The M1855/58 pattern CADET Rifled Musket is somewhat of an enigma to most advanced collectors, as there were clearly orders given for their manufacture, yet there is no record of them ever being issued to the cadets either at West Point or the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). By October 9, 1858 it was reported that 30 cadet muskets “of the new model are completed and ready for issue at any moment.” All Cadet Rifled Muskets were manufactured at the Springfield Armory. Many of these weapons, if not all, were in fact issued to militia units. There is a belief that the primary purpose of these arms was to fill the Ordnance Department’s requirement for supplying the militia which was something they could not do with the standard Model 1855 Rifle Musket. Springfield Armory, by record, manufactured 2,501 Model 1858 CADET Rifle Muskets from 1858 to 1860. States known receiving them include: New Jersey, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Illinois, Alabama and Ohio.
This example is in near pristine condition overall with crisp markings and action. The oiled walnut stock is exceptional and the bore is fine. The date 1859 is clearly visible on both the lock plate and barrel tang. This is a very rare pattern and in museum and investment grade overall. Like its big brother, the M1855, it is equipped with the Maynard Tape Primer system.