ROBBINS & LAWRENCE CONTRACT M1841 ‘MISSISSIPPI’ RIFLE ID’D TO 51ST MASSACHUSETTS INFANTRY

$3,095.00
Originally $3,245.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 218-470

Among the many variations made of the Model 1841 US percussion rifle, this shoulder arm was produced under government contract by the firm of Robbins & Lawrence of Windsor, Vermont.

One of 15,000 such rifles produced from 1848 to 1853, this single-shot, percussion-rifled muzzleloader features a .54 caliber, 33” long round barrel. Overall length of the weapon is 48½”.

Lockplate is dark with no case colors and features a strong marking “ROBBINS / & / LAWRENCE / US” forward of the hammer. Rear of hammer is the two-line stamping “WINDSOR VT / 1850.” Barrel retains much of its factory browned finish along with minor scattered pitting, especially at the bolster and breech area. No date on the barrel tang but breech does show barrel markings “US/JPC/ P.”

In early 1862 the State of Massachusetts contracted with A.J. Drake & Co. to alter 1839 Robbins & Lawrence rifles to “long range” models with a long range rear sight, new front sight and a long angular (socket) bayonet which is known to collectors as the “Drake” bayonet. The Drake alteration included the installation of a long range rear sight, similar to the US 1858 pattern sight and the attachment musket style combination front sight/bayonet lug.

The barrels were not turned down to accept bayonets for .69 or .58 caliber muskets, so the sockets of the Drake contract bayonets are exceptionally large in order to fit the thick M1841 barrel. No additional modifications were performed. It appears that nearly all of the “Drake” altered M1841 rifles were issued to the 46th and 51st Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

The M1841 longarm has a black walnut stock fitted with brass furniture and a brass patchbox. All brass wears a light patina. Stock surface shows normal to heavy wear and bears scattered dings and dents from use and storage. Two faint government cartouches are visible on the flat opposite the hammer. Brass buttplate features the “US” on the tang and also a rack number “46/F” while the face of the buttplate is marked “51 MASS.” Mechanics are strong and crisp. Bore rifling is good but suffers from light pitting and surface grime. Steel ramrod is present. Rifle retains both sling swivels.

The 51st Massachusetts Infantry was raised for 9 months service in October of 1861. The regiment served in North Carolina seeing action at Kinston and Whitehall before being mustered out July 27, 1863.

A veteran ‘Mississippi’ percussion rifle in good condition overall.  [ad]

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