American Civil War Long Arms in Our Collections
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    American Civil War Long Arms in Our Collections

    I've been waiting for it with the World Wars collections. Well, here it is, long arms of the great American war on itself.

    Over the years I've owned over twenty long arms from the war of 1861-1865, but now am down to just a few that shoot exceptionally well.

    First off one of the rarest American made military long arms, a Windsor Enfield Pattern of 1853, second model. This is the gun that bankrupted Robins & Lawerance of Windsor Vt and some say, put Sam Colt in the riflemusket business with his "Special Model 1861". The British, in 1855 impressed with Robins & Lawerance machine ability with interchangeable gauged parts contracted for 25,000 of their current pattern arm of 1853, for use in the Crimean War. An unexpected quick end to the war and the contract was canceled after approximately 16,000 arms had been produced leaving Robins & Lawerance with a newly expanded and equipped factory and a number of arms with no buyer. Creditors called in the loans and the factory and it's contents sold to high bidders which included Ely Whitney jr and Sam Colt.

    The British, now needing to downsize their military stored the arms, (sometimes poorly) or issued them to Militia units. Now it gets interesting... During our War Between the States, England declared themselves a neutral nation and no British arms to be sold to either combatants, no British military arms that is, private makers did as they pleased and sold the "British Pattern" arms to both sides and more than a few arms of older pattern, surplus arms sold to private enterprise for disposal were sold off to North and South as well, including Pattern 1842 muskets, 1851 riflemuskets, and many arms not of British manufacture. Many Windsor P-53's came home to fight again.

    Mine is one that made it into British service and surplused. It's seen hard use and poor storage, but with a modern steel liner in the barrel shoots as well as if it were new.

    oqC4rXb.jpg 5WdUu76.jpg Note the barrel band retaining springs distinctive to second type P-53's and the large upper band.

    Wz6MJZs.jpg qb3IkQh.jpg British unit markings on the but plate and it does have the apposing broad arrows denoting a surplus arm.

    The weapon also shows markings indicating it was repaired while in British service. I found this Windsor in a pawn shop in Norfolk VA. many years ago in about relic condition. A visit to Mr. "Bobby" Hoyt of Fairfield PA and it was made shootable again. It served me well in N-SSA competition.

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    A splendid piece of history and still working specimen Brother Krag...!!

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    I like original arms and like shooting them, but there are a few beyond my means to buy let alone shoot. The C.S.A. Fayetteville rifle fits into that classification. There are no Fayetteville reproduction rifles made commercially, but there are some talented makers who produce both the parts and can make a rifle. This is the way I went to get a shooter.

    The war was young when Confederate forces took and burned Harpers Ferry, the U.S. Govt's second largest producer of arms. If you've ever been there it's easy to see the place was all most impossible to defend, surrounded by mountains. Before burning the arsenal, Confederate troops took anything of value from machinery to finished arms and parts with the intention of producing their own shoulder arms. The parts and machines to produce rifle muskets of the 1855 pattern went to Richmond VA, parts and machines to produce pattern 1855 rifles went to Fayetteville NC. where an estimated 10,000 rifles were produced.

    The first rifles made in 1861 and possibly early 1862 used Harpers Ferry parts, some included 1855 locks and patch boxes, some utilized the "high hump" lock plate, but not milled for the Maynard priming system and the patch box eliminated from the stock, other wise they were Confederate made 1855 rifles. The rifle I had made is a second pattern, 1862 with no patch box, low hump lock plate, and "C" type hammer as employed in the 1861 Springfield. Later models had a "no hump" lock plate and a distinctive "S" shaped hammer. Fayetteville Rifles with a bayonet lug on the right front barrel take the standard U.S. 1855 saber bayonet, late war rifles took a triangular socket bayonet. All Fayetteville rifles bear the cartouche of Col. James Burton, C.S.A. The rifles were mounted with three leaf rear sights and a barley corn front, lock stampings included an eagle, C.S.A. Fayetteville, and the year of manufacture. Eagle head, VP and year present on the barrel as per Northern arms. The barrel is heavier than the rifle musket, .58 33" long, three grooves, 1:72 twist firing the standard .58 paper cartridge containing 60gr. powder. Muzzle velocity with a 500gr. swaged bullet was approx 1,100fps and a deadly combination as noted by the casualty figures.

    Accuracy? I used 55gr. Goex FFFg behind a 480gr Old Style Minie sized to .001" under bore dia. lubed with a mixture of bee's wax and Crisco and an RWS musket cap to get things lit. If I did my part off the bench, groups of 1.5" at 100yds were regular. N-SSA competition is shot off hand, my scores were usually low 90's. Over-all a fine rifle!

    sy5RcjY.jpg JjLhNHy.jpg

    mjFCW50.jpg ZesHaDY.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by krag96 View Post
    I like original arms and like shooting them, but there are a few beyond my means to buy let alone shoot. The C.S.A. Fayetteville rifle fits into that classification. There are no Fayetteville reproduction rifles made commercially, but there are some talented makers who produce both the parts and can make a rifle. This is the way I went to get a shooter.

    The war was young when Confederate forces took and burned Harpers Ferry, the U.S. Govt's second largest producer of arms. If you've ever been there it's easy to see the place was all most impossible to defend, surrounded by mountains. Before burning the arsenal, Confederate troops took anything of value from machinery to finished arms and parts with the intention of producing their own shoulder arms. The parts and machines to produce rifle muskets of the 1855 pattern went to Richmond VA, parts and machines to produce pattern 1855 rifles went to Fayetteville NC. where an estimated 10,000 rifles were produced.

    The first rifles made in 1861 and possibly early 1862 used Harpers Ferry parts, some included 1855 locks and patch boxes, some utilized the "high hump" lock plate, but not milled for the Maynard priming system and the patch box eliminated from the stock, other wise they were Confederate made 1855 rifles. The rifle I had made is a second pattern, 1862 with no patch box, low hump lock plate, and "C" type hammer as employed in the 1861 Springfield. Later models had a "no hump" lock plate and a distinctive "S" shaped hammer. Fayetteville Rifles with a bayonet lug on the right front barrel take the standard U.S. 1855 saber bayonet, late war rifles took a triangular socket bayonet. All Fayetteville rifles bear the cartouche of Col. James Burton, C.S.A. The rifles were mounted with three leaf rear sights and a barley corn front, lock stampings included an eagle, C.S.A. Fayetteville, and the year of manufacture. Eagle head, VP and year present on the barrel as per Northern arms. The barrel is heavier than the rifle musket, .58 33" long, three grooves, 1:72 twist firing the standard .58 paper cartridge containing 60gr. powder. Muzzle velocity with a 500gr. swaged bullet was approx 1,100fps and a deadly combination as noted by the casualty figures.

    Accuracy? I used 55gr. Goex FFFg behind a 480gr Old Style Minie sized to .001" under bore dia. lubed with a mixture of bee's wax and Crisco and an RWS musket cap to get things lit. If I did my part off the bench, groups of 1.5" at 100yds were regular. N-SSA competition is shot off hand, my scores were usually low 90's. Over-all a fine rifle!

    sy5RcjY.jpg JjLhNHy.jpg

    mjFCW50.jpg ZesHaDY.jpg
    Nice
    WVCOLT, JCByers, krag96 and 1 others like this.

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    Very nice collection!
    I know a few CW re-enactors who would love to have a collection like that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by krag96 View Post
    I like original arms and like shooting them, but there are a few beyond my means to buy let alone shoot. The C.S.A. Fayetteville rifle fits into that classification. There are no Fayetteville reproduction rifles made commercially, but there are some talented makers who produce both the parts and can make a rifle. This is the way I went to get a shooter.

    The war was young when Confederate forces took and burned Harpers Ferry, the U.S. Govt's second largest producer of arms. If you've ever been there it's easy to see the place was all most impossible to defend, surrounded by mountains. Before burning the arsenal, Confederate troops took anything of value from machinery to finished arms and parts with the intention of producing their own shoulder arms. The parts and machines to produce rifle muskets of the 1855 pattern went to Richmond VA, parts and machines to produce pattern 1855 rifles went to Fayetteville NC. where an estimated 10,000 rifles were produced.

    The first rifles made in 1861 and possibly early 1862 used Harpers Ferry parts, some included 1855 locks and patch boxes, some utilized the "high hump" lock plate, but not milled for the Maynard priming system and the patch box eliminated from the stock, other wise they were Confederate made 1855 rifles. The rifle I had made is a second pattern, 1862 with no patch box, low hump lock plate, and "C" type hammer as employed in the 1861 Springfield. Later models had a "no hump" lock plate and a distinctive "S" shaped hammer. Fayetteville Rifles with a bayonet lug on the right front barrel take the standard U.S. 1855 saber bayonet, late war rifles took a triangular socket bayonet. All Fayetteville rifles bear the cartouche of Col. James Burton, C.S.A. The rifles were mounted with three leaf rear sights and a barley corn front, lock stampings included an eagle, C.S.A. Fayetteville, and the year of manufacture. Eagle head, VP and year present on the barrel as per Northern arms. The barrel is heavier than the rifle musket, .58 33" long, three grooves, 1:72 twist firing the standard .58 paper cartridge containing 60gr. powder. Muzzle velocity with a 500gr. swaged bullet was approx 1,100fps and a deadly combination as noted by the casualty figures.

    Accuracy? I used 55gr. Goex FFFg behind a 480gr Old Style Minie sized to .001" under bore dia. lubed with a mixture of bee's wax and Crisco and an RWS musket cap to get things lit. If I did my part off the bench, groups of 1.5" at 100yds were regular. N-SSA competition is shot off hand, my scores were usually low 90's. Over-all a fine rifle!
    Excellent thread to read! As a native North Carolinian who had several relatives that fought for the South, I always like to think about what they were carrying. There are stories that my NC mountain ancestors made rifles in the earlier generations before the war. My father's side was from South Carolina, and my ggggrandfather was Gen Paul Quattlebaum who tried to protect Colombia from SC. They also had a rifle works. Very interesting posts, thanks.
    jcmh1, Chaffee, krag96 and 3 others like this.

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    I have quite a few plus a CW New Testament w/ soldier's name, unit, date's, place's etc. and relics. The best is a Springfield mod 1842 (1853 date) w/ bayonet, leather scabbard, belt, buckle, cap pouch, cartridge box w/strap. A previous owners g grandfather carried it in the war. I have photos somewhere in my files but may not get ambitious enough to find or post them.
    Last edited by Chaffee; 01-15-2020 at 08:11 AM.
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    They were easier to find than I thought. Said Springfield is on the bottom. Enfield 'Tower' 1853 is on the top and one if the middle two is a Colt model 1861.


    Spencer Carbines and one rifle


    Sharps NM 1863 carbine and that little Bible I mentioned.


    There may be others...
    Last edited by Chaffee; 01-15-2020 at 08:22 AM.
    JCByers, krag96, Kerz and 10 others like this.
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    Oh my, gotta love those Spencers! In digging through books and papers we can often find who was issued what in sometimes different periods of the war, and many long arms we take for granted as "being there" may have been a bit late for a specific battle. Since I'm gloating on Chaffee's Spencers, Custer's Cavalrymen had them at Gettysburg, but they weren't carbines as we would imagine, rather the Spencer rifles. Later, in 1864 when Spencer was putting out a significant number of carbines, Sheridan wanted his entire Cavalry Corps armed with them.

    I had an 1842 musket myself, Harpers Ferry dated 1848 and consider it the pinnacle of the smoothbore musket. So effective was the .69 "buck and ball" ammunition the "Irish Brigade" fought the Army of the Potomac's efforts to uniformly issue .58/.577 rifle muskets into 1864. An interesting side note, (a regiment I've studied their history of arms by luck) the 11th. PA Infantry. They had a mixture of 1861 Springfields and P-53 Enfields until January 1, 1863. They turned in their mixed issue and were issued U.S. 1842 .69 rifled muskets with long range sights that they used with great effect on Oak Ridge at Gettysburg under command of General Baxter, against Iverson's North Carolina Brigade. So effective was their fire the area some 80yds in front of their position is known as "Iverson's Pits" for the dead North Carolinians that were buried there. I've yet to own an 1842 "rifled and sighted" musket, but I bought a .69 Minie mold just in case...

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    azshot, I have some books telling what was issued to who as of early 1863. If you can provide me with regiments, there's a possibility I can tell you what your ancestors may have carried. Of course Confederate records are far from complete compared to those of Northern Regiments.
    azshot, Kurusu, SHOOTER13 and 2 others like this.


 
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