CIVIL WAR Antique WHITNEY ARMS CO. Contract U.S. M1841 “MISSISSIPPI” Rifle
Extensively Used .62 Percussion Smoothbored Rifle
Here we present an antique U.S. Model 1841 Rifle-Musket, made on contract by Eli Whitney’s Whitneyville or Whitney Arms Co. in New Haven, Connecticut in 1852. Eli Whitney contracted with the U.S. Government for 22,500 rifles, delivered between 1842 and 1854. This mass produced rifle was used extensively by Dragoons, Mounted Rifle Regiments, and U.S. Infantry “Regulars” prior to the Civil War. After the John Brown Raid on Harpers Ferry in October of 1859 the southern states demanded additional weapons. In December of that year, 10,000 Mississippi Rifles were sent to southern armories at the direction of the Secretary of War. These rifles saw extensive service for the south when Civil War erupted in 1861. The Mississippi Rifle is so called because its service life included the Mexican-American War, during which Jefferson Davis (future president of the Confederacy) led his Mississippi troops, who carried and favored the rifle. It was a rugged and reliable weapon.
The Model 1841 was originally made in .54 caliber, but in the late 1850s a number were arsenal reconfigured to the larger .58 caliber Minie ball. Obviously, the Model 1841 was worth converting. Normally, a rifle that is converted is not worth quite as much, but this one bucks that trend, probably due to its use by both sides during the American Civil War. Government arsenals that were in the Confederacy at the time of the rebellion had a number of these in them.
The overall condition is good. Robust action. The bore is in good shape for its age with some visible rifling remaining, but has been bored out. This example sports a solid stock with some chipping around the barrel tang. Legible markings. “1852” dated lock. The front sight is a replacement.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 32-3/4 inches.
Caliber: .62 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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