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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Seemed the best place to post this...

I picked this up today; it is a very late M1884 Springfield Trapdoor made in the fall of 1892, and is the type with a combination cleaning rod bayonet. The butt trap doesn't have a cleaning kit - it holds two emergency rounds! Bore is great. Rifle has the Buffington rear sight.

The owner's great grandfather, one Clarkson Cortright, a farmer from Middletown in upstate NY, joined the 12th NY Volunteer Infantry in 1894. Springfield Armory documents this rifle by lot (one number per crate of 20, or non-book) as made in the fall of 1892, and records this particular crate as issued to the 12th NY Volunteers. Evidently Clarkson returned from service with his trapdoor. It was handed down three generations to the current owner.

It was last fired by the owner's father in 1958. Very clear SVP/1892 cartouche, and (V)iewed and P(roofed) marks.

A brief unit history:

The 12th New York Volunteer Infantry served stateside during the Spanish American War, but was sent to Cuba after the war as part of the occupation forces for the island.

The 12th New York Volunteer Infantry was mustered into service on May 13, 1898 at Peekskill, New York. At the time of muster in, the unit consisted of 43 officers and 978 enlisted men. Initially, the unit was first sent to Camp Thomas at Chickamauga, Georgia. Conditions in this camp were terrible. It was overcrowded, unsanitary, and disease-ridden. To stem the losses, the camp was eventually broken up and the troops relocated. The 12th New York became part of the Third Brigade of the Third Division of the Second Army Corps in September, 1898. Eventually, it was sent to Lexington, Kentucky, which is where the unit appears in October, 1898. Santiago had fallen on July 17, and all fighting had ended on August 12, 1898, so the unit did not see action. The war formally ended on December 10, 1898, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

The unit may have been sent back to Americus, Georgia before being sent to Cuba as part of the occupation force on December 30, 1898. The 12th New York arrived in Cuba on New Year's Day, 1899. It served in Cuba until March 22, when it returned to the United States, arriving on March 26, 1899.

The unit was mustered out of service on April 20, 1899 at New York City. At the time of muster out, it consisted of 46 officers and 945 men. During its term of service, the unit suffered from high losses. Twnety-three enlisted men died of disease, one man died as the result of an accident, and one man committed suicide. Forty-seven additional men were discharged on disability. Ninety-one men deserted!

From: http://www.spanamwar.com/12thNewyork.htm

It's wearing my old M03 sling until a reproduction M87 trapdoor sling arrives.

































T
 

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Nice Trapdoor with a neat history. These are usually referred to as the model 1889, the model 1884's had the standard cleaning rod and used the standard triangular socket bayonet. SWP was Samuel W. Porter who was the master armorer at Springfield Armory when our rifles were manufactured. I also have another 1892 dated one unit marked to the 9th NY Volunteer Infantry company F. They were recruited from New York City and also didn't see service but made it as far a Tampa, FL and were getting ready to ship out when the Cuban campaign ended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, the 9th was the 12th's sister regiment, formed from NYC up to the White Plains area. The 12th came from upstate NY.

T

The rifle is missing its sight hood as someone ground down a M73 bayonet to fit it. I have one on order to complete it as well as the sling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The live rounds in the pics are from a box of c. 1958 Remington Clean-Bore non-corrosive Govt. .45/70 semi-jacket as well as two boxes of once use brass, also c. 1958. The bayonet is a M73 that had its base ground down to fix, but not properly, the person not knowing this was a cleaning-rod bayonet.

Would the 12 or so rounds be safe to shoot just to try it once? I've been told that the jacketed rounds will damage the bore.

T
 

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The rod bayonet model was the M1888, though the breechblocks are stamped 1884. I do not fire modern smokeless jacketed rounds through my M1888, a combination of 120+ year old steel, a somewhat week action, higher burning temperatures for smokeless. Besides part of the fun of black powder is seeing that big white cloud. The trap in the butt held tools, ammunition then was carried in the Mills belt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Stripped it down tonight, hoping for something unusual but nothing weird showed up. Just another inspection mark under the barrel and that's it. I cleaned the screws and wiped down the metal surfaces with Kroil.

T.









 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sight hood came in from Ohio today. It was a little loose, so I shimmed it with a little corner of a bore patch. Almost done - waiting on the M1887 sling. I'm also having 40 rounds reloaded with the brass that came with it, so I hope to have a range report in a few weeks.

T.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nice Trapdoor with a neat history. These are usually referred to as the model 1889, the model 1884's had the standard cleaning rod and used the standard triangular socket bayonet. SWP was Samuel W. Porter who was the master armorer at Springfield Armory when our rifles were manufactured. I also have another 1892 dated one unit marked to the 9th NY Volunteer Infantry company F. They were recruited from New York City and also didn't see service but made it as far a Tampa, FL and were getting ready to ship out when the Cuban campaign ended.
Did you mean M1888?

http://www.trapdoorcollector.com/m88.html

T
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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i have my grandfather's ram rod bayo trap door. and i live near Peekskill NY. Camp Smith is probably where 12th ny was mustered in and is still a operating Camp.

CMP still holds shoots there...

My Grand Fathers rifle has 1891 arsenal stamp on the stock.. and all the tools are still in there spot under the butt plate door..

there are "Kill" marks along the butt stock.. Gramps alwasy told us kids they were "Dead Indains" when i finnaly inherited the rifle i asked my father... ok whats the story on the kill notches.. Dad siad they are indeed kill notches but not indians.... they were Gramps Deer kill Marks... lmaooo

Pete
 

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S&S Firearms has repro tulip tip cleaning patch jags that convert your rod bayonet into a cleaning rod to complete your tool set. They used to come unfinished when I bought mine so you may need to blue it. Original ones never seem to show up.
 

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Here's a photo of the three original tools issued with the 1888.
The wiper is screwed onto the cleaning rod and used for running patches through the bore. Even though there was one in every butt....originals are extremly difficult to find. The combonation tool goes in the bottom hole with the broken shell extractor in the top hole with the wiper on top.
There was two front sight covers, an early machined one held in place with a screw introduced for the Model 1884 and a later spring steel metal one that snaps into place for the Model 1888. Either one will fit the 1888, although the spring steel one is correct. As you can see, I have one of each on the two "88's I own.
Congratulations on your purchase.
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That's how I have it; my rifle is upside down in the picture. I just ordered a wiper thanks to Navy Gunner. Just waiting on my reloads out of CA and we're off to the range.

T.
 
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