This antique muzzle loading percussion weapon is a very solid example of the Remington “Zouave” Model 1863 Rifle as manufactured in Ilion, New York, early 1863. Only 12,501 of these rifles were made via government contract by Remington. These weapons were also known as the “Harper’s Ferry Pattern” in official government communications during the War. These true “rifles” had shorter and thicker barrels than the mass produced and issued Springfield Models of 1855, 1861 and 1863, of which over a million were issued by the end of the American Civil War.
This specimen features 7-groove rifling, stout barrel walls a 33-inch barrel. The muzzle end of the barrel has a sword bayonet lug mounted on the right side. The contrasting colors of the brass barrel bands, trigger guard, patch box, and butt plate combined with the dark bluing of the barrel makes this weapon one of the most attractive of all weapons produced in that era. The workmanship overall is outstanding and the lock was casehardened (and marked “1863”). The lockplate is also marked with an eagle motif and the stamping “REMINGTONS/ILION, NY” and “US”. The left side of the barrel is marked “US/VP” (viewed and proved) and “STEEL/BH”. The government cartouches in the wood are still very crisp and visible. The brass butt plate is marked “US”.
The overall condition is fine. The barrel retains nearly all of its original bluing although some is turning a mellow plum brown/gray. All markings are clear and legible. The percussion nipple is original to the weapon. The walnut stock is near fine and exhibits no serious damage or repair. The ramrod is original to the weapon and the bore is very good. All mechanical functions are strong.
Barrel, 33 inches in length.
Caliber:, .58 percussion
This fine rifle would be a fantastic addition to any collection and the price is well under typical asking amounts.