REMINGTON MODEL 1862 CONTRACT RIFLE, AKA: THE REMINGTON “ZOUAVE”

$2,950.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1184-57

Moller calls these rifles the “Remington 1862 Contract Rifle,” and Flayderman, the “Model 1863 Contract Rifle.” They are best known as the “Remington Zouave,” drawing a parallel between the colorful zouave uniforms popular at the time and the attractive color case-hardened locks, blued barrels and brass trim of these guns that make them rivals to the Model 1841 rifle in many collectors’ eyes. The similarities were not accidental. The rifle combines elements of the M1841 as altered for long range use at Harpers Ferry with those of the 1855 series of arms, especially the .58 caliber M1855 rifle. See Moller, especially, for these shared characteristics.

The company obtained a contract for 10,000 rifles with sword bayonets in July 1861, but production delays resulted in replacement of that contract with another in August 1862, for the same number of rifles, but with a price reduction from $20 to $17. The total delivered from April 1863 to January 1864 amounted to 10,001, the extra gun being the government sample, but was only accomplished by a last minute extension of the contract in December 1863 to allow for delivery of the last 2,500 rifles within an additional five weeks. The irony is that after so much effort the rifles do not seem to have been issued and remained in storage at Watervliet Arsenal.

This one remains in near excellent condition. The metal is smooth, with full barrel blue, blue on the rear sight, nice mellow brass tones to the mounts, lots of blue on screws, which do not show turning, visible muted case colors on the lock. The lock markings are crisp: 1863 at rear and an [eagle]/ U.S. with REMINGTON’S / ILION, N.Y. forward. The barrel stamps are sharp as well: “1863” on the top breech, with V/P/[eaglehead] barrel proof at left and “STEEL” on the left flat, followed by U.S. Inspector of Contract Arms Remick K. Arnold’s “R.K.A.” initials. We see just a couple of very small brown age stains on the left barrel flat, right flat just forward of the bolster, etc. None are particularly visible or obtrusive. The bayonet lug, front and rear sights, ramrod, nose cap, bands, springs, and swivels are all in place, though the front sight blade was altered and there are a few tiny dings near the muzzle below it. The extra nipple is in place in the patchbox.

The wood has an excellent finish, pleasing warm reddish-brown tone, tight fit to the metal, good edges, and sharp markings. The inspector cartouches on the left flat are crisp: the H.D.J. stamp of subinspector Henry D. Jennings high up and forward and the B.H. stamp of Benjamin Hannis, the principal sub-inspector at the Remington Armory (whose initials also appear the sword bayonets for these rifles) at bottom rear. There are only very minor handling marks. The patchbox cut-out is crisp.

These rifles often turn up in very good condition, but this one is exceptionally nice.  [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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