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SPRINGFIELD MODEL 1875 TRAPDOOR OFFICER’S RIFLE – THE RARE TYPE II – AN EXCELLENT SPECIMEN WITH THE RARE SPRINGFIELD ARMORY-MANUFACTURED ROUND BASE TANG SIGHT:  Manufactured at the Springfield Armory, these 1875 Officer’s Model Rifles are considered by many to be the crown jewel of the Indian War era arms.  The list of officers who purchased these rifles reads as a list of “Who’s Who” of the Indian Wars, including many of the prominent names recorded in the history of the American West.   

This rifle features an 1873 dated breechblock, and as indicated in the production chart shown on page 175 of The .45-70 Springfield, Book II by Frasca, this rifle was one of those forty rifles manufactured in the last half of calendar year 1876, a desirable early example.   

Of special note, the rifle is fitted with the original Springfield Armory manufactured round base tang sight – one that is rarely seen.  This style of tang sight was produced in limited numbers and is described as being found on very few of these Type II rifles, with only 3 or 4 of the round based sights being known to exist out of a total production of just over 400 rifles.   

This Officer’s model has all the correct features to include the folding Beech globe front sight, the Model 1877 rear sight with the 50 yard marking on the base, the correct stampings on the breech block, the single set trigger, the detachable walnut pistol grip, and the original cleaning rod with both of the proper nickel plated tips intact.   

In excellent condition overall, it is mechanically crisp, to include the fully functional set trigger, and the bore is pristine with excellent rifling.  The metal surfaces are smooth with no pitting.  The barrel’s blued finish is fading, but it still definitely blue, and not turned to a plum color.  The case colors on the lock plate, breech block, butt plate and barrel band have a pleasant and consistent nickel colored patina.   

The stock is excellent with no cracks or other damage save for some very minor wear where the toe of the stock meets the bottom of the butt plate, which is hardly noticeable, but mentioned here for a complete and accurate description.  The stock retains its original finish, the checkering is clear and sharp, and a crisp circled P is present below the lower trigger guard tang. 

The 1875 Officer’s Model Rifle presents in a collection today as it did one hundred thirty five years ago on the wall of an officer’s sparsely decorated quarters along the parade field of a frontier post – it was evidence of accomplishment, stature, and prestige.  A reward for career achievements, and yes, admittedly a luxury and perhaps even a little overstated opulence.  During the Indian Wars era, an officer had the option at any time of purchasing the standard issue rifle or carbine, and once that regulation firearm was his personal property, he could have it altered or enhanced in any way he chose to suit his tastes.  And certainly, some did just that.  But some 400 chose to acquire the very best Springfield Armory had to offer, and with it came a certain level of stature in their peer group, and the satisfaction that comes with owning such a fine firearm.      SOLD


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