NEW JERSEY MARKED HARPERS FERRY 1841 MISSISSIPPI RIFLE

$4,650.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 172-5746

This is the Harpers Ferry Type IV alteration of the Mississippi Rifle, using Moller’s classifications. In fiscal year 1860 1,071 were altered to use the 1858 pattern rifle leaf sight on the rear, the 1855 front sight that has a block base, a bayonet lug without a guide key (the latter two enabling it to carry a saber bayonet,) and lastly were reamed and re-rifled to .58 caliber. These measures were one of several sets of modifications to bring the 1841 rifle up to par with the 1855 series of arms, specifically in sighting, ability to mount a bayonet, and, in this case, caliber. Records were destroyed in the 1861 fire, but Moller notes that several of this configuration, like this one, have New Jersey markings indicating that many were issued to that state.

The wood and metal have a tight fit. The barrel is smooth metal, showing a bluish gray with some small, scattered dark gray spots. The metal was cleaned at some point long ago, but not overly and the barrel markings, AW/P barrel inspector’s proof on left breech forward, and the V/P/[eaglehead] view and proof marks are sharp. The barrel date, 1850, is slightly rubbed on the last digit. The N.J. surcharge on the left flat is sharp. The brass bands, triggerguard, sideplate, buttplate and patchbox have an nice medium, mustard, patina. The screws show no blue, but the slots are not chewed up. The mechanics are good. The nipple is not battered down. The lockplate, like the barrel was cleaned a long time ago, but without much loss of detail. The eagle and U.S. forward of the hammer show a tad of rubbing but are very good. The Harpers / Ferry / 1851 lock date is sharp and is perfectly acceptable with the barrel date of adjacent year. The buttplate and patchbox are very good. The cutout is typical Harpers Ferry with three guide holes for the router and a small hole where a spare nipple would have been screwed in.

The wood shows a very tight fit to the metal, and like the metal it was cleaned at some point, but has a nice warm, even brown color. The edges along the barrel and ramrod channel are very good, though there is one chip out on the upper left edge between the bands. The dark color indicates it is old. The lock apron has good edges and tight fit to the lock plate. The left side flat has good edges and tight fit to the side plate. There are some dings on the flat, but a three-letter inspector stamp is visible, as is an “N.J.” in an oval cartouche, directly below the N.J. barrel stamp. The belly of the buttstock and top edge show a number of handling dings and divots, more on the top than bottom. The left and right flats have only one or two, with minor scratches, though some on the top edge show a bit when the rifle is rotated. The underside of the stock has a rack number, “18” or “81” stamped in it.

The M1841 Rifle gained its reputation in the Mexican War and transformed into the “Mississippi” as a result. It is also a classic longarm of the Civil War, both in its original configuration, and the various alterations made to it in the mid-to-late 1850s to keep it in service the 1855 series of arms. This is a good example that displays well and would fill out a Civil War arms display, New Jersey material, or a gap in a collection of Mississippi variations. All swivels, bands, springs, and rod are in place. The mechanics are good. [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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