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Springfield 45/55 Carbine model 1879
#1
In the US there is an ongoing debate about Custer's last battle.  His troopers were using an 1873 Springfield carbine loaded with the 45/55 load and a 405 grain bullet.  This is a Model 1879 Springfield carbine; close to a Custer battle gun. [Image: TrapdoorSpr020.jpg]
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#2
More pictures [Image: TrapdoorSpr017.jpg]of a Springfield Carbine model 1879
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#3
While it probably doesn't mean much to Englishmen, in debates over here one cause one can lose teeth over the Battle of Little Bighorn. Was Custer good or bad, right or wrong, smart or clueless? 

I don't think there is a similar counter in English history that lights people up like this battle with Indians.  I don't think the English come to blows over Isandlwana.    
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#4
This is an 1879 Springfield.  Custer's troop used an 1873 issue of the same carbine.  The Indians captured a number of cavalry carbines and used them agains other elements of Custer's forces, who survived the battle.  The Indians picked up fired cases and bullets and attempted to make reloads.  Here is one of them: [Image: GunStuff087.jpg]
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#5
This homebrewed cartridge was made by an Indian. He was trying to reload a cartridge case and bullet picked up after the Custer battle. He held the bullet in place by biting the cartridge case.  You can see the rifling grooves in the bullet and it's blunt tip, so it has been fired once already.  The priming is probably broken off matches, but I have not torn down this cartridge to see what is inside.  However it is neat, because the bullet and case were probably fired during the Battle of Little Bighorn, which makes it sort of sacred.  This was picked up where the large Indian camp was, so it must have been made on the night of 25 June, 1876.
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#6
I have Custer's book: "My Life on the Plains". He does not come across as being mad or irresposible, but is amazingly honest about his mistakes---like going out hunting in hostile territory and shooting his own horse through the head!
Fred
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#7
By the way, trapdoor Springfileds are quite popular here in the UK. Until recently, good shootable originals in 50-70 were quite cheap to buy.
Fred
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#8
Quote:By the way, trapdoor Springfileds are quite popular here in the UK. Until recently, good shootable originals in 50-70 were quite cheap to buy.
Fred

I think those Allen 50/70's were wonderful antique guns.  I recall when they were relatively cheap....like $450 but that was 25 years ago.  They are also fun to shoot.  Custer carried an officer's model Allen trapdoor for a few years.
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#9
Quote:By the way, trapdoor Springfileds are quite popular here in the UK. Until recently, good shootable originals in 50-70 were quite cheap to buy.
Fred

They are making a replica trapdoor again, both rifles and carbines.  They are great guns.  Ammo is easy to find and you can shoot at things 1,000 yards away.  Loaded the old fashioned way the rifle does't kick much.  The carbine isn't that bad either. 
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#10
yes. We have a couple of repro trapdoors in our club. I used to have a Danish rolling block which would beat them any day of the week. Nowadays I shoot the black powder comps with a Mauser 71 / 84.
Fred
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