RARE Civil War Harpers Ferry M1855 Rifle, Confederate assembled

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This is a fine looking specimen of a transitional Model 1855 Rifle as manufactured at the Harpers Ferry, Virginia, arsenal.  The combination of long brass nosecap, 1860 dated lockplate and cut out in the patchbox all points to this being one of the several hundred rifles assembled after the arsenal was taken over by Virginia forces.  Many parts and all of the tooling and dies were shipped to Fayetteville, NC, for the manufacture of the Fayetteville Rifle.  The stock on this weapon shows evidence of mild charring and sanding, also indicative of salvaged stocks from the armory, which did catch on fire.

This weapon is absolutely complete and original and in a wonderful untouched brown patina overall.  All markings are clear and crisp and the .58 percussion action is strong.

The Model 1855 Rifle was the first U.S. rifle designed to fire the .58 caliber, hollow base, conical bullet (Minie Ball). With adjustable rear sights and the innovative Maynard Tape Primer, the Model 1855 Rifle was the most advanced percussion muzzle loading long arm in the U.S. Army inventory at the time of the Civil War. Only 5,151 iron-mounted 1855 Rifles had been manufactured when the Harpers Ferry Armory was burned by Confederate forces in 1861. Many of the Model 1855 rifles were destroyed in the Armory fire and nearly all of the surviving rifles saw hard use with Federal and Confederate armies during the Civil War and as a result any surviving examples of the Model 1855 Rifle are scarce and typically show the effects of hard field service.

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Weight 10 lbs