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  1. #41
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    I have always heard that a heavier bullet will normally have a higher POI, at least in handguns. But I haven't experimented with it either.
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  2. #42
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    I received the book "Trapdoor Springfield" today that I purchased from MO member gunscrewguy. After looking through it--I verified what I suspected--this rifle is probably a Bannerman special. A rifle reconstituted by a company that sold surplus military items back in the early 1900s. This is a rifle made up of surplus parts--a fully functional firearm made up of odds and ends from junked Trapdoors. My 1878 rifle has a 1882 era ramrod and also a late 1870s Trapdoor carbine rear sight--not the one made for the longer rifle model. That is OK by me! I am having fun with this old timer!
    Last edited by Ret_Eng; 07-10-2019 at 05:13 AM.
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    No reason to be down in the jaws. Bannerman sold a lot of surplus rifles that were parts guns. They had a good reputation as far as selling functional rifles. In the day you couldn't get away with selling junk like they do now. They had no collector value but even that has changed. A Trapdoor is a collector's item in today's world even a Bannerman. If you have a good solid shooter you are ahead of the game.
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  5. #44
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    Looks like 14 grs of Unique with the 405 gr boolit will be the winner. The 3 shot grouping is the best by far from my old 1878 Trapdoor. This grouping was at 50 yards and I had a heck of a time seeing the ultra-thin front sight blade.
    20190715_154622_V2.jpg
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  6. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
    No reason to be down in the jaws. Bannerman sold a lot of surplus rifles that were parts guns. They had a good reputation as far as selling functional rifles. In the day you couldn't get away with selling junk like they do now. They had no collector value but even that has changed. A Trapdoor is a collector's item in today's world even a Bannerman. If you have a good solid shooter you are ahead of the game.
    Seriously! The proof is in the targets! If you like the rifle that is all that matters.
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  7. #46
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    How about some Trailboss loads? I would think that they would come closer to filling the case without being an overload.
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  8. #47
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    I settled on a 15 gr load of Unique early last fall. Using that load with a 405 gr boolit--I could hit a 6 inch hanging metal disc target at 100 meters. This old Trapdoor is one amazing rifle.
    Last edited by Ret_Eng; 01-18-2020 at 09:07 AM.
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  9. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ret_Eng View Post
    Did some more digging--looks like a 405 gr bullet was the original loading but that gave way to a 500 gr bullet. I wonder if the POI/POA offset with the 405 gr bullet at close range was the reason behind the switch?
    I always loved my trapdoors. They are a ton of fun to shoot. I noticed that you're rear sight is of the M73 variety. If the sight is marked up to 1200 yards it is the carbine version. The rifle versions were only marked up to 1100 yards. (I know.. only). The M73 Rifle sight is calibrated for the 405 grain 45-70 pill at 1350 fps. If your rifle was indeed manufactured in 1878 and nobody bubba'd with the front sight, the 405 grain projectile is what the gun was tuned for. The carbine sight is calibrated for a 405 grain bullet at 1100 fps.


    The 45-70-500 loading was tuned for the Model 1884 Trapdoor Rifle. Unbubba'd 1884 models can be identified by the year stamp on the breach block and will wear a buffington rear sight.

    I've read Spencer Wolf's book quite a few times and if you really want to learn the ins and outs of the rifle I highly recommend that you get it. I think the website is 45-70book.com. If memory serves me, Spencer says that the Trapdoor is a reverse "jump" rifle. Reductions in powder weight below the original 70 grains normally results in the rifle printing higher. I'm not sure why this happens, but I've experienced it several times playing with mine.

    I've had good luck with Accurate 5744 as it fills the cartridge case well, prevents double charges and isn't position sensitive.

    If you really want to turn heads at the range, get yourself some Goex Fg or FFg black powder and stuff that under the 405 grain pill. Flame literally shoots 5 feet out the 32" barrel when you touch one off.

    Good luck with the rifle and let me know if you have any questions.
    Last edited by Washington1331; 01-28-2020 at 01:35 PM.
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  10. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Washington1331 View Post
    I always loved my trapdoors. They are a ton of fun to shoot. I noticed that you're rear sight is of the M73 variety. If the sight is marked up to 1200 yards it is the carbine version. The rifle versions were only marked up to 1100 yards. (I know.. only). The M73 Rifle sight is calibrated for the 400 grain 45-70 pill at 1350 fps. If your rifle was indeed manufactured in 1878 and nobody bubba'd with the front sight, the 405 grain projectile is what the gun was tuned for. The carbine sight is calibrated for a 405 grain bullet at 1100 fps.


    The 45-70-500 loading was tuned for the Model 1884 Trapdoor Rifle. Unbubba'd 1884 models can be identified by the year stamp on the breach block and will wear a buffington rear sight.

    I've read Spencer Wolf's book quite a few times and if you really want to learn the ins and outs of the rifle I highly recommend that you get it. I think the website is 45-70book.com. If memory serves me, Spencer says that the Trapdoor is a reverse "jump" rifle. Reductions in powder weight below the original 70 grains normally results in the rifle printing higher. I'm not sure why this happens, but I've experienced it several times playing with mine.

    I've had good luck with Accurate 5744 as it fills the cartridge case well, prevents double charges and isn't position sensitive.

    If you really want to turn heads at the range, get yourself some Goex Fg or FFg black powder and stuff that under the 405 grain pill. Flame literally shoots 5 feet out the 32" barrel when you touch one off.

    Good luck with the rifle and let me know if you have any questions.
    My rifle does indeed have the carbine rear sight with the C stamped onto it and the further range numbers milled off. It also has the later model ramrod so I think my Trapdoor could be a Bannerman parts rifle originally sold in the early 1900s. Or--it could be a Bubba job done in someones backyard over the years. It does shoot pretty decent---so I don't have any qualms that it isn't all original.
    Last edited by Ret_Eng; 01-28-2020 at 12:49 PM.
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  11. #50
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    Purchased my first Springfield Trapdoor

    I'm not sure if you got a Bannerman rifle. The mix match of parts can be indicative of either a Bannerman Rifle or someone's bubba job. If the barrel is not a 3 groove barrel, can can be a sign of a Bannerman job. Some of their rifles sported 5 groove barrels.

    The carbine rear sight with the range graduations ground off... that's got me. Normally you don't see that unless the front sight has been modified to be dead on at a desired range. Assuming that you're throwing them down range at 1350 FPS and 10 inches high at 50 yards... zero is somewhere around 220 yards. That's a weird place for bubba to set a zero.

    I'm glad it groups well for you. If you're interested in getting the correct replacement for the rear sight, you can find them at Trapdoorcollector.com under the classified section. Personally, I'd throw an M79 rifle sight on there to eliminate a good portion of your Kentucky windage issues. You'll still be shooting high at 50 yards, but no where near 10 inches. If you do decide to replace the rear sight, measure your front sight height from the top of the lug. You might need a replacement front sight blade as well. I'll look up what the OEM height is once I get to my reference material if you're interested.

    Here's a picture of my trapdoor collection sans the Bannerman Carbine. M1888 Ramrod bayonet on top (1891 Manufacture), M1873 Middle (1879 Manufacture) and M1868 bottom (1869 Manufacture).
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