John Henry Asendorf in uniform The War Diary of John Henry Asendorf
The Story of a Pennsylvania Volunteer during the Spanish-American War in the Philippines and the Philippine American War

1884 Springfield "Trapdoor" Rifle

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into_the_breach_600h (37K)I am very lucky to have been passed down my great-grandfather's Springfield rifle which he used in the Philippines. The cartouche is almost completely gone with just the slightest bit of the eagle still existing. The serial number is 314825 and a marking (on the trapdoor very near the hinge) says "US MODEL 1873". From my research it seems that this rifle would have been made in roughly 1885... well into the 1884 model series. They continued to use the breechblocks which were stamped with the "1873" model on them until they were all gone.us_model_1878_contrast (34K)

I am planning on trying to fire this rifle in the very near future. I took it to The Powder Room to have them see if it is fireable and they thought it looked great. Biggest problem at the time was that the tip of the firing pin was broken off. The two gentlemen who looked at it postulated that they may have been broken off when they were turned over to the soldiers by an armorer. I have replaced the firing pin and am looking to fire it in the near future.

Also interesting is that in April of 1899, they took away the volunteers' Springfields and replaced them with Krag-Jørgensens because their Springfields "do, in some cases, not reach the Enemy." But, as they were preparing to return to the United States, they were given their Springfields back.

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