SCARCE 1859-DATED SPRINGFIELD TYPE-3 M1855 RIFLE MUSKET

$2,800.00

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Item Code: 490-2994

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This scarce Springfield Armory Type-3 1855 Rifle Musket is one of 2,200 produced from August into November 1859 and rates good to very good for condition, with all original parts, clear markings on the metal and the wood showing handling marks and dings. The lock markings are sharp: 1859 date at rear, US / Springfield forward, and Springfield style eagle on the priming system door. The V/P/[eaglehead] barrel proofs show some wear, but are legible, as is the 1859 barrel date, matching that of the lockplate.

The Type-3 retained developments implemented in Springfield production into 1859, including the original Maynard tape priming system, etc., and used the small leaf-style rear sight adopted around 1858, but switched from a brass stock tip to an iron one, authorized in July 1859 and implemented starting in August, but did not yet incorporate the catchbox (the new term for patchbox) in the stock, also authorized in July, but not incorporated until November. A renewed production of 5,000 of the type took place in 1861, but would have used 1861 dated barrels and locks- a few exceptions may have occurred, but chances of matching 1859 dates in that lot are minimal. (See Willyard for details on these rifle muskets.)

The gun is complete and all original. All bands, springs, swivels, rear sight with leaves, and the rod are place. The barrel is generally smooth metal, brown in color. The lower and upper bands show a bit lighter with some gray showing through. The lock and hammer are very good, The bolster shows some thin shallow pitting from firing, but no deep corrosion. The vent screw shows some gray and roughness to the slot. The fit of wood and metal is tight. The lock apron shows good edges at top and sides, with rounding from handling along the bottom. The left side flat shows rounding to edges as well, handling dings and scratches, and a little shallow chipping on the lower edge, and no visible cartouches.

Both butt and forestock show handling marks, scratches and some shallow divots overall, particularly on the buttstock, and wear along the edges of the ramrod channel, all indicating issue and field use, but there are no cracks, the stock is solid and the color is a nice even brown. Additional indicators of issue and use are two sets of rack numbers: the number “42” is stamped just behind the breechplug tang and the belly of the buttstock shows a small “M” and “363” stamped just forward of the buttplate.  Mechanics function well; bore is clean with good rifling, but has a ring of pitting about a third of the way down the barrel.

The 1855 series of arms included a number of innovations and improvements. The most obvious are the use of the Maynard tape priming system, intended to eliminate the need for percussion caps, and the standard use of a rifled .58 caliber barrel combined with the Minie ball, which increased range and accuracy without sacrificing speed in loading. This would make a nice addition to a collection of 1855 rifle musket variations as well as a good early war infantry long-arm.  [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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