CONFEDERATE IMPORT BRITISH P1853 ENFIELD RIFLE MUSKET DATED 1862

$2,950.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 490-5711

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This is an untouched, attic-condition, all-original example of the British P1853 Enfield, imported in large numbers by both sides in the Civil War, but bearing markings indicating it was specifically for export to the Confederacy. Specifically, these marks are the script “J.C” in oval cartouche of a Confederate “viewer” on the left side flat associated with the various “SH” stamps of exporter Sinclair, Hamilton & Company (sometimes paired with a code for their furnisher) usually found stamped on the comb near the buttplate tang. These latter marks seem to be visible in some light, but are too obscured by light dings or scratches in the wood there to be certain. On the other hand, there is also a very sharp “M&H” in oval stamp on the forward end of lock plate indicating the gun was made by the Birmingham firm of Moore & Harris, who supplied Enfields to Horace Chavasse later recovered from the sunken blockade runner “Modern Greece,” and whose stock markings also noted by the English Connection on guns supplied to Sinclair, Hamilton & Co., nicely connecting with the “J.C” cartouche. In addition, we note the Birmingham barrel proofs include a “24” bore size indicating the standard U.S./C.S. .58 caliber, rather than the more usual “25,” indicating the standard British .577 caliber.

This has a full-length stock and barrel, with all bands, swivels and ramrod in place. The front sight is in place, but the rear sight is gone, not uncommon on Enfields since it was merely soldered in place. The gun has a good, untouched look, with the barrel, bands, rod and swivels showing brown and the brass mounts- nose cap, triggerguard, lock-screw escutcheons and buttplate – showing a dark, aged patina. The barrel shows generally smooth metal from muzzle back to the breech, but shallow pitting to the breech and bolster, and some bleaching to the wood around the lockplate near the bolster. The last two factors are sometimes attributed to careless use and handling by a veteran around the farm after the war, and this one does show little rifling left in it, a battered nipple, and dusty bore, but they more likely result from wartime use of imported British “high-pressure” percussion caps that were intended to better ensure ignition, but were eventually withdrawn from British service because of complaints about their excessive power and on a Confederate-used gun are good diagnostic features. The lockplate marks are sharp- a British crown at rear and “1862 / TOWER” forward of the hammer, along with the “M&H” stamp noted above, along with standard border lines along the lockplate and a floral decoration along the nose of the hammer. The corrosion from the percussion caps has affected the upper portion of the barrel proofs, but the lower mark is visible and the first “24” above it is both visible and clearly legible as “24,” which is itself a fairly scarce Enfield bore measurement. The mechanics are good.

The wood to metal fit is good. The counterpane and lock apron have good edges, though the latter shows a hairline at rear center with some dark residue behind it indicating it may have been repaired at some point and two other hairlines or draglines on the left forestock at the middle band, also with some dark residue indicating a repair, perhaps of a shallow chip. Other than that the wood shows just typical handling dings and light scratches with scattered stains  though with a set of initials lightly scratched into the right buttflat reading “M K.” These are likely the soldier’s initials, but are not enough to narrow it down much in identifying it. Other handling marks are not severe but enough to obscure marks on the comb or belly of the stock.

This is a good example of a Confederate Enfield, rating very good for condition by standards for Confederate long arms, which usually show hard use from long and active campaigning. We would not touch anything about it. It has a great, untouched, attic-found look to it that is hard to come by anymore. [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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