REMINGTON MODEL 1862 CONTRACT RIFLE, AKA: THE REMINGTON “ZOUAVE”

$2,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1117-198

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Moller calls these rifles the “Remington 1862 Contract Rifle,” and Flayderman, the “Model 1863 Contract Rifle.” They are best known as the “Remington Zouave,” drawing a parallel between colorful zouave uniforms and the color case-hardened locks, blued barrels and brass trim of the rifles. Moller says “many arms students” think they are, “almost as attractive as the Model 1841 rifles,” (which merits an exclamation point at least.) Remington clearly used a similar design, blending it with the elements of the .58 caliber 1855 rifle. This one is in near excellent condition with full barrel blue, nice mustard color to the brass mounts, muted case color on the lock, and sharp markings to wood and metal. The wood has a warm brown color with good surface showing just some small scattered handling marks. The wood to metal fit is tight and the edges of the forestock, side flat ,and lock apron are sharp. The side flat shows small, shallow pressure dents, but has two crisp cartouches showing just a small dent between the letters of the upper “A.B.” cartouche.

The barrel has the bayonet lug and both sights in place and complete. The barrel has pretty much 100 percent coverage of original blue that shows just some slight fading and a little freckling around the rear sight, which has nice deep blue itself. The patchbox has nice color and there is blue left on the screws. The interior cut-out is sharp and the box still has its spare nipple inside. The lock screw and buttplate tang screw do not have color left. The lock screw slot shows a little unevenness from turning. The slot of the buttplate screw is fine. The buttplate has a nice mustard tone matching the rest of the brass. The tang is marked with a small U.S.

The lock plate shows some small, thin, gray spots below the bolster, but like the hammer, is smooth metal with thin mottled brown, gray and light blue of faded case colors. The rear of the lock is crisply dated 1863 and has a clear eagle over U.S. with REMINGTON’S / ILION, N.Y. forward. The barrel shows three inspector’s initials on the left flat and “STEEL.” The  top breech of the barrel has a crisp 1863 date, a “U” that might have been intended to have an “S” following it, but which is not evident. There are also the standard V/P/eagle head proofs, but placed with the eaglehead aligned below the date and the V over the P, both more or less in line with the U above. The explanation may be in the Remington contract, which was initially signed in July 1861 for 10,000 rifles (plus one sample piece.) The contract was modified and reissued in August 1862. Deliveries started in April 1863, but were 2,500 short when the contract expired toward the end of the year. A new contract was signed in December allowing delivery of the remaining 2,500 rifles over just five weeks. These arrived in three shipments in late December 1863 and early January 1864. It is possible this rifle was one of those left in limbo for a time in late 1863 until the government allowed the extension and signed a new contract for delivery of the remaining guns, which were then hurriedly completed. This is a guess, but makes sense of the unusual markings. [sr] [ph:L]

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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