Good afternoon, I've recently been given a Springfield Model 1873 Trapdoor 45-70 rifle, circa 1881, that's been in the family for 4 generations and if at all possible, I'd like to have a knowledgeable gunsmith go over the weapon carefully and let me know what it would take to bring it to a condition such that it would be safe to fire. I've done some homework and as far as I can tell, it appears to be largely original and appears to be in good cosmetic condition but has not been fired for at least 70 years. I believe that it requires a new firing pin and a good cleaning and inspection of the barrel. It seems to be a pretty simple device and I would think that any competent gunsmith could evaluate it and make needed repairs. Parts availability doesn't seem to be a problem because they made so many of them.
It was owned originally by my great grandfather, who served during the Spanish American War (203rd NY Infantry, Co. K). I don't know whether it was his actual service weapon, but it was owned by him until his death in 1945 and passed down.
While I am not a huge gun enthusiast myself, if it's anywhere near a reasonable thing to do I would like to restore the weapon and offer my dad the chance to fire it. I don't believe he ever has done so and he is the last living person to have memory of my great grandfather who first owned it. I'd also like to shoot it and offer the opportunity to other members of the family - my son would make generation 5.
I'm located on eastern LI but willing to travel for the right person. If anyone here is familiar with this type of rifle and knows a gunsmith who might be willing to have a look at it and make the needed repairs, I'd appreciate it very much.
BTW, the attached photo is believed to be my great grandfather. It closely resembles the photos of him I've seen as an older man; it also resembles my uncle. The regiment, company, time frame, and location of the photo studio (Syracuse) are consistent with my great grandfather, too.
Many thanks in advance,