Finest known example to date, Brazilian Light Minie Enfield, MINT!

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This is one of the most attractive, well balanced and accurate of the percussion rifles used during the American Civil War. The Brazilian Light Minié Rifle, manufactured by the O.P. Drissen company of Liège, Belgium, was a unique combination of the features found on the British Pattern 1856/58/60 series of Enfield short rifles and the French Light Minié rifle.  The .577 caliber rifle was designed to accept a straight bladed saber bayonet and the guns imported by US purchasing agents are readily identifiable by a brass shield with an eagle on the wrist of the stock.  The guns have the Drissen maker mark of a D –Anchor – C on the lock and most of the metal and wooden parts. The D – (ANCHOR) – C makers mark typically appears on the breech, lock, butt plate, barrel bands and trigger guard of the guns, as well as the stock.  This same mark also appears on the obverse ricasso of the saber bayonets that were manufactured by S&K (SCHNITZLER & KIRSCHBAUM of Solingen) for use with the rifles.

It is estimated that the US Government purchased between 4,000 and 6,000 of the weapons. The guns are referred to as “Belgian rifles of Enfield pattern” or “Rifles, Liège, saber bayonet, caliber .577” in various Civil War records of purchases.  The source was the firm of C.K. Garrison who had a US Government contract to deliver 5,800 “Minié Rifles of Liège pattern with saber bayonets”.  The Brazilian Light Minié Rifle” were part of a contract destined for the Brazilian military but ended up being sold to US buyers instead.  Many Civil War images of troops armed with these rifles are known.  The brass US Eagle wrist shields on the guns are clearly visible in the images and the straight blade saber bayonets are generally shown suspended from US M-1855 rifleman’s belts.

This weapon is in near mint and unfired overall condition.  The gun shows virtually no use beyond storage dings and abrasions expected with a 150+ year old weapon.  The lock and hammer are marked with  D – (ANCHOR) – C as well as in several other places.  The oval “E / LG / *” Liège proof mark is crisp and clear as is the Liège Perron breech inspection mark.  The mechanical action of the rifle functions flawlessly.

This is the finest known example extant for the pattern and rivals the US M1841 Mississippi Rifle in terms of overall attractiveness and functionality. These rifles were well made and saw service mostly in the hands of US troops from the Mid-Western states and with US Volunteer units, such as engineers.  This gun is more than worthy of inclusion in a high quality collection of Civil War era import military long arms and would be the centerpiece in most.

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Additional information

Weight 15 lbs
Dimensions 48 × 6 × 6 in