Here's an excellent, collector-grade M1841 Harper's Ferry Rifle. The 1841 has the distinction of being America's first rifled musket. Originally built for use during the Mexican War, these short rifles were nicknamed the "Mississippi Rifle" after they were issued to Mississippian troops under the command of Jefferson Davis during the Mexican War. The Mississippi Rifle was built by several different contractors including the Federal Arsenal of Harper's Ferry. Harper's Ferry built these rifles for nine years; between 1846 and 1855.
This rifle still retains its original .54 caliber bore, and is one of the few surviving M1841's that wasn't re-bored for .58 caliber for use during the Civil War. These unaltered Harper's Ferry M1841's are generally considered to have been in Confederate serivce as the Union re-rifled most of their M1841s. The Confederates, however captured a large number of Harper's Ferry M1841s in 1861, and was so hard-pressed for weapons at the beginning of the war, that tying them up in an arsenal to have them re-bored simply wasn't an option for the South, so many Mississippi rifles were issued in their original .54 caliber.
This M1841 is all original with the exception of a reproduction ramrod. The stock is in great shape with no cracks, chips, or splits. The lock panels are wonderfully crisp and the stock has a great patina; indicating that this musket was never sanded or refinished. There is also three JLR Harper's Ferry cartouches stamped on the lock panel and inside that patchbox; making this a true Harper's Ferry and not a parts gun.
The lock is in great shape with a nice; untouched patina. The lock is dated 1853. All the stamps are crisp and legible; including the Federal Eagle stamped under the bolster. The hammer holds solid on both full and half cock.
The barrel is in good shape. It is still full length with a nice patina that matches the lock. The bore is in good condition with strong rifling and some scattered pitting. Both front and rear sights are original and unmodified; a rare feature for an original '41.
All the hardware is original and matching. All the brass components have a nice patina.
This is a great Civil War-used Mississippi; made by the most desirable of all the Mississippi contractors; Harper's Ferry. Pick up this piece for your collection; it won't disappoint.