Trapdoor Springfield

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beagle6 posted this 3 weeks ago

I have an original Trapdoor manufactured in 1874. I've been shooting the Lee 405 grain hollow base cast 30 to 1 over 13 grains of Unique with success. Problem is, I'm almost out of Unique and can't find any locally. I do have 4756, 4227 and Red DOT, but can't find any load data for these powders. I've been tempted to use Unique data with 4756 but it is a fine old warrior and I don't want to damage it. Any help will be appreciated.

beagle6

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RicinYakima posted this 3 weeks ago

My old Ideal books say that 22 to 25 grains of IMR4227 is a safe range, FWIW.

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beagle6 posted this 3 weeks ago

Thanks Ric.

beagle6

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Bud Hyett posted this 3 weeks ago

A "traditional" load for the Trapdoor has been 22 grains of 2400 with a 400 grain cast bullet sized at least .460, most Trapdoor bores are oversize.

Rivoli Rifle Club at New Windsor, Illinois had a early November Turkey Shoot with an offhand match for the Trapdoor at 200 yards on a swinging clay pigeon, many shooters used the above load. Much frivolity accompanied this match until someone finally connected. 

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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RicinYakima posted this 3 weeks ago

I set two national records with 24 grains, one with the bullet he uses, but he, the OP,  did not ask for the best powder for Trapdoors.

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beagle6 posted this 3 weeks ago

Thanks Bud and Ric. I'll keep my eye open for some 2400.

beagle6

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Reeferman posted this 2 weeks ago

I mostly use black powder in my 1873 but if using smokeless I use H4198 and it gives very close to what I load Goex FF in velocity. it’s the lowest pressure for smokeless 

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beagle6 posted this 2 weeks ago

Thanks everyone. While we are on the subject; those of you who shoot the Lee hollow base, what alloy have you had best accuracy with? My bore is .620 and I have been using 30 to 1.

beagle6

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RicinYakima posted this 2 weeks ago

My best load was with the linotype, because it was the perfect size for my .462" throat unsized and unlubed. Then I filled the hollow base with chassis grease and loaded them. It is messy, but in matches I only needed to shoot 12 or so and then patch the bore for the next relay.

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Bud Hyett posted this 2 weeks ago

Like Ric, my best smokeless load is with linotype (used, still very hard). Either 22 grains 2400 or 12 grains Unique, sized in a  .460 die as they drop from the mold, NRA Alox lube. I'm shooting the RCBS 45-325-FNU mold these days that I also shoot in my .45-60. 

My best black powder load is 30:1 lead/tin alloy, sized in a .460 die, 68 grains Swiss 1 1/2 Fg (compressed), SPG lubricant, SAECO 1881 mold (500 grain government round-nose). 

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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beagle6 posted this 2 weeks ago

In a previous post I said the bore on my Trapdoor was .620 when I should have said .4620. Sorry

beagle 6

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Rum River posted this 2 weeks ago

I have an 1884 that as far as I can tell is all original. Just going to start casting and this is one I want to work with. What kind of groups are people getting?

Rum River

 

"Well hell boys. I'd damn sight rather be hung by my friends than by a bunch'a damn strangers."

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45 2.1 posted this 2 weeks ago

 What kind of groups are people getting?

Rum River

 

The limitation is the sights...... and old eye balls.

 

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Rum River posted this 2 weeks ago

The reason I ask is that I want to try BPCR silhouette and am curious how well others have done with trapdoors at those distances. Doing my reading it seems the more skilled competitors have rifles that can do 1 1/2 minute. Is that possible at 500 meters using the good old Springfield?

Rum River

"Well hell boys. I'd damn sight rather be hung by my friends than by a bunch'a damn strangers."

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Bud Hyett posted this 2 weeks ago

Trapdoors are notoriously oversize in the bore, they run .460 to even .463. This was noted to be designed to allow for black powder fouling.

Black powder: A soft bullet (30:1 Lead/Tin) with black powder that swells into the rifling is key. A black powder that does not leave much fouling in the bore after each shot; Swiss 1 1/2 Fg or Old Eynsford are a place to start.

You will need to develop a load for this distance by testing several bullets. I have molds from 300 to 525 grains and burned a lot of black powder testing the loadings. Although it takes several minutes more elevation, the SAECO 1881 mold, 500 grain round-nose government bullet, shoots better in my Sharps at 600 yards. 

One consideration is using the RCBS 45-325-FNU mold at 200 and 300 yards with 55.0 grains of powder and extra wads to get less recoil over the course of fire. Best of luck, there is an undeniable charm shooting a Trapdoor.

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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Ed Harris posted this 2 weeks ago

Back in the day I shot an original 1884 Trapdoor with .464" diameter nose-pour Hoch 385-grain mold using 1 to 30 tin-lead and had wonderful accuracy to 200 yards for ram bashing using 11 grains of Red Dot, 700X or 231 with no fill.

You must be VERY careful to avoid double charges!!!!

I can say with authority that while a double charge of any of these will ring the chamber so that cases must be driven out with a lead, dead-blow hammer and brass rod, you will not "blow up" the gun, and can successfully sell it as a wall hanger.

Velocity is about 1080 fps.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 2 weeks ago

...re:  extra light charges in the 45-70

i use a " dipstick " to double check all my loads, since you can't really see light loads at the bottom of a huge case .... ... recently while using different makes and ages of brass with popgun loads ( 9 gr red dot, 230 gr bullets ) ... i scared myself while dipsticking ... and dumped back about 20 loads thinking i had gone to sleep on the powder tube ...  ... then realized there is a big difference in old thin brass and new solid head cases ...  

btw, that load is more of a " poof " than a " pop " ...  Quigley would ignore me ...

ken

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Rum River posted this 2 weeks ago

"Quigley would ignore me" - That's a great line.........

"Well hell boys. I'd damn sight rather be hung by my friends than by a bunch'a damn strangers."

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Larry Gibson posted this 2 weeks ago

"Trapdoors are notoriously oversize in the bore, they run .460 to even .463. This was noted to be designed to allow for black powder fouling."

 

Commonly thought and repeated but a myth.  The manual for the rifle dated 1873 says the bore diameter is to be .45 with grooves .005 deep.  Given the manufacturing tolerances of the day that is why we see groove diameters of M1873s running upwards of .465.  M1884 tolerances were held tighter and they mostly run .460 - .461 groove diameter.   

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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Bubba32-20 posted this 1 weeks ago

Yes, that is correct info on the bore dimension.  I have an 1884 model that I sourced a nice barrel/receiver for years ago.  Original was worse than a sewer pipe and had a slight bend in it.  Mine slugs .462-.463 if memory serves.  I have just started loading for it and will use the lee hollow base and Pyrodex.  Only  thing I shot so far was the squib load with 40 gr and a lubed .457 ball.  Did really well at 50 yards, so I'm hopping for good results.   

There is a classic small book written about how to make them shoot, but I have forgotten the author's name.  He has passed away, but I think you can still find it.  Mostly focused on blackpowder loads, but he had some good accuracy info.  Normally I can put my hands on that book, but can't at the moment....lost in the clutter.

IF you can find an old Lyman "Handbook of Cast Bullets" (circa 1958), you will have a gold mine of loads and info.  I got very lucky and found a copy in a pile of junk at the range.   Mint shape too.

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beltfed posted this 1 weeks ago

Bubba32-20,

You are probably referring to  Paul Wolf's book on loading and shooting the 45-70.

Just also read and listen to others, too.  There is more to it than Wolf's view

beltfed/arnie

 

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Patrick75 posted this 6 days ago

How many grains of H4198 did you use in the old trapdoor? I'm currious about the velocity and pressure that it reached. I got some IMR 4198 at home (not the same, but close to it)

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