Exceptional condition and as untouched as they come, this fine example surfaced at an estate tag sale in Middleton, Connecticut a few months ago. It is 100% complete, original and unmolested and the bore is remarkably nice, as is the action of the mechanics. There are no breaks in the wood and the entire weapon exhibits a wonderful smooth brown patina.
A substantial number of firms were contracted to manufacture the.58 caliber muzzloading Model 1861 Rifle-Musket. Norwich Arms Company was one such manufacturer making about 18,000 rifle muskets in 1863 and 1864.
The lock plate is dated “1864” behind the hammer and marked with the eagle motif and “U.S./NORWICH.” ahead of the hammer. The left rear of the barrel is marked with the “V/P/eagle head” proofmarks and the top is faintly dated “1864”. The buttplate tang is marked “U.S.” and the barrel bands are correctly marked with a “U”. It features the original fixed front sight which doubles as a bayonet lug and three leaf folding rear sight, as well as a clean-out screw on the bolster and original iron tulip head ramrod.