1860s Antique ETHAN ALLEN Frontier Handy Rifle
With Period Tang Aperture Sight & Leather Sling!
Here we present an antique Ethan Allen & Co. Falling Block Rifle in .38 Centerfire, made circa the early 1860s in Worcester, Massachusetts. Fewer than 2,000 of these rifles are thought to have been made in any variant. Though not standard issue, this rifle saw service in the American Civil War through private purchases by soldiers, especially irregular state units. This one looks as though it came right out of the frontier and is virtually untouched since it was retired. It features a half-octagonal, half-round barrel equipped with a two-leaf open rear sight for closer, quicker shooting. While many of these were chambered for rimfire cartridges, this one was made for a .38 caliber centerfire cartridge, and while not marked for a cartridge, it does indeed fit a .38 Long. There is a tang-mounted rear aperture sight for longer range precision shooting. This rifle is equipped with the optional sling loops ahead of the forearm and under the buttstock and includes the original leather sling, well-used but still in great shape. Lowering the lever and breech block would expose the empty case and pushing a little further on the spring-loaded lever would activate the extractor. The top of the barrel is marked “E ALLEN & CO. WORCESTER MAS/ALLEN’S PAT. SEP. 18. 1860”. The butt plate has a cleaning rod trap.
The overall condition is very good. The original blued finish has turned a dark and even plum with age. The markings are legible. The walnut stock has a fracture at the toe that was repaired during the period of use with cobbler’s nails. Otherwise the stock is smooth and solid. This rifle was obviously used but well-taken care of. The bore is in near fine condition, bright with sharp rifling. The action is excellent. The leather sling has weathered the years extremely well and is a fantastic compliment to this slender and lightweight rifle. Pair that with the tang-sight and this rifle would have made a trusty companion in the saddle scabbard.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 24 inches.
Caliber: .38 Centerfire
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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