Firearms -

Eli Whitney Model 1841 "Mississippi" Rifle
Item #: AA1061
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This is a Model 1841 "Mississippi" rifle produced by Eli Whitney of New Haven, Connecticut. The Whitney company was awarded multiple contracts for the Model 1841 rifle. This rifle is known as the type 1 made by Whitney. Between the years 1843 and 1854 a total of 25,900 type I rifles were produced. This Mississippi rifle measures 48 3/4" overall. The 33" round barrel is still the original .54 caliber. The seven groove rifling is strong and the bore is still pretty bright. The exterior of the barrel has been cleaned excessively at some point, but has begun to achieve an nice steel gray look. The bolster area and barrel have a smooth surface. The rear sight is a simple V notch, while the front sight is a small brass blade sight. These are original to the weapon, as this rifle was sighted for 50 yard distances. Experienced riflemen were expected to be able to effectively apply "Kentucky" windage and elevation for targets at further distances. The barrel is stamped US/GW/VP to the left of the bolster. The left barrel flat is stamped with a small K and the word STEEL, a practice began in the year 1848. There is no visible date stamped on the barrel tang. The barrel has not been altered with the addition of a lug to accept a bayonet, correct for the type I "Mississippi". The lock plate is marked E. WHITNEY/US in horizontal lines forward of the hammer and N.HAVEN/1851 in vertical lines to the rear of the hammer. The lock plate has cleaned like the barrel and still has a bright look, just starting to age back. The hammer still retains some of the case color. The mechanics of the lock are excellent. The hammer holds at half and full cock and snaps forward, striking the original nipple squarely when the trigger is depressed. The brass furniture has also been cleaned excessively. Apparently the previous owner thought it looked better with that just out of the box look! The brass has a dulling, golden glow about it that makes this rifle shine from across the room. The , brass side plate has a sub inspector stamp K. The trigger guard assembly has a sub inspector C stamp. The remaining brass parts are without a sub inspector mark. The US stamp on the butt plate is clear and is stamped parallel to the barrel. The spare nipple inside the patch box is missing. The sling swivels and brass tipped ram rod are present. The walnut stock is full length and has an eye pleasing medium chocolate appearance. On the flat opposite the lock plate are two cartouches. The forward cartouche is block style but I can't make out the initials. The rear one has the letters WAT within an oval. The stock has no cracks what so ever, just the normal bumps and bruises from normal handling. First used in the Mexican War, these beautiful rifles were used by both sides during the Civil War. In my opinion these are the prettiest guns from the 19th century. The price has been adjusted to compensate for the big clean job this one underwent.
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