Trapdoor ........... perhaps

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mdeland
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Trapdoor ........... perhaps

Post by mdeland » Sat Feb 13, 2021 11:23 pm

Looked at a hooky booed trap door today with a pretty good barrel but cut off stock , poorly replaced tang to trigger guard screw with a replaced front sight. I think it is worth about 700.00 as is but the guy is asking 1100.00. I asked if the head space has been checked and the owner doesn't know. I think I'll drive back up to Palmer tomorrow after sleeping on it and take my head space gauges an bore light to check it out. It does have a good Buffington rear sight and what is left of the stock car-touches look authentic. I can easily make a duplicate front sight and tang screw but may have to set the barrel back if the head space is off.
It is a model 74 but I think was made in 1877 from what a friend tells me. I think I will offer 700.00 and if the head space if off and I can show him perhaps he will be more reasonable. I'm reasonably sure it will be on the copious side of safe head space and will need a set back.
Sure was fun to get back to a good, well attended gun show today!

Woody
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Re: Trapdoor ........... perhaps

Post by Woody » Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:52 am

Mike,

From your description, that rifle ain't worth anything except for parts. $200 maybe.

Woody
Richard A. Wood
If you are surrounded. You are in a target rich environment.

mdeland
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Re: Trapdoor ........... perhaps

Post by mdeland » Sun Feb 14, 2021 6:05 am

Thanks Woody I was hoping you would chime in with some good advice as to value. I have seen some complete guns with fair bores up here usually going for around 1 grand. Buffington sights complete off a gun will go for about 125-150 last I saw.
All the prices I saw at the gun show seemed insane to me. One ole 43 Spanish roller rifle in decent but not pristine shape was 1200.00!
Mostly I just want a decent shooter and will probably cut back the barrel to carbine length (26 inches or so) If I can get the price down.

beltfed
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Re: Trapdoor ........... perhaps

Post by beltfed » Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:29 am

Mike,
Al Frasca/Trapdoorcollectors.com
had barrelled actions with excellent bores for $245. But "Sold"
And Buffington sights for $110
Hope this helps. I sure would not pay $700 for that chopped up rifle you are looking at
beltfed/arnie

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Luke
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Re: Trapdoor ........... perhaps

Post by Luke » Sun Feb 14, 2021 9:18 am

$300 for a good barreled action, another 100 for the Buffington, the rest is worthless. I picked up a rifle last year that someone had cut down to 20", an OLD cutdown with a wheat penny for a front sight. Guy was good, had reshaped the stock to a short rifle configuration with the barrel bands and end cap reinstalled. 1877 ramped sight. Payed $300 for it. Looks like one of the experimental short rifles in the Waite and Ernst book.

I'm not saying it's not possible, but I've never seen bad headspace on a trapdoor. Compressing the block that much either cracks it or blows the action straight up. If the cam is good and the hinge is good, It should be just fine.
Limber Up!

mdeland
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Re: Trapdoor ........... perhaps

Post by mdeland » Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:39 pm

OK guys thanks for the help on value! He indicated he picked the gun up at an estate sale so may have paid more than it was worth as well . I don't think he was purposely trying to rip any one off but was just ignorant of value like me.
I am taking my head space gauges with me to check this and a bore light. I doubt he will be talked down to 300.00 from his asking price of 1100.00 so will most likely have to pass on it.
Great opportunity to gain some knowledge though so all in all a win! :lol:

Clark Badgett
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Re: Trapdoor ........... perhaps

Post by Clark Badgett » Sun Feb 14, 2021 3:46 pm

I picked up an old chopped M1866 some time back. Cut back long ago. They removed 10" off the barrel and cut the stock back to half stock. Whoever did this sanded all the wood, to the point the butt plate is ill fitting and the stamps on the stock are gone. The oddest part is they did not put a new sight on it. When I bought it I thought it had been made into a shotgun, like you sometimes see old military guns done. Cleaned the barrel and found it still has good rifling and looks decent at that. Gauged the bore at exactly .500". Lock is excellent. Just set it up in the mill and gut the slot for the front sight, yesterday, now I just need to carefully hand fit it, then test fire it from a safe distance. If everything goes well, I'll restock it properly at some point.

John Bly
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Re: Trapdoor ........... perhaps

Post by John Bly » Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:29 pm

Yes, it sounds too high for what it is. While it may not exactly be a parts gun it is certainly lacking. I paid $650 for my last shooter purchase about 7 or 8 years ago but prices have gone up. I would expect you could get a decent shooter for $850-$1000, collector piece will be $500 more and maybe then some. Bore condition is everything. Take your borescope and look at the breech end of the barrel. Sometimes they look good from the muzzle but there is pitting in front of the chamber. Other things can be improved or swapped out for better parts. With over 500,000 made parts are out there.
"Perfection consists not so much in doing extraordinary things as in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well"

ndnchf
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Re: Trapdoor ........... perhaps

Post by ndnchf » Sun Feb 14, 2021 5:26 pm

Mdeland - Sent you a pm.
Never trust a man who wears both suspenders AND a belt.

ndnchf
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Re: Trapdoor ........... perhaps

Post by ndnchf » Sun Feb 14, 2021 5:26 pm

Mdeland - Sent you a pm.
Never trust a man who wears both suspenders AND a belt.

mdeland
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Re: Trapdoor ........... perhaps

Post by mdeland » Sun Feb 14, 2021 10:48 pm

Well I went back and looked it over again after talking with another friend I met at the gun show. I decided to heed you guys advice and passed on the gun. The friend said he had several trapdoors and would be willing to sell me one so I'm going to take a look at it next Saturday at our monthly muzzle loader match. He's going to let me take it home and shoot it before making up my mind if I want it or not. Thanks for the advice fellas. I do better when I go home , get some educated opinions and sleep on things before jumping into one of these deals.

mdeland
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Re: Trapdoor ........... perhaps

Post by mdeland » Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:02 pm

Well I didn't shoot for beans yesterday with my flint SMR .45cal but I did pick up a Trapdoor model 79 Cadet rifle with Buffington sight. It has the 29.5 inch barrel and is in good rated as "Good" condition. I got to see a target it shot and was a clover leaf at 25 yards so it may have some potential for a Clang and bang gun. I have a 45 cal 405 grain flat point mold from RCBS so that should be a good match for this gun I'm thinking. I think I'll start out with a load of 10 grain of Unique and then some straight black and perhaps light duplex loads.
Trigger pull is six lbs but that can be fixed. The bore is an even .450 , the breech looks very clean and the head space is tight. I need to slug the groove diameter.
Pretty cool little rifle , can't wait to shoot her!

mdeland
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Re: Trapdoor ........... perhaps

Post by mdeland » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:51 pm

What is the pitch in these standard 3 groove trapdoor barrels? I'm hoping my 500 grain Government bullet will shoot with these low velocity 10 grain Unique loads I'm wanting to try. Turned out after making a 100 last night the 405 grain RCBS bullet is only .452 in diameter. So much for assuming it would be at least .457.

mdeland
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Re: Trapdoor ........... perhaps

Post by mdeland » Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:56 am

I found the pitch for standard 3 groove Cadet rifles is 22 , on line. Looks like I need a smaller bullet as the Gov't bullet from Lyman I have drops at 530 grains. I loaded up 50 with 10 grains of unique and a cork wad but don't expect much as it probably won't be stable at low velocity and a rather slow barrel pitch rate.
Time to make another bullet cavity in one of the sub caliber mold blocks I have.

mdeland
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Re: Trapdoor ........... perhaps

Post by mdeland » Wed Feb 24, 2021 2:26 am

I also found some pictures of single set triggers made on what looks like the same factory trigger guard ,that peeked my interest. Have any of you trapdoor guys had set triggers on your guns?
I'll have to see what DeHaas had to write about it.

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