1855 HARPERS FERRY MODEL 1855 RIFLE MUSKET DATED 1858 IN THE BRIGHT

$5,950.00

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Item Code: 1000-147

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The 1855 series of arms introduced a number of innovations, most notably rifled arms for all infantry and the .58 caliber Minie ball as the standard infantry round. Long arms were still divided, however, between short rifles for light troops and rifles of musket length for infantry of the line, a distinction that was already on its way out. This is an excellent example of the 1855 Rifle Musket, which was made both at Springfield and at Harpers Ferry. This one is a Harpers Ferry product and has crisp Harpers Ferry lock markings, crisp barrel view and proof stamps with a typical Harpers Ferry eagle on the tape primer door and on the barrel, and matching 1858 dates on the lock and top flat of the barrel breech.

The wood to metal fit is tight throughout. The wood is a medium, lighter tone, and shows handling dings, but no cracks or chips and shows very good edges both around the lock and on the left side. The left side flat shows some scratches and one deep pressure dent, but has two very crisp cartouches: the J.A.S. stock inspector stamp of John A. Scheffer at the rear and the S.B. final stamp of Master Armorer Samuel Byington below the rear lock screw.

The guns were issued in the bright and the metal overall shows an excellent bright finish with just some gray age color on the primer door, parts of the lockplate and scattered elsewhere. The cleanout screw shows some turning, but the markings overall are crisp and the bore is minty. The mechanism is good. The nipple is not battered. The brass nose cap, the bands, swivels, rod and both sights are in place. The rear sight is the early version long range sight, marked at 100 yard intervals on the side for the ladder slide to rest on before being raised upright for longer ranges. As is correct for this version of the 1855 rifle musket, the stock is not fitted with a patch box.

Some 6464 of these were manufactured at Harpers Ferry in 1858. Current research shows that chances are it was made in the latter half of the year. Guns made in the first three months have a greater likelihood of having an 1857 dated lock with an 1858 barrel, and those made from April through June were not fitted with a rear sight at all (at least at the time,) due to confusion about the introduction of a new pattern. It was not until July that production with this pattern of sight was resumed. The 1855 was the precursor of the Model 1861, which did away with the Maynard tape primer, but many thousands saw service throughout the war and particularly show up in the hands of early volunteers. This is a very nice 1855 and has the added attraction of being a product of the southern national armory.  [sr]

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire!

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