This is one of the more interesting Trapdoor Springfields we've come across in quite some time. This is a very scarce 1884 Trapdoor rifle with markings denoting issue to the Georgia Militia aka Georgia National Guard. I've only seen a couple others like this over the span of many years. They are marked "GA" on the top of the wood just in front of the buttplate. Not this one, but one was even marked "SVG" which I presume stood for "Savannah Volunteer Guards". I've also seen a couple of Colt Single Actions with this exact "GA" marking placed on the left side of the grips. This particular rifle was purchased recently at a yard sale in Conyers, GA from a lady who acquired this rifle from tenants of a rental property she used to own in Atlanta. I guess I need to start going to more yard sales!
The rifle is in NRA Antique Good+ condition with the metal turned mostly to a dark rich Georgia patina with original blue mixed through in places. This is a good straight Model 1884 with a nice "1890" dated cartouche on the left side of the stock. The serial number is in the 482,000 range with correct serrated trigger, buffington rear sight, 1884 breech block, and original ramrod. The wood is in Very good condition overall in untouched condition. The pictures make the wood appear to be dark brown in color....its actually more of a russet red color and looks much nicer in person. There are a couple minor cracks but overall the wood is very solid. Action works...breech has a little wiggle to it. Bore is pretty...not dark with good strong rifling and a few light pits.
Being one of the original 13 Colonies, the The Georgia Militia (now theNational Guard) has its origins dating back to the year 1733 with Oglethorpe's militia which fought with the British against the Spanish in 1742 at the Battle of Bloody Marsh. It also helped fight the British in Washington's Army during the Revolution, aided the War for Texas Independence, The Seminole Wars in 1836, The Mexican American War, and fought in both theatres of the Civil War for the Confederacy. Following the Civil War, the Georgia Militia had both Black and White units, and raised 3000 troops for the Spanish American War sending occupation forces to Cuba in 1899 (I believe that's correct). In 1903, the Georgia Militia was officially designated the Georgia National Guard...the title it still holds 103 years later. In 1916, GNG troops aided Pershing in Guarding the Mexican Border against Poncho Villa, the next year, the state sent troops to Europe during World War One. World War Two saw GNG units scattered across both Europe and Pacific. The Korean and Vietnam conflicts saw branches of the Georgia Air National Guard mobilized. Georgia National Guard units have participated in Both of the Iraq wars. In fact, you may have seen a Georgia National Guard unit recently on the news when they discovered a disabled baby girl in a small Iraqi town and sent her to Atlanta for a life-saving operation at the Children's hospital in Atlanta.
If you collect trapdoors, this is a very difficult State Militia marking to find. There are collectors right here in Georgia who've only encounted only one or none over the course of several decades of collecting. This is the only the 3rd I've seen and the only I've ever offered for sale. A nice Span-Am War era gun with a rare Georgia military past!