U.S. MODEL 1855 RIFLE SWORD BAYONET 1857 TO MID-1860

$400.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 490-4286

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This brass hilt sword bayonet is a product of the Harpers Ferry Armory, made for the Model 1855 Rifle. Like the majority of these bayonets, this one has an unmarked blade. (Less than half of known specimens have a U.S. marking on the blade- probably thought unnecessary since all were made at Harpers Ferry- with most of those having it on the reverse ricasso, and a few on the obverse.) It does, however, show one of the usual inspection marks on the top flat just behind the guard, a small “1” or “I” partially obscured by some brown age staining.

These were produced starting in 1857 in conjunction with the rifles as requested on “Orders for Supplies.” This one dates before the implementation of a May 7, 1860, order that a steel “stop pin” be added just forward of the finger release button of the spring. This extended into the bayonet stud mortise to take the impact of bayonet stud when mounting the bayonet and prevent the softer brass from being deformed.

The hilt has medium aged patina, with some dark spots, and small dings to the grip flat, mostly toward the pommel, with some dings and scratches to the guard and wear to the quillon disks. The blade is dark, with rubbing to lighter tones on the high points. The edge has only a couple of minor nicks and the point is good. The metal is mostly smooth lower down, with shallow pitting starting at the upper end of the fuller.

The Model 1855 rifle was a very stylish gun, with Maynard tape primer and patch box, mounted in both brass and iron, with some collectors even finding the brass mounted version more attractive than the Mississippi. It was developed at a time when there still a distinction between riflemen and musket-armed infantry of the line, with the long sword bayonet intended to make it a match for a musket with bayonet in overall length for use in close combat. This would make a good addition to a Civil War arms collection, particularly one concentrating on bayonets or edged weapons.  [sr][ph:L]

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