Handcarved Replica of a Circa 1884, Springfield, 45-70, "Trapdoor" Rifle

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Project by CarvinTom posted 10-21-2011 09:24 PM 2561 views 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These photos are of a Circa 1884 Springfield 45-70 Trapdoor Rifle that I carved a couple of years ago. Regrettably, it is so long—nearly 52”—that the photos don’t (in my “humble” opinion) do it justice.

I was fortunate enough to be permitted to borrow a rifle from a relative for almost an entire year to do the work. I had a first thought that I would only need it long enough to take some photos. NOT SO! It sat next to me whenever I carved so that I could go back and forth with calipers to make measurements. I was glad to return it at the end. By that time I have found out what the thing was worth! I’m glad the original owner has it back now. Before anything could happen to it.:-)

The rifle is made almost exclusively of Basswood with the exception of the barrel that I turned from a piece of Maple. In order to keep the work as close to the original as I could, all of the various pieces, the hammer, lock, trigger and guard—even the screw heads—were all carved separately and inset into the stock as they would have been on the real rifle. Painting was a real trip. The “metal” parts are much darker than the original. Getting the proper color and sheen to the metal was virtually impossible—I used acrylic paint—it “might” have been easier with oil based paint.

In the end, I did achieve my goal: To make a realistic, extremely old-looking rifle—as viewed from ~3 feet away—to hang in the Family Room. Several people have been taken by surprise when I handed them the rifle. They were expecting to grab something weighting ~10 (very heavy) pounds. But the carving only weighs a bit over 1 pound!

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I hope you like it.

-- Carvin' Tom, Pittsburgh, PA, No, I'm *not* retired. I am a "recycled teenager!"

13 comments so far

View John 's profile


32 posts in 1708 days

#1 posted 10-21-2011 09:33 PM

Beautiful job, great detail on the firing mechanism

View Rob W's profile

Rob W

430 posts in 2573 days

#2 posted 10-21-2011 09:51 PM

Very cool!

-- Rob — I've cut it off twice and it's still too short!,

View mpounders's profile


779 posts in 1932 days

#3 posted 10-21-2011 10:38 PM

Looks pretty real!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View pariswoodworking's profile


381 posts in 1522 days

#4 posted 10-21-2011 10:41 PM

Very nice. I had a hard time telling it from a real one in the pics. ;)

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

16657 posts in 1604 days

#5 posted 10-21-2011 10:54 PM

that’s pretty cool. Test it out. Try to get it through airport security. :-)

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

13995 posts in 2142 days

#6 posted 10-21-2011 11:50 PM

That is a very nice replica. You got the details looking l like the original! The only tip off that it was carved is that the barrel does not have a hole in the end…............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


16417 posts in 2713 days

#7 posted 10-22-2011 02:31 AM

Details are awesome. Trust me, I have shot one a lot ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 2764 days

#8 posted 10-22-2011 03:29 AM

Great job. It looks like you could take it out and fire it. Outstanding job.

-- Ray

View BTKS's profile


1983 posts in 2501 days

#9 posted 10-22-2011 04:22 AM

Very impressive. First glance appears to be the real McCoy!

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View woody57's profile


647 posts in 2464 days

#10 posted 10-22-2011 01:24 PM

great carving job!

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View CarvinTom's profile


22 posts in 1516 days

#11 posted 10-22-2011 10:45 PM

Actually, Jim,

There is a hole in the end of the barrel but it is only an inch or so deep!

While I’m not about to attempt it, as far a getting it through security goes, I expect that nothing would show up on any of the scanners.

-- Carvin' Tom, Pittsburgh, PA, No, I'm *not* retired. I am a "recycled teenager!"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


16417 posts in 2713 days

#12 posted 10-23-2011 04:25 AM

The imaging would probably pick up the shape and the armed guards would carry you off to the brig ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Roger's profile


17667 posts in 1841 days

#13 posted 09-21-2013 01:07 PM

Incredible! You are a carving master.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

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