A local pawn shop has what looks like a Springfield 1873 trapdoor rifle for sale. We both have no idea what it's worth. It has US Model 1873 up near the top (receiver) and just a plain date stamp of 1864 on the side plate (no Springfield eagle marks or anything and different to the 1973 date). There is no rust or pitting and the finish is a good, clean patina. The bore is a little dark, but should look like it would clean up okay. The receiver and trigger mechanism all looks and seems to function great. It has it's cleaning rod attached. I've taken a few photos. I'm wondering, please, if anyone has a moment. What is it and also how much is it worth. I'm new to all of this, but I'm excited to be able to have an opportunity to own it. The pawn shop looks after me really good and they will give me a lower than value cost.
So, would someone please be kind enough to let me know:
What is it?
What might it be worth?
(I can get the serial number, if needed)
Well, yes, "sort of", and that's why it's in a pawn shop!
You have quite a mess there.
The barreled action (in .45-70) is from a Model 1884, the receiver (I can read s/n) was made in 1888. The breechblock - which does not match the receiver in width, as it should, is from an early 1873.
The lock is from a Model 1868 or Model 1870 (doesn't matter which; they're identical) rifle, in .50-70.
The lower band is from a Model 1868. The cleaning rod appears to be "wrong" but I cannot see the head clearly - at the very least it does not match the s/n.
The stock and lock and furniture could be compatible, it may be that the 1888 barreled action was just dropped in, though the block does not match the number, and the rear sight - with two different styles of wrong screw - matches neither. The stock has had its' distinctive "flats" (around & opposite the lock) rounded off.
In short, you have what is known as a "mixmaster". While "fun value" may be off-scale, collector value - where the money is - would be minimal at best. I wouldn't want to put more than about $250 of my money into it, and then I would break it up for parts. Sorry to deliver news you didn't want.
many, many thanks for the expert advice and taking the time to thoroughly inspect the photos and provide a very informative response. I'm really impressed by your feedback and depth of knowledge.
Both the pawn shop guy and myself were interested in learning what it was, so you've really dug deep and done a thorough review and helped both of us out very much. The pawn shop guy is a great fella, he generously allowed me to take the photos I took, and he wanted me to seek out a fair price for it.
At this point, I'm thinking of this rifle as possibly something fun to get, just for the joy of shooting an old, albeit pieced together ("mixmaster" = love the term) rifle. Do you think there would be any safety issues with trying to shoot this? e.g. headspace (sorry if that's a daft question for a trapdoor receiver). I'm getting into reloading and thinking that getting the right dies, brass and other things wouldn't be too costly for me, but I could be wrong.
Many thanks again, Jacko