This is a very strong example of the Springfield Model 1888 Trapdoor Rifle in 45-70; also known as the "Ramrod Bayonet Rifle". Condition-wise, it is the nicest one we've ever had and is very close to the condition and serial range of the one at the NRA Museum which can be found online. The Model 1888 was the final improvement of a long line of Trapdoor Models that date back to 1865 with the Allin Conversion of muzzleloading Model 1863 Springfields at the end of the Civil War. This old warrior was the last standard infantry rifle adopted by the US Army that was 1. a single shot; 2. chambered for black powder, and 3. had a side-mounted lockplate. It is easily distinguished from other earlier Trapdoor Models by its unique cleaning rod mechanism which allows it to double as a bayonet. Another improved feature is the solid milled trigger guard as well as carryovers from the Model 1884 like the Buffington rear sight and serrated trigger.
Historically speaking, these rifles were issued to regular US Army units during the early 1890's prior to the adoption of the bolt action Krag Jorgensen Service Rifle. No doubt, some saw service in the American West for a few short years leading up to the Krag Rifle. During the Spanish-American War in 1898, Model 1888's joined the fight in the hands of National Guard and volunteer units in Cuba and the Philippines at the turn of the 20th century. From there, these rifles saw additional usage in ROTC training and various civilian defense groups into WW2.
This particular rifle was manufactured at the end of the year 1890 with a serial number in the 508,000 range. It has no National Guard unit markings. Overall it is in NRA Antique Excellent Condition with 97% Bright Original Blue Overall with the balance of loss mostly attributable to age rather than wear. Even the sharp tip of the ramrod, a place where you'd expect to find at least a tiny bit of wear, has all of its original blue. I'm not even sure the rod has been extended to its bayonet position...it is that NICE! The only significant wear spots I can find on this rifle are on the flats of the buttplate from sitting in a rack. There are 95% good discernable case colors on the breech and upper tang which have mellowed somewhat with age. Excellent wood with lots of raised grain still showing and a strong inspector cartouche left side and Circle P proof on the bottom of the stock. Bore is perfect. Original leather sling is correct for the Trapdoor and Krag rifles and is in Good+ Condition Overall with some aging present however, given its age, I would not recommend it actually be used. These usually sell alone for $200-$250. Original and correct front sight hood looks as though its been on this rifle from day one and worth approx. $50-60. This rifle is too nice and original so consider these items added bonuses to an already incredible Springfield Trapdoor.