Apache Chief Geronimo with his Springfield Model 1873

Historic Photographs

Trapdoor Open

Trapdoor Closed

The Springfield Model 1873 "Trapdoor" was the first standard-issue breech-loading rifle adopted by the United States Army. It saw extensive combat during the Indian Wars. It featured a hinged breechblock which opened upwards like a trapdoor.

The Trapdoor remained the main service rifle of the United States Military until it was replaced by the Krag-Jorgensen beginning in 1892.  The example below is a Carbine version of the full length rifle.

Model 1987 "Trapdoor" Springfield

Origin:                          United States

Military Service:                                              1873 - 1892

Wars:                            Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, Philippine-American War

Cartridge:                       .45-70

Action:                          Hinged Breechblock

Magazine:                        Single Shot

Significance:  First standard issue breech-loading rifle adopted by the United States Army.  Used by LTC Custer's troops during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.