US M1841 RIFLE BY ROBBINS, KENDALL AND LAWRENCE DATED 1848

$1,950.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 2022-380

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The firm of Robbins, Kendall and Lawrence was organized in 1844 specifically to obtain a contract for U.S. Model 1841 rifles, offered by the government at a fixed priced per rifle rather than letting potential makers bid competitively. Robbins had made money in the lumber business and underwrote the production facilities in Windsor, VT. The company obtained a five-year contract in February 1845 for 10,000 rifles, which they successfully completed in 1849, delivering 2,800 rifles in 1847, 5,000 in 1848, and 2,200 in 1849. Kendall sold his interest in the company in late 1847 and a subsequent contract for 15,000 rifles was signed by Robbins and Lawrence, with deliveries starting in 1849 and completed in 1852.

This rifle is in good to very good condition, with smooth metal showing a mix of gunmetal gray with some darker gray and thin spotting on the barrel, some thin bluish gray faded case color on the lockplate, and a nice medium patina to the brass. The barrel shows some shallow pitting from firing at the breech, near the nipple, and slightly heavier pitting on the breechplug tang, but the barrel proofs and date are sharp. The wood shows handling dings, small pressure dents and some scratches or slight chips, but has good color, a tight fit to the metal, decent edges and like the metal has clear markings. The barrel has both sights, the V-notch fixed rear sight and front brass blade, though the latter has been worn down from an oval to a level ridge. The correct brass tipped ramrod is present. The rear sling swivel is there. The upper swivel is not and there is no bracket for it. The brass patchbox has a tight fit and its screws show some blue. The extra nipple is in place inside and the wood, as is correct for contract arms, shows no pilot holes in the router marks.

The markings on the lock plate are sharp: the firm name over “U.S.” in four lines forward of the hammer and to its rear, “WINDSOR, VT” over the date, in this case “1848,” in two vertical lines. The buttplate is correctly marked with a small U.S. in line with the barrel. The barrel shows a correct proofs: “U.S. / J.A.G./ P” indicating government ownership, the initials of inspector John A. Gamber, who was detailed from Springfield to Windsor from May 1847 to December 1848 as inspector of contract arms, and here inspected the barrel and marked it with “P” as having passed the proof test. The U.S. is light but visible and the block letter J.A.G. shows a slight blur at bottom indicating the stamp rebounded in the marking process. The “P” is crisp. The breechplug tang is dated clearly 1847, indicating the rifle was assembled early in 1848 when there were still some 1847-dated barrels to be used. Gamber also placed his inspection mark on the stock side flat, using his fancier script JAG in a cartouche, next to the rear lock screw. The rear of the side flat shows the very clear vertical “W.A.T.” stamp of William A. Thornton, chief of contract arms inspection from 1840 to 1852.

The wood shows various handling marks overall but has a nice surface and color. There is a shallow chip at rear edge of the lock apron and lower right of the buttstock next to the buttplate, some scratches on the belly of the forestock and top of the wrist with a shallow divot. There are some other pressure dents on the left buttstock, right forestock, and some small nicks just forward of the buttplate tang. All of these appear to be old handling marks from its period of use.

The rifle remains in .54 caliber with good mechanics and rifling though we do see a gouge running around the inside of the barrel 5 or 6 inches from the muzzle and a slight corresponding bulge on the exterior, likely from being fired with dirt or an obstruction in the upper barrel, something not unheard of in the hands of excited soldiers in the heat of battle. The bore marking is, of course, not visible in displaying the gun and the slight bulge is more evident to the touch than the eye. This shows off very well and is a good example of a M1841 “Mississippi” by a well known contractor, so much so that contemporary references to “Windsor rifles” are often noted.  [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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