the range instead of hiding it in a safe. Reloads in black powder are a joy to be shot and will not harm the rifle in any way.  Trust me ...
I have an 1873 Springfield, about 90% plus condition, and shoot it several times each year with 405gr and 500gr bullets as it was designed for.  What makes it even more fun is the Buffington or ladder sights are graduated in inches so just put the sights on the yards you want and the groups are there.  I enjoy shooting mine at 1000yds.
Can a Springfield be accurate at long distances?  You bet they can... .45-70 at Two Miles: The Sandy Hook Tests of 1879 - (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

If you need reloading data, go to the bottom of this website - (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
  

Regards
John
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SSShooter
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Re: 1884 Trapdoor. Shoot it or save it
Reply #10 - Jan 19th, 2018 at 8:58pm
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Looks like shooter to me. 500gr Saeco bullet over 65gr of 1 1/2F Swiss will get you out to 600yd with no problem. Shoot it and enjoy it.

Edit: Just spoke to the shooter (Deadeye Bly on this forum) who did all the fancy TD shooting in GA this past Oct. He shot a 281/300 (broke nat'l record) including a new record at 300yd and 2-day agg record, as well. He said his load at all distances was the BACO 459535 bullet (535gr) cut to .462" by BACO over 60 grains of 1 1/2F Swiss powder with 0.050" of compression.

BTW - one of the TD competitors lives in Hattiesburg if you would like to be put in touch with him. He won the TD match in 2016.
« Last Edit: Jan 20th, 2018 at 6:31pm by SSShooter »  

Glenn
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Ranch13
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Re: 1884 Trapdoor. Shoot it or save it
Reply #11 - Jan 22nd, 2018 at 6:18pm
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70 grs. of 2f black, with a .030 fiber wad, compress the powder enough to seat one of the copies of the govt bullet to the driving band, and watch the old girl come alive. The elevation graduations on that Buffinton sight will be amazingly close.
Enjoy the heck out of it.
  
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