Firearms -

Altered Model 1841 "Mississippi" Rifle
Item #: AA1160
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This is a Model 1841 "Mississippi" rifle manufactured by the Robbins & Lawrence firm. At the beginning of the war there were nearly 20,000 Model 1841 rifles in arsenals within the states that seceded to form the Confederate States of America. 9,304 of these rifles had been issued to these southern states under the Militia Act of 1808, the issues occurring between 1845 and 1859. These guns were manufactured by four primary contractors: Tryon, Remington, Robbins & Lawrence and Eli Whitney, the majority of them being Whitney's. The majority of these Model 1841's were in their original .54 caliber, fixed sight configuration with no means to mount a bayonet. When war broke out, many of these rifles were modified in southern arsenals and by gunsmiths to accept bayonets, typically saber bayonets. Some of these alterations have been attributed to specific gunsmiths such as J.H. Happoldt of South Carolina and William & Cyrus Fisher of Virginia. The majority of the gunsmiths are unknown, and the alterations are referred to as "Virginia" alterations because the majority of the weapons were used within the Virginia theater of operations. Of the 19,304 Model 41's in the south at the beginning of the war, 17,893 were .54 caliber with means of mounting a bayonet. The simplest solution was to braze a saber bayonet lug to the right side of the barrel. The lugs were usually between 3" - 3 3/4' from the muzzle. Most of the lugs were simple pieces about 1/2" long and had no key or guide for the bayonet. These bayonet lug alterations were performed in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. While the "fix" for mounting a bayonet was relatively simple, it created another problem. Once the lug was permanently installed the front barrel band could no longer be removed, which meant the barrel could no longer be removed from the stock. The Harpers Ferry arsenal was modifying some of these "Mississippi" rifles prior to the war and had adapted a new, shorter barrel band that could be removed from the stock and rotated 90 degrees, allowing it to clear the lug. Southern gunsmiths did not have the time, budget or sometimes ability to cast new bands for the rifles they altered. Their solutions required reusing the parts on the gun with little to no fabrication. Happoldt's solution to the problem was to make a pair offcuts in the bottom lip of the barrel band to remove enough brass to allow the band to be moved forward and rotated 90 degrees and passed over the lug. This required a level of skill that some gunsmiths did not possess. Most of the other unidentified gunsmiths cut away the upper part of the front band which allowed the band to clear the applied lug. Some of the bands were shortened, and these cut away and shortened bands are referred to as "Virginia" alterations. This altered Model 1841 "Mississippi" rifle is in fair condition. The overall length of the rifle is 48 1/2" with a barrel length slightly shortened to 32 1/2". The bore retains it's original 7 groove .54 caliber configuration. The front barrel band has been removed, as the stock has been cut back just forward of the rear barrel band spring. The bore still has some shine left to it, and the rifling is strong. The exterior of the barrel is smooth and has a dark patina with some steel gray showing here and there. The original small brass blade sight has been moved back and is 2 1/2" back from the muzzle. The fixed rear sight is still on the barrel in it's original position. There is only one proof mark on the barrel, the letter P stamped on the left side near the breech. The barrel tang is not dated. A bayonet lug is very similar to the one used on Model 1842 muskets. It has been brazed onto the barrel 1/2" behind the muzzle. The lock is marked Robbins & Lawrence over US forward of the hammer and WINDSOR VT. over 1849 in vertical lines behind the hammer. The lockplate has a smooth surface with a dull gray patina. The mechanics work, but the spring is a little weak. The hammer does lock in half cock and full cock. The barrel band, trigger guard, patchbox, side plate and butt plate all have a matching aged golden patina. There is no ramrod with this weapon. The stock is in an untouched condition. There is one small crack to the left side of the barrel tang, no other cracks anywhere else. As mentioned above, the stock has been cut back to the front barrel spring. The stock is now 28 1/2" in total length. The edges of the stock are very crisp. There is some wood loss are the rear of the lock plate. These bayonet equipped "Mississippi" rifles saw significant use early in the war. They were known to have been issued to multiple Confederate Infantry regiments. This one looks to be more of a field alteration than an armory job. This would make a nice piece in any Confederate collection!
Shipping Weight: 8 lbs
Your Price $900.00 USD