Of the more than two dozen firms that were given contracts to produce M1861 muskets for the Federal Government during the Civil War, only three were given permission to "update" their tooling to produce the M1863. They were Bridesburg, Remington, and S.N. & W.T.C. Still, original records insist that only the Federal Arsenal at Springfield was permitted to produce actual Model 1863 rifle muskets, as the Board of Ordnance referred to the guns produced by Bridesburg, Remington, and S.N. & W.T.C. as "M1861 pattern muskets with improvements of 1863" Why it was important for this distinction to be made is lost to history as contract muskets and Springfield muskets are virtually identical; and fully interchangeable for that matter.
This particular musket was produced by the Samuel Norris and W.T. Clements factory in Massachusetts. Between 1863 and 1864 the company produced roughly 3,000 muskets; primarily for the state of Massachusetts.
This particular musket is excellent, and all correct in above average condition.
Like many issued muskets, this S.N. & W.T.C. remains in absolutely fantastic condition. It is 100% percent correct, and the stamps and proof marks on the all the components are all of S.N. & W.T.C. manufacture according to Hartzler, Yantz, and Whisker's book The U.S. Model 1861 Springfield Rifle-Musket.
The lock is in great shape with a perfect, untouched patina and good legible lock markings. The mechanics are perfect and the lock holds solid at both full and half cock.
The stock is well above average for a M1861. There are no chips or cracks anywhere and no burn-out behind the nipple. The cartouches are nice legible. The lock moldings are wonderfully crisp as the stock has never been sanded or cleaned.
The barrel is good with excellent stamps at the breech and a great, light patina. Both front and rear sights are intact and unmodified. The bore is good with sharp rifling and no pitting.
The furniture is all original and all matching.The ramrod is full length, and an original bayonet that matches the gun's condition very well is included.
This M1861 just screams Civil War history and would make for a great addition to any history buff's collection.