Quantity Available: None
Item Code: 721-78
This is a fine example of a civil war muzzle-loading weapon that has been converted for a .58 Roberts cartridge. The Roberts Conversion System converted the musket to a breech loading cartridge rifle. Union General B.S. Roberts invented the conversion system, which utilized his own .58 Roberts center fire cartridge. Roberts contracted with the Providence Tool Company to convert Model 1861 and 1865 muskets. The US Ordnance Bureau did not adopt the Roberts system, but they did sell some to the State of South Carolina. The Providence Tool Company also sold a number of the altered muskets to France. Many of these arms were P-1853 Enfields that had likely been in store in New York State Arsenals. The breech loading modification resulted in a significantly weakened wrist area, and many of the guns experienced severe damage during their period of use. As a result Roberts Conversion muskets are quite scarce today, especially 2 band Enfields.
This Roberts Conversion Musket is truly unique as the alteration was performed on a Pattern 1853 2-band Enfield Rifle Musket. The lockplate is marked with a crown / TOWER and BARNETT LONDON. The left side of the breechblock is marked in two horizontal lines: ROBERT’S PATENT / JUNE 11, 1867. Other markings are number 2 on the hammer and number 307 on the bayonet lug. The buttplate, trigger guard and the nose-cap are all made from brass and the rest of the parts are iron. All iron parts have a matching gunmetal gray patina throughout the metal. The stock has no markings except for the serial or rack number 4839 and two initials stamped in the wood on the flat opposite the lockplate and the number 3 near the tang on the buttplate. Also the number 85 is scratched on the tang of the buttplate.
(NOTE) A major flaw in the Roberts design – the breech block cannot fully open to load or unload the gun unless the ramrod is pulled about 2”-3” out of the stock. Otherwise, the falling breechblock strikes the end of the ramrod, and only allows the breech to open up about half of the necessary distance to use the musket.
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