Friday, February 28, 2014

Another Hammer of Thor, a 45-70 Springfield Cadet Rifle

1884 Springfield Cadet Rifle with ammunition. 

The 45-70 Government is an outstanding cartridge. Introduced in 1873 as a U.S. military cartridge, its still popular in lever action and single shot rifles today. In the tradition black powder loading it launches a 405gr lead bullet at about 1200 feet per second.  The rifle pictured is a model 1884 Springfield Cadet Rifle. The cadet rifles were specially designed for and issued to military schools.  There are several differences between the regular Springfield trapdoor and the cadet rifle, however the maid difference is the cadet rifle is 4" shorter.  The reduced length made the cadet rifle easier to handle....by cadets.  As many military schools were essentially the same as today's high schools,  the shorter rifle was much easier to handle during drill and marksmanship by young teenagers.
      130 year old trapdoor cadet rifle at the range
 
The 45-70 rounds are loaded singly into the breach. the bore received a thin coat of bore butter to reduce fouling and leading. the off hand groups at 50 yard were excellent, once slight elevation corrections were made.
 
Target and group for the cadet rifle.
 
 
 
In the course of firing, two of the cases cracked, this was the third reload for this brass so I was surprised at the cracks. On the other hand it illustrated the danger of unseen case corrosion which can lead to brass failure.
 Two cracked cases!




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