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Hi, I have a friend with a M1873 Trapdoor rifle that needs a firing pin. Currently it has a far too soft home made pin in bad shape in the breech block. It appears that Al Frasca's website lists three types of firing pins for the M1873. How can my friend figure out what type of pin he needs? He has access to a NOS steel late style pin with the oval slot in it but he has no idea if that is the correct pin or not. Is there a S/N range for each pins usage or some identifying feature of the breech block that can help him figure out the proper firing pin to use?
Thanks for any and all help.
Does the block have a deeply curved arch profile underneath, or a slight flat cut of about 1/16"? What is the serial number? Odds are, you want the #2 pin (steel, with oval slot) but cannot tell without the info.
Dick, I will have him check the S/N and I'll I let you know. I'll see if I can get some pictures of the breech block from him too. Might you have a picture of the difference between the two as a reference?
Actually, I don't have such a picture handy; the difference is REALLY obvious. But, s/n will probably tell the story, anyhow.
Guess I could make up a set of very simple "A" vs. "B" comparison pics. You know, I'll bet they'd each be worth a thousand words! :-)
Some thoughts re above:
(1) block comparison (high-low)
(2) receiver cut profiles, under hinge (square-round)
(3) 1868/70 receiver rear vs. 1873
(4) BASIC sight types (NOT going to get into the "9th variation" of the 1879!)
(5) 1868 receiver length vs. 1873 & later
(6) s/s cleaning rod vs. d/s cleaning rod
(7) M1870/1873 rod head vs. M1882
(8) .50-70 hammers vs. early .45-70 & late .45-70 hammers
(9) CW (M1865 - M1870) vs. flush (1873-on) lockplates
(10) Pre vs. post-1883 triggers
Now, it's YOUR turn, guys. Others??? I'm SURE I missed some!
Dick, the S/N is in the 223,000 or 228,000 range. Thats the best I can read the S/N. The pictures I was sent are awful fuzzy. Does that help?
As I suspected - since it was by far the longest-running type - you need the steel pin with oval groove. If you should find a bronze one for less, that WAS a widely-installed upgrade, though technically not "correct" until circa 1889 (425000+)
Thanks for the help Dick. I'll pass that information along to my friend.
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