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Dear Mr. Christensen,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
While the National Archives does not have records about the service history of individual firearms, there may be records about the manufacture of that model of firearm. We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Reports of Tests of Ordnance and Proceedings of the Boards Making the Tests, 1864-1905 and the series Letters Received, 1808-1897 of the Springfield Armory in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Ordnance (Record Group 156) that both contain information about Trapdoor rifles. The series Reports on Weapons, 11/5/1874-4/2/1891 in Record Group 156 also may contain relevant information. Some of these records have been digitized and are available online using the Catalog. For information about the non-digitized records, please contact the National Archives at Boston (RE-BO) at email@example.com. We also suggest that you use the Catalog to explore descriptions of additional series of records created by the Springfield Armory.
There are also several additional History Hub discussions related to the 1873 Trapdoor that you may wish to review.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RE-BO. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
Plus, the Springfield Armory National Historic Site (US National Park Service) provides some information online about the Trapdoor Rifle and Production of Trapdoors. We suggest that you contact them directly for further assistance.
Finally, more information about The Springfield Model 1873 Rifle is available on the Army Historical Foundation’s website, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has some online information about the Model 1873 Springfield Trapdoor Carbine, marked NOV76 as well.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
1 person found this helpful
I checked the SRS books and could find nothing anywhere close for a M1873. The only thing I could say is that it would have been manufactured in mid 1883.
I did find some serial numbers close to your for the M1884. Those were issued during the Spanish American war in 1898 to a could of different units: 195703 and 195714 were issued to Company D, 5th US Volunteer Infantry
There were a number in the 195800 serial numbers range, also for the M1884 rifle, issued to the 3rd NC "Colored" Infantry in 1898 for the Spanish American War.
Texas Military Forces Museum
Thanks for the information. I did not expect to be lucky enough to get a direct match, but I’m intrigued by the trapdoors reserve use in the Spanish American war. Thanks again!