H&A .45cal Target Rifle

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SamTex1949

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Just received a .45cal Rifle, Hopkin an Allen.
I realize they took Old 45/70 Trapdoors and converted them into ML shooters. The Stock, Lock, and hardware are all Trapdoors fare with a .45cal barrel breeched with a Musket style plug/bolster with musket nipple. Id like to find more info on the rifle itself, Anyone who had/has one for loads and which might be best bullets to use ? Did they just use the 45/70 barrel ? Will the .45cal mine style bullets (mold) work ? or under size .45/70 bullets ? Not new to ML or black powder or casting, Just found this old rifle unique. Share what ya Know !!!
 

zimmerstutzen

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What fool told you that malarky?
H&a Target 45's had good quality new Target barrels with round ball rifling. As I recall they were extra long barrels too.
Mine is 5 ft long.
 

nkbj

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What's the twist in your barrel?
 

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As I remember it, H&A simply sold drop-in barrels with a replacement hammer that allowed Trapdoor Springfields to become “instant muzzleloaders” and ”¦. well”¦..

Memory can play tricks so I quit using it as a source and dug out the circa 1968 Dixie Gun Works catalog.
According to it, the replacement hammer is an original that would have been for the Civil War Springfields that evolved into the Allen conversion and later model trapdoors.
The barrel should have eight grooves, rifled one in fifty-six. .45 caliber.
The price at the time was $29.95.
Back then you could pick up a nice trapdoor for less than a hundred bucks. Frequently a lot less. By having this conversion kit, a person could essentially have two different rifles for just a bit more than the price of one.
On a related subject, old DGW catalogs are easy to acquire both on Ebay and ABE. Everybody should have at least one, 74 or earlier, for reference and (looking at prices and what was available) drooling purposes.
 

zimmerstutzen

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H.&A sold a Target under hammer gun in 45 cal with an extra long Oct barrel

R u speaking of the 45 cal Target rifle or the trapdoor conversion like Dixie sold? Two different animals
 

hawkeye2

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Randy has it right. These kits were sold out by the early 80's as I tried to get one back then. Numrich did not do these conversions, the trap door owner changed out the parts he bought. It's a shame that in most cases the TD parts weren't kept with the gun. Some of the barrels are marked NAC on the flat opposite the bolster but not all are. If the barrel is in good shape you should have a great shooter. I have 2 muskets in .58 and a new spare barrel and I like them. One is a conversion of a 68 Springfield. It's quite likely that it has a patent breech and the hole in the breech is likely about .30 caliber though they vary. It should be easy tell if it has as there will be a noticeable seam 1 3/8 ths. inch up from the back end of the barrel. To clean dismount the barrel, remove the nipple and clean it standing in a bucket of hot soapy water, this flushes out the breech and you will never have any problems with it. Don't remove the cleanout screw, absolutely no need to.
 

zimmerstutzen

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The target rifle listed here is the only "Target Rifle" they sold that I know of.
 

hawkeye2

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With the exception of the barrel and rammer all the parts in that gun should be original Springfield which are very high quality and you can get quality replacement parts as well as NOS originals so there is no need to try to fit Italian parts to it. The nipple will have a 5/16-24 (standard US size) thread and you can find nipples for #11 caps easily if you wish.
 

hawkeye2

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You are right, that is the only target rifle they did sell. What Sam has is an original Springfield trapdoor that has had a Numrich Instant Muzzleloader Kit installed in place of the TD barrel/action and hammer. Numrich also made replacement drop in barrels for the '61 and '63 Springfields in .58 caliber and these are found in converted TDs too. I believe they also made Mississippi and Zouave barrels too but that could be my memory playing tricks again.
 

hawkeye2

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There may be some confusion here as Sam identified the gun as a Hopkins & Allen. Numrich (now Gun Parts Corp.) acquired the rights to the Hopkins & Allen name in the 1960s or possibly earlier. They produced the well known underhamers, the Minuteman and a swivel breech under the H&A name. To the best of my knowledge all the muzzleloading barrels as well as the trapdoor conversion kits were sold under the Numrich name and not as H&A hence the NAC (Numrich Arms Corp.) stamp on the breech
 

bpd303

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I have one of the Numrich .45 conversion barrels on my 1884 Trapdoor and it is very accurate. I also have an original smoothbore .58 barrel for it although I haven't fired it yet.
 

hawkeye2

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bpd303 you are right about their accuracy. I'm currently shooting a '61 Springfield with a Hoyt lined barrel but I wouldn't feel the least bit handicapped to step to the line next Sunday at the Nationals with my flush plate Whitneyville with an original Numrich barrel.
 

George T.

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I fear that the prices listed above are gone for good. MLR's don't bring a premium but they are not cheap. Geo. T.
 

hawkeye2

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That must be why Dixie sent my check back last year. They didn't comment. :wink: :grin:
 

Rifleman1776

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What year is that ad? I used to sell the H&A underhammers in my shop. My family learned to shoot with them. My wife won a truck load of medals with her Buggy Rifle and I still rue the day I sold my heavy barreled target model.
But, those prices seem a bit high. I closed my shop in 1976 and seem to recall prices were quite a bit lower then.
 

SamTex1949

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what type ball/bullet are you using ?

Ok, the top of the barrel , stamped just in front of the breech plug says "Numrich Arms, Hopkins and Allen, N Hurley NY.
 

bpd303

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SamTex said:
what type ball/bullet are you using ?

Ok, the top of the barrel , stamped just in front of the breech plug says "Numrich Arms, Hopkins and Allen, N Hurley NY.
Lee .440 RB patched & Real bullets mine shoots both well.
 
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