Re: U.S. Springfield Model 1884 Trapdoor
Darn shame if it was cut down! If it is an original carbine, it is a super find.
The Buffington rear sights are really good. IMO the best ever open sight for a military rifle. Capable of very fine target-shooting quality adjustment.
Trapdoors were often set up at the factory to be right on, (elevation wise) at approx 250 yards. Armies and militia units still practiced volley fire to some extent and were supposed to aim for the enemies' belt buckle. Anything closer than 250 yards would hit the abdomen and chest.
I have hit 9 out of ten 500 meter rams with mine, with cross sticks, at a BPCR competition at Shippensburg, but haven't been there in years.
The full length 1884, had what was called the ram rod bayonet. It was a slightly heavier duty steel ram rod with a chisel point, that could be fixed a few inches ahead of the fully retracted position. Imagine getting stabbed with a No 3 phillips screw driver cause that is what it looked like
There are many books and web forums about the trapdoor and it's several variations. Some are just about trapdoors and other s are about Black powder cartridge rifles.
If you load for it, with black powder, you won't get 70 grains of black powder into the case. The old balloon head cases could accommodate such loads, but not the modern solid head cases. There are about 20 different bullet weight and shape molds available, from a 190 grain bullet up to 600 grains. The official Gov't loads, were the 45-70 450 and the 45-70-500. The trapdoor didn't have much drop to the stock and a full load 500 grain bullet recoil will slap you some.
30 years ago, at Clark Brother's gun shop south of Warrenton Virginia, they sold original 1890's 45-70 Gov't ammo in bulk for $1.00 a pound. (about 12 cartridges to a pound)
They are fun to shoot. Don't load copper jacket bullets in it. They will swage the rifling right out of those soft steel barrels. The rifling is deep enough that pure lead works well. My load is 60 grains of 2fg, an over powder card, a grease cookie and a 500 grain original shaped bullet from an Ideal 457125 mold. Some trapdoors run a little large.
A few were made, or afterward reamed out to 45-90. A 45-70 black powder load will shoot just fine either way.
They are as addicting as muzzle loaders.