rThe "Brazillian Light Minie Rifle" was so nicknamed by collectors after a rumor that these Belgian-made, Enfield-style short rifles were originally built for the Brazillian military, but were sold to US purchasing agents before they could be delivered to South America. While there has never been any documentation to back up this claim, the name stuck; and collectors have been referring to these attractive rifles as "Brazillian Light Minies" for decades.
One thing that is very well documented is the fact that there were roughly 5,800 Light Minies purchased by the Federal Government in 1862. These American-owned rifles were denoted by the Federal Eagle plaque that was affixed to the wrist just behind the lock.
The Brazillian Ligth Minies saw a lot of heavy service during the war. A Light Minie with a damaged muzzle can even be spotted in the background of Matthew Brady's famous photo, "Petersburg Dead"
This particular Light Minie is in great shape and is all original from top-to-bottom. It was built by OP Drissen of Liege Belgium and his "Anchor" stamp can be found on the lock plate, hammer, barrel and stock.. The Lock is in great shape and the hammer holds solid on both full and half cock. The barrel is in good condition with original front and rear sights in unmodified condition. There is some light pitting at the breech but all the proof marks and stamps and legible. The bore would benefit from a good cleaning, but the rifling is crisp and sharp without any major pitting.
The stock is in great shape except for a small repair in the lock mortise in front of the bolster. The rest of the stock is solid with no cracks or rotten spots. The butt stock swivel is a period replacement. The wrist still proudly bears the Federal Eagle placque; denoting this rifle as one of the 5,800 that was purchased for the Civil War.
Included with this rifle is its original saber bayonet. The bayonet is in great shape with no pitting or chipping; making for a great display when mounted on the muzzle of the musket.