SCARCE C.B. HOARD, WATERTOWN, NY, M1861 CONTRACT RIFLE MUSKET

$2,495.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 490-2954

Model 1861 contract rifle muskets made by Charles B. Hoard of Watertown, NY, are relatively hard to come by. A manufacturer of steam engines before and after the war, he got involved in the arms business in 1861 with his son and a brother, opening Hoard’s Armory and undertaking an initial U.S. contract in late 1861 for 50,000 M1861 rifle muskets. Problems in supply, labor, cost estimates, etc., resulted in delays and reissues of the contract, which was modified in 1862 and 1863 to total 45,000, of which he was only able to deliver 12,800 from October 1863 to August 1865, ranking him for production about twelfth out of eighteen contractors supplying the M1861.

This follows the standard configuration for the M1861, with .58 caliber, 40" barrel with three barrel bands, in bright finish, with the band springs showing some faint blue, and the walnut stock showing some handling marks, but good surface and color. Overall it shows use, but only light wear, and rates about very good. All bands, springs, ramrod, swivels, and front and rear sight are present and complete. The lock markings are sharp, with spread-winged eagle and US/ WATERTOWN forward of hammer and dated 1864 at tail. The barrel shows some fine pitting at the breech from firing. The barrel date is visible, but light on the last two digits and the V/P/[eagle head] barrel proofs are likewise light, but partially visible. The wood to metal fit is tight and the wood has generally good, surface, color and edges though as with rubbing to the barrel proofs, the cartouches on the side flat are not legible. The wood shows some small dings along the upper edge of the forestock forward of the middle band and a small divot between the lower and middle band, very slight chipping at rear of the lockplate, and a short hairline on the right buttstock at the buttplate. Action crips & strong; bore clean & bright with good rifling.

This is one of the scarcer contract M1861s and would likely fill a void in a collection. As a sidenote, Hoard also undertook the manufacture of the Freeman revolver, but with even less success. He obtained a contract for 5,000, and delivered none, assembling just some 2,000 that were later sold off when the firm went into receivership at war’s end.  [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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