SCARCE William Mason Contract CIVIL WAR US M1861 INFANTRY RIFLE-MUSKET .58
Primary Infantry Weapon of the American Civil War
Here we present an antique U.S. Model 1861 Rifle-Musket, made by William Mason of Taunton, Massachusetts, in 1864. Mason entered into a contract with the US Ordnance Department to manufacture 30,000 model 1861 rifle muskets and completed the order on time. The M1861 is representative of the “everyman’s” rifle during the American Civil War. About 1.5 million rifle-muskets were made in the U.S., over 800,000 of which were made by the Springfield Armory. This was the last hurrah of the rifle-musket as arms development and tactics rapidly advanced during the short period of the American Civil War. Nevertheless, the 1861 represented new technology as it was made for use with the Minié ball, a hollow based, conical projectile that was small enough to quickly push down the muzzle of a rifled barrel, and expanded to create a good gas seal unlike a solid round ball.
This .58 caliber rifle’s lock is marked “1863” and “WM MASON U.S. Taunton”. The top of the butt plate is also marked “US”. The top of the barrel is dated “1864”. The left side of the barrel is proof marked “V/P/Eagle head”.
The overall condition is Fine. The bore is bright and clean. The action is strong! A very solid musket with clear markings making it a great addition to any collection!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 40 inches in length.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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