A relatively scarce example in several ways. First, the condition is pure attic brown and untouched overall. Second, it retains the original socket bayonet, which doesn’t happen often. Third, it is a .58 caliber model rather than the far more common .577. The lockplate is crisply dated 1861 and the proof marks of 24 verify the bore diameter. This Pattern 1853 was the competition to the US Springfield Model 1861 and in many ways, superior. The accuracy of the weapon was incredible and the overall construction was exceptional for the era. Manufactured in England, tens of thousands of these fine infantry weapons were imported early in the War years by Northern and Southern agents, both competing in the scramble to arm soldiers.
This excellent weapon is 100% original and the only things technically lacking are the sling swivels, many of which were not supplied with the weapons as slings were more difficult to obtain than the weapons themselves. The metal is a smooth brown overall and the wood is about as fine as you will ever see on one of these.
If you are seeking an early War infantry weapon with a possibility of being issued to either side, North or South, here it is. It is, without question, one of the weapons that came into America in 1861 and a fine example overall. Mechanically the action is crisp and the bore is far above average.
The weapon gives only a tiny clue as to the origin in America–the buttplate is stamped with initials and the date of 1949–if it could only talk! One thing for sure: it hasn’t been out of the family for many, many decades.