Very honest example of the fine weapons manufactured at Fayetteville, NC, circa 1860 to 1864. These weapons were actually manufactured utilizing the tooling and dies from the Harpers Ferry Armory which were captured and shipped to Fayetteville. This example is complete except for the rear sight (which is a standard M1855 Rifle type) and has a decent bore. Wood and metal is overall very good and the lockplate markings are legible (difficult to photograph).
While not as large or as prolific in production as the Confederate Government Richmond Arsenal of Virginia, the Fayetteville Arsenal was operated by 70 former employees of the Harpers Ferry Arsenal until its complete destruction by Sherman’s Army in 1865. Fayetteville was plagued by lack of barrel stock throughout production but in spite of the supply problems, they managed to produce a high quality rifle with fit and finish that was equal to any rifle produced by the U.S. at the time. Total production is estimated between 8000 to 9500 weapons produced from 1861 to 1865 with slightly more than half believed to be the Type IV, which is what this one is.
The lockplate is marked 1863 at the rear, “FAYETTEVILLE” is marked on the front with a faint Eagle over “C.S.A” marked below. The top of the buttplate is also stamped CSA. A Fayetteville Rifle is one of the only Confederate-made longarms that were actually produced with the Confederate States of America abbreviation located on the lockplate and buttplate on most Type III’s. The left side of the barrel is marked in small letters turned sideways “V” over “P” over the Eagle symbol. This rifle also has the “S” type hammer which is usually found on the later Type III and Type IV Fayetteville rifle. The main difference between these late models is the Type III has a bayonet lug on the right side of the barrel while the Type IV does not.