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GUNS Magazine October 2010 - Page 32

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS Our Caps Will NOT Scratch Your Scope Or Rust has taken Weaver® style rings to new heights and new lengths KWIK-SITE huge debt just after a major internal war. There was little money for new arms, but the vast superiority of the metallic cartridge meant the military muzzleloader was forever obsolete. With at least 1 million .58 muzzleloading muskets and plenty of parts on hand, Army Ordnance decided the most cost effective way to modernize was by converting them to a metallic cartridge. The first attempt was adoption of Springfield Armory Superintendent Erskine Allin’s design 1863 Trapdoor of the “trapdoor” breechblock by Springfield? cutting away the top of the musket barrel and chambering it for .58 Every month I look forward Rimfire. This proved unsatisfactory— to finding GUNS in my mailbox and both the rimfire round and the devour each issue conversion—and led cover to cover. I really the Army to adopt the enjoyed the article .50-70 Gov’t centerfire by Duke concerning round and a much the Indian Wars in improved “trapdoor” the June issue. I am system in 1866. puzzled by one thing Many of the locks and hopefully you theconceptbehindthetrapdoor at this time still have can clarify. On page wastoconvertthehugestockpile Civil War dates of 38 there is a picture ofCivilWarmusketstoametallic manufacture. If you of a Springfield rifle cartridge.theoriginalcaliber,.58 inspect your musket with the “trapdoor” Rimfire,provedunsatisfactory, closely, you may find a open. The caption says leadingtotheadoptionofthe date on the breechblock it is a Model 1873. I .50-70gov’t.Manyoftheseearly or barrel of 1866, 1868 have a rifle just like conversionshaveCivilWardated or 1870. By the time this that has been lockplates(thisoneisdated1864, the 1873 in .45-70 was passed down through above).theactualmodelnumber adopted, it was simpler several generations. isstampedontopthe“trapdoor.” to just fabricate parts On the hammer side, Here“1866”isstampedabove for the new rifle than to a stamp identifies it as aneagle’shead(below).Models shoehorn in old ones. a Springfield, however, of1868and1870weremadein Your firing pin is of the date stamp is 1863. .50-70beforetheadoptionof the 1-piece kind and if How can that be? theModel1873.45-70(M1866 it is in two pieces, I fear The firing pin in the courtesyMartinMillercollection). it is broken. Taking trapdoor is 2-piece off the breechblock since the hammer and soaking it in Kroil strikes to the right overnight or a few side and the firing pin days should loosen the must strike the center parts. Maybe a little of the cartridge. When heat, too, since it’s been I was about 8 or 10 frozen for quite some years old, (I am now time. Kroil is available 76) I would fold 6 to 8 “shots” from a from Brownells and many gun and roll of caps and stick it on the broad hardware stores. A new firing pin is area of the firing pin. I thought it was available from S&S Firearms. cool until one day some of the residue almost blinded me. I don’t know what caps were made of, but they were very BRownELLS corrosive. As a result the firing pin is 200 S. FRonT ST., MonTEzUMA, iA 50171 still stuck to this day. Does anyone (641) 623-4000, www.BRownELLS.CoM have any ideas to free it up? Vernon E. Bang S&S FiREARMS Plano, Texas 74-11 MYRTLE AVE., GLEnDALE, nY 11385 • JEFFJoHn • Q: Leading U.S. Manufacturer of Scope Mounts Since 1967 A: by a The Trapdoor was adopted country—the USA—with (718) 497-1100, www.SSFiREARMS.CoM Due to the volume of mail received, GUNS cannot offer a personal reply. Please e-mail your question to or snail mail to: GUNS Q&A, 12345 World Trade Drive, San Diego, CA 92128 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • OCTOBER 2010 32

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