RARE SPRINGFIELD ARMORY M1858 Type I CADET Rifle-MUSKET NEW JERSEY Antique
1 of 1,501; LONG RANGE REAR SIGHT & Shorter LOP
Here we present a very scarce antique New Jersey Marked Springfield Armory U.S. Model 1858 Type I Cadet Percussion Rifle-Musket, manufactured in 1858 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Approximately 1,501 Type I Model 1858 Cadet Rifle-Muskets with the early long range rear sight were manufactured at the Springfield Armory in 1858, and 1,000 of the Type II variation with the later flip-up rear sight were manufactured in 1860. The Model 1858 Cadet is basically identical to the standard issue Model 1855 Rifle-Musket, and only differs in having a two-inch shorter barrel with a one-inch shorter stock.
The U.S. Model 1858 Cadet Rifle Musket was the direct result of an 1857 inquiry by the state of New Jersey about the availability of cadet muskets for issue to the state. The request for Cadet arms set the wheels in motion for the adoption of a new pattern cadet sized musket, and in January of 1858, a representative of the Ordnance Department visited West Point to find out what form a new cadet musket should take. The recommendation from the Board of Ordnance after reviewing the West Point requests read as follows:
“It appears to the Board that the improvements in regard to the weight and length of the arm as stated in Captain Benton’s letter may be attained by reducing the length of the barrel to 38 inches, and altering its form, and that of all other parts of this arm to correspond in shape with the pattern of the new Rifle-Musket, using (for the Cadet Musket) if practicable, either the same lock as for the Rifle-Musket, or the pistol lock with the comb of the hammer lengthened.”
The board further recommended that the new arm be “precisely similar” to the model then in production and that the new musket should be fabricated with as little additional new machinery, fixtures, and parts as possible.
Other than the very scarce Model 1855 percussion carbine, of which only 1,020 were manufactured, the Model 1858 is the scarcest member of the U.S. Model 1855 family of arms. These guns are not often encountered on the market, and when they are found for sale, they usually show heavy use, providing further proof that saw service during the opening days of the Civil War. Even “Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Arms” notes that this gun is “very scarce”.
The overall condition is near fine. Original finish. The action is excellent. The bore is in fine condition: bright with sharp rifling. The stock is in great shape and solid, still showing an “NJ” cartouche for New Jersey as well as one for inspector John Hannis and Erskine S. Allin. The top of the stock’s grip and the top of the comb forward of the butt plate tang is marked “C/30” and “45” respectively. The bayonet fits neatly on the muzzle. This is a rarity in American Civil War martial arms. This cadet rifle is in gorgeous condition and ready for proud display.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 38 inches.
Caliber: .58 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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