One of the absolute FINEST I have seen in 40+ years and fresh from an estate in Northeastern NC, very close to the Virginia border. This beautiful weapon has been in the same family for many decades but unfortunately the known history is lost. It is a pristine example of the P56 Enfield Rifle and in near as-issued condition overall, remarkable for a weapon manufactured in 1862. It has no English or colonial crown markings anywhere on it–only the lock plate marking of “Tower” and “1862” plus a single “25” bore sizing mark for caliber .577 which is correct for the weapon. There are no marks in the wood, either, very typical of early War Confederate blockade run items. The last digit of the lockplate date is weakly stamped, but it is dated 1862.
This fine military weapon retains the original rear sight, sling swivels, ramrod and the nipple protector with chain. Many do not realize that these fine weapons were shipped to the states with blued barrels–in the field, soldiers often removed the finish and other examples simply wore off over the many decades. This beautiful weapon retains 90%+ ORIGINAL finish! The P56 is mounted in iron, not brass, and designated for infantry use (brass mounted examples were designated for naval use) and the iron sabre bayonet lug is still on it as well. The pressed leather grips of the bayonet are exceptional and the blade is near MINT, just like the weapon. I did not try to force it on the stud as there is 150+ years of light debris present, but it will very likely fit, once cleaned, if so desired. The leather scabbard for the bayonet is also in near fine condition overall. If you want one of the BEST examples known, here it is. Museum and investment grade all the way!
Even well worn examples of the rifles command close to $2,000 as they are far more rare than the 3-band rifled muskets. The two band rifle was most often issued to the best shots in a company or regiment and also given to skirmishers and flanking companies of regiments. This one is a beauty and likely the most inexpensive fine condition “more than likely” Confederate long gun out there.