Renowned American painter and sculptor Frederic Remington is responsible for many of the iconic images around today of the Old West so it should be no surprise that he owned the iconic rifle of the era. To take a look at Remington’s Model 1873 “Trapdoor” Springfield Carbine is Ashley Hlebinsky from the Cody Firearms Museum, who showcases the .45-70 single-shot breechloader in the above video from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
The Trapdoor gets its nickname from the hinged mechanism of Erskine S. Allin that allowed the gun to be loaded. Firing a big 405-grain lead bullet over a 70-grain black powder load, the carbine and its rifle variant– the latter with a 30-inch barrel — was the primary U.S. military arm from 1873 when it was adopted, well into the 1890s when the rifle was replaced by the short-lived Krag .30-40 bolt-action series.
Remington, whose relatives included Eliphalet Remington, founder of the Remington Arms Company, and mountain man Jedediah Smith, headed West in 1881. Working as a correspondent for Harper’s Weekly, he rode in the campaign against Geronimo. Crisscrossing from Mexico to Canada, he hunted and experienced the region first-hand for decades and even tagged along with Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in 1898. In all, he produced hundreds of works that are exhibited around the globe.