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Trapdoor Springfield Update

After yesterday’s bleg, I read some various advice given on rust removal, including this excellent post by Carteach. I decided to start off simple at first. I disassembled the rifle using the instructions found here. I wanted to get all the metal separated from the wood. I removed the near 140 year old sling from the wood as well. I started simply with just oil and a cloth (and no abrasives like steel wool). After about an hour’s worth of work, it’s starting to look quite nice:

Top of the barrel:

From 1873 Trapdoor Springfield

The underside of the barrel that was touching the stock:

From 1873 Trapdoor Springfield

Under the barrel band:

From 1873 Trapdoor Springfield

Starting to look pretty good. I figure a few more hours on the barrel and then I’ll look at cleaning the wood with the instructions provided here for wood care.

11 Responses to “Trapdoor Springfield Update”

  1. Robert Says:

    Wait until you fire it. You won’t believe that folks used to shoot at each other with these things.

  2. The Duck Says:

    If you have any bad spots you would want to clean up Brass Wool works very well, (Brownells has it)

  3. Ray Walters Says:

    Boating supply stores tend to carry bronze wool, as well.

  4. Nylarthotep Says:

    Looks like you have a very nice piece of history. Turned out better than most I’ve seen.

    You probably won’t get much more out of it as that pretty much looks like their normal finish. No doubt you can find lots of examples on the Intertube to compare it too.

  5. Fiftycal Says:

    And for gods sake don’t take “steel wool” to it. The finish is authentic. If you want a wall hanger, buy a kit gun.

  6. aeronathan Says:

    Love those guns. College buddy of mine had one that his father gave him. My friend cleaned it up and even did some electrolytic rust removal (converting the rust back into steel) after which we shot the heck out of it.

  7. Cemetery's Gun Blob Says:

    Now for some wholly black, and a nice long range for some fun.

  8. Evyl Robot Says:

    VERY nice looking old gun! I’m looking forward to a range report.

  9. Linoge Says:

    Hm. That gives me hope that the Trapdoor of mine that my father has might be restored to functioning order as well… Though, that said, everything I read online seemed to indicate that dismantling firearms of that age was generally not recommended. Are you going to be using this as a showpiece, or actually shooting it?

  10. SayUncle Says:


  11. Robert Says:

    Numrich gun parts has spare parts.