1859 CIVIL WAR-WORN Antique HARPERS FERRY ARSENAL Model 1855 Rifle-MUSKET
Used by Both North & South During the War Between the States!
Here we present an antique Harpers Ferry Armory U.S. Model 1855 Rifle-Musket, manufactured in 1859 in Harpers Ferry, Virginia. The Model 1855 was the first U.S. musket to utilize the .58 caliber Minie ball. The U.S. military was piloting a concept for all U.S. Army troops to have a common caliber, so that logistics would be simplified. The chosen caliber was .58, and it utilized the cutting-edge cone-shaped Minié ball with the hollow base instead of a spherical ball. Also, relatively new and short-lived was the Maynard tape priming system, to which Springfield had purchased the rights. Instead of directly priming the nipple by hand for each shot, the user would simply install a roll of paper percussion caps, and a single cap would be exposed, sheared and carried by the hammer to detonate on the nipple. Of course, the standard rifle percussion caps could also be used. This system was simply abandoned with the beginning of the American Civil War as arms production was driven by effectiveness and efficiency, resulting in the simplified Model 1861. These were used by both sides during the American Civil War.
Only 5,151 iron-mounted 1855 Rifles had been manufactured when the Harpers Ferry Armory was burned by Confederate forces in 1861. Many of the Model 1855 rifles were destroyed in the Armory fire and nearly all of the surviving rifles saw hard use with Federal and Confederate armies during the Civil War, and as a result any surviving examples of the Model 1855 Rifle are scarce and typically show the effects of hard field service.
This musket has been there and done that. The bore was either bored or shot so much that the diameter is more like .62 caliber. Strong action. The bore has darkened and remains in good shape. The stock is solid throughout though it shows all the years and signs of action. The forestock was shortened long ago. “1859” dated lock. View and proof marked barrel. The tape primer lid is missing as is the rear sight. A battleworn relic of the Civil War!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 32-3/4 inches.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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