H&R Officers Model Trapdoor Springfield Centennial
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Thread: H&R Officers Model Trapdoor Springfield Centennial

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Rainy part of Canada
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    575 times

    H&R Officers Model Trapdoor Springfield Centennial

    I have a chance to pick one of these up, are they any good??
    I have heard there is a problem with them springing open upon firing, any truth to this and what should I look for?
    Thanks in advance , Shorty
    Team Winchester # 79
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  2. #2
    Gun Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Between No Where and No Place, WA
    Member #
    5957 times
    I have an H&R Officer's Model. Believe I am the 3rd owner. Have not loaded Black Powder or lead bullets, just smokeless and jacketed and copper plated bullets.

    With the issue iron sights, my better groups were with the Remington 305 g HP and IMR 3031 or SR4759 -- cannot recall exactly which and would need to go through my previous years' targets to find out exactly. I only shoot from the bench due to a medical malady and found the rifle shoots better with the cleaning rod removed for bench shooting. Since the Remington 300 HP is just about unobtainium, I tried a few loads with the 350 g Berry Copper Plated Bullets FP. Have not done any real load development for that bullet, just tried to get a 100 yard sight setting. Plus the light is not the best this time of the year in WA for shooting iron sights.

    As for the rear sight, it does not have a threaded screw adjustment for elevation. You must loosen the eye cup and move it up/down. Problem: to adjust for wind, you also loosen the eye cup and move it right/left. Be very careful when making changes for range or wind. I leave it set for 100 yds., no wind. I could not see the copper/gold bead front sight and replaced it with a spirit level aperture from Lee Shaver. Have searched to no avail for a rear tang with a threaded screw elevation adjustment.

    As for the action "popping open", it can happen. Think that is why the previous owner sold it to me. Since I do not hot rod the rifle I 'nevva' gave it a thought. However, when I had the gunsmith (John Taylor, Taylor Machine Puyallup, WA) install the new front sight, I asked him 'bout it. He said it can happen, it is an "easy fix" as the cam set screw needs to be kept tight. Believe said he tightened the OEM screw then added another to prevent the OEM screw from backing out as well doing as something else. While the H&R has the 1884 design with a stronger breech, H&R took a manufacturing short cut on the cam. Did some Googling and found a thread on this issue: I'm looking for info on Trapdoor repro. - The Firing Line Forums

    I enjoy shooting the little carbine. Just wish my eye sight was better. If the price is right, the barrel and crown are not pitted, worn, wood is good, etc., consider making the deal. I think you will enjoy it. If I came across another officer's, or an infantry rifle, or the cavalry carbine, I would be sorely tempted if the price and condition were commensurate.

    Last edited by Ray Newman; 12-04-2016 at 05:58 PM. Reason: spellin' & grammar
    gunscrewguy likes this.
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  3. #3
    Marlin Fanatic
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    SE Ohio
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    44467 times
    My best buddy bought one of those back in the 80s. I remember it well because it caused us to have one of the few falling outs we
    ever had. He was not a hand loader and was one of those guys who could never accumulate more than 3 guns, he would never buy
    used. He got mad at me because I wouldn't let him shoot the heavy loads that I was using in a #1 Ruger. Anyway he was shooting
    Rem factory 405s, gun shot very well a 100yds, don't remember any issues with it coming open. Just remember in most loading
    manuels there is 3 levels of loads, Springfield is bottom rung. I know it is probably stronger steel than original, but still same design.
    I once had a original Trapdoor that I bought off my gunsmith. He had cut it down to carbine length, installed Williams sights & ramp
    refinished and reblued. Then he got stuck with it when customer wouldn't pick it up and pay his bill. I played with it a good bit, shot
    cast and mild loads. If I got a H&R I would be trying cast in it, makes a lot cheaper shooting.
    gunscrewguy likes this.
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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Wire Paladin - San Francisco
    Member #
    1852 times
    Sorry to get in late here. I have an H&R Officer's Model. Absolutely love it and love shooting it!! I've put a few smokeless loads with 405 gr. jacketed bullets thru it but shoot mostly "BP-esque*" with soft lead cast 500 gr. bullets. I load to replicate original loads. The 405 gr. doing mid 1300's fps. The 500 gr. mid 1200's. Have never had any issues of any kind with this gun. It is just a major kick in the butt to shoot. The boom and smoke just add to the enjoyment. The only nuisance is that the recoil does tend to eject the cleaning rod. I just take it out and set it next to me when shooting multiple consecutive rounds.

    *Not Holy Black. Black substitutes.


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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Member #
    10 times
    Hey guys, don't have an H&R trapdoor, have an 1884 that was made in 1886. Sometime after it was made it was turned into a sporting rifle and was taken care of extremely well. I purchased it from a very old gentleman who had received it down thru his family.
    He was given my name and phone number as I might be interested in buying it from him from a local gun shop I visit from time to time. The owner is all into modern stuff and really doesn't know or care to know anything about collectible fire arms. My good his bad.
    Anyway I talked to the old dude and arranged to go over to his place and look at it.
    I asked why he was selling and he told me all his relatives were gone and he was never married or had any kids so he needed the money and he wanted to know that it went to someone to take care of it. I ask him how old he was, he told me he was 96!!!
    Well I got over there and he got it out and handed it to me Well I was quite surprised as it looked brand new, it had been buffed out and re-blued and the stock refinished!!!! He could tell by the love on my face at the state of the finish on the rifle. He said he thought it would be worth more if he cleaned it up and buffed it out, then had a friend, who is a gunsmith reblue everything and he refinished the stock. I had $900.00 in my pocket, just in case, he looked at me and said well are you still interested I said well how much
    he said $350.00, I said $300.00?? Left with it. The bore is immaculate, I was told that the sporting rifles were only used for hunting so they were shot very little and kept very clean for when ever a VIP from another country was there to hunt buffalo, or a Washington politition. It really loves 38 gr of blackhorn with a Montana cast bullets .459 410gr lead bullet with w-w under the base, makes these pretty cloverleafs at 100 yards. The history of this rifle makes shooting and hunting with it just that much more.
    Oh one thing, I'm sure the H&R has a modern steel barrel on it, but originals like mine, the steel is way to soft to use jacketed bullets thru it, they will eat the rifling right out of it.
    Last edited by savagebrother; 10-16-2018 at 02:18 PM.
    lever30 likes this.

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