RARE 1 of 982 CIVIL WAR Antique J. HENRY & SON SABER-RIFLE for MILITIA
PENNSYLVANIA MADE with BRASS FURNITURE
Here we present an antique J. Henry & Son Percussion Militia Rifle, made circa the early 1860s, right in the middle of the Civil War era. John Joseph Henry started his business in Philadelphia in 1807 and closed it in 1822, merging his operations with his brother William’s business going by the name of Boulton Gun Works in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. After this time his guns were marked “JJ HENRY, BOULTON”. John’s son Joseph joined the firm in 1831, and after he passed away, his son James took over the business. After James’ son, Granville, became a partner in the firm in 1859, the guns were marked “J. HENRY & SONS”, as is this one.
With the coming of the American Civil War, and the calling for 100,000 volunteers to suppress the rebellion, not to mention the calling out of Pennsylvania militia units for the defense of the state, John Henry looked to produce military arms to cash in on the need for guns. He produced two patterns of military style rifles and a cadet musket. The rifles were offered with either a socket or a saber bayonet, and were known respectively in the Henry company records as “Mini” Rifles” or “Saber Rifles”. Henry produced some 952 “Saber Rifles” during the summer of 1861, most of which (876) were also sold to P.S. Justice, with deliveries starting in September of that year. 70 were sold by Henry to the Catasanga Home Guard in October and November, and another 6 were used as sample rifles in an attempt to obtain other military contracts.
The overall condition is good. Original patina. The action is strong, holding both half- and full-cock notches. The barrel has been bored smooth. The stock is solid. Both the lock and the barrel are marked “J. HENRY & SONS”. Recurve trigger guard, saber bayonet lug, and small patchbox.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 35 inches.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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