Very clean and honest Mexican War era contract rifle that saw use in the Civil War as well.
Of the five suppliers to the US Government for the 1841 rifle, this is one of the scarcer examples manufactured by by George W. Tryon in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Only 5,000 were made under this contract. These were colloquially known as “Mississippi Rifles” due to their use by Jefferson Davis’s Mississippi regiment during the Mexican-American War and are small contract rifles seldom encountered on today’s market. Some years later, the William Glaze of the Palmetto Armory in Columbia, South Carolina purchased Tryon’s machinery and built an estimated 1,000 M1841 Pattern “Mississippi” rifles for the State of South Carolina militia.
This longarm is a specimen of one of the assorted “Good and Serviceable Arms” produced for the U.S. Ordnance Department by the contract firm of George W. Tryon of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Referred to as the Mississippi Rifle, this shoulder arm is a U.S. percussion rifle, Model 1841, and one of 5,000 such rifles called for in government contracts between 1846 and 1855.
The Tryon contract rifles are lockplate marked “TRYON / US” in two lines forward of the hammer. To the rear behind the hammer is stamped “PHILADa / PA / 1847.” Markings are clear. The lockplate is crisply stamped and shows evidence of cleaning many years ago.
This single-shot muzzleloader has the original 33” round barrel bored out to .58 caliber as directed by the US Secretary of War in July 1855 for all US shoulder arms. Bore condition is very good and shows original rifling. The barrel breech shows no evidence of date on tang or of proof markings and the barrel surface exhibits light to moderate ‘salt & pepper’ oxidation overall. The barrel retains the original plain open rear sight and the small blade front sight. This example has a variant of the “Grosz” alteration (New York) conversion to the muzzle, which allowed use of a standard socket bayonet on the original turned down barrel.
All M1841 US percussion rifles had walnut stocks fitted with brass furniture and a brass patchbox. On this example, the brass furniture including patchbox, butt plate, triggerguard and barrel bands are original and have acquired a mellow age patina. The original walnut stock is in good condition and has been refinished, but both military inspector cartouche marks are clearly visible on the stock flat opposite the hammer. The lock plate and hammer have no case colors remaining and show very slight scattered areas of oxidation and minor rust. All mechanics are strong and crisp.
This old war horse shows evidence of heavy field use and the crack shown below the lockplate looks very much like the impact which would have been made by using the rifle as a baseball bat in combat–or from someone falling, still holding the weapon. It does not interfere with the function of the rifle in any manner.