1864 DATED BRIDESBURG CONTRACT SPRINGFIELD RIFLE MUSKET

$1,350.00

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Item Code: 2021-538

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This is a good example of the 1863 Type 1 Springfield rifle musket made in 1864 by Alfred Jenks & Son of Bridesburg, PA, one of the major arms contractors to the U.S. government. This is a classic Civil War longarm of the Union infantry and Confederate troops by capture and is in good condition that will improve with a little TLC. The Bridesburg Machine Works, headed at that time by Barton Jenks, son of Alfred, manufactured machinery and was thus one of the few contractors with the capacity to make good on their promises to the government, delivering some 98,464 rifle muskets from August 1862 into May 1865, as well as supplying parts to other contractors. They are also one of the few contractors to produce both Model 1861 and the Model 1863 Type I rifle muskets

This is a standard configuration for the pattern, percussion, single shot, .58 caliber, 40-inch barrel secured by three barrel bands that dispense with the band springs of the 1861 model and tighten with screws instead. The hammer on this pattern is recurved and beveled, and the bolster holding the nipple dispenses with a clean-out screw and is instead stamped on the flat surface with an eagle. The ramrod was also changed, using a straight shank retained by an internal spring in the stock rather than by friction of a swell near the top against the nose cap. (The ramrod with it is a copy, and lacks the threading at the bottom, but originals are not impossible to find.)

The barrel has a generally smooth surface from the muzzle back to the rear sight, with a mix of bright metal and gray spots. Both sights are in place and the rear sight retains its leaf. From the rear sight back, the barrel shows shallow pitting extending onto the breech, with darker areas, likely from the corrosive effects of the percussion primers in firing. This has obliterated the barrel date on the top flat, but did not reach the left breech and the V/P/[eagle head] proof stamps are visible, as is the upper portion of a finishing inspector stamp on the left flat below the barrel proofs. We do see a slight indentation at the lower edge, likely from vise clamp. The lockplate is smooth metal, though darker, but the 1864 date aft of the hammer and “U.S. Bridesburg” forward are very good, as is the nicely struck eagle on the lockplate. The eagle on the bolster is visible, but, like the top of the breech shows corrosion from firing. The hammer is good and shows a mix of the darker lockplate color and more gray/brown of the bolster and breech. The buttplate shows some staining and the tang screw slot shows turning.

The rifle was cleaned at some point and the wood lightly sanded, but it preserves two visible ink cartouches of government inspectors on the left side flat: one just behind the upper lock screw and the other, visible mostly in outline, at the rear point. Overall, the wood is very good, with nice color and surface, with few handling dings, and fits the metal tightly, though with some small chips around the  buttplate tang and a sliver out along the bottom rear of the lockplate. The edges generally show some rounding, which is natural from handling and field service.

The bore has good rifling and would clean to fine. As mentioned above, the rod with it should be replaced or threaded. The lower and middle bands were put on upside down, an easy correction. The lock also needs some tinkering since it fails to hold when cocked. This displays well and is good example of the infantry arms used in the decisive campaigns of the war.  [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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