THE TRAPDOOR SPRINGFIELD
Author: M.D. Bud Waite & B.D. Ernst
Publisher: Rutgers Gun Books, Jul 2004
For the martial arms collector as well as the Western Americana enthusiast, this book fills the gaps left by previously published works. The first complete story of the "Trapdoor Springfield".
The Trapdoor Springfield: a controversial weapon from its inception; the subject of continuing experimentation to improve its utility in the field. The Trapdoor Springfield: the gun which, despite all obstacles, became the first breech-loading rifle of the United States Army and which for 20 years remained the army's warhorse.
The Civil War proved that the oldstyle muzzle-loading musket had inadequate firepower. New metallic ammunition, on the other hand, was a proven commodity. In the late 1860s, the army concluded that a breech-loader was needed. But what to do with the hundreds of thousands of left-over muskets?
The answer was the conversion of the old guns through the use of the Allin Breech-loading system. The result was the Trapdoor Springfield: which was in use for more than 20 years as the standard U.S. Army rifle and carbine.
Prior to the turn of the century no military weapon saw more field action; none was in the field for so long a time.
Authors Waite and Ernst carefully detail the steps taken by the Ordnance and War Departments to design and manufacture the gun, as well as to set up open trials of comparable guns. Using direct quotes from the National Archives, they chart the alterations and variations of the Trapdoor Springfield: until its last year of issue.
The list price for Trapdoor Springfield: is $39.95.