The Cadet

The two Model 1870 Trapdoors pictured here are typical of the model with one notable exception — one is a standard Model 1870 rifle and the other known as the “Cadet” is a scaled-down Model 1869 (although correctly it carries an 1870 marked breechblock and a full-size .50-70 chamber).

Cadet Model Trapdoors were issued primarily to West Point and Naval Academy cadets and featured shorter barrels, thinner stocks, lighter furniture and — in some models — shorter stocks and shorter chambers for the .50-55 cartridge (the .50-70 loaded with only 55 grains of powder).

What’s particularly interesting to me is both models correctly sport old Civil War locks, the rifle lock being dated “1863” and the Cadet “1865.” Both barrels show signs of their .50-caliber liners at the muzzles.