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muskets, carbines, rifles, & sidearms

1861 - 1865

5th Company


Deringer
circa 1835 - 1840
Approximately 8 7/8" Long


Colt M1849 Percussion Revolver

Colt M1851 Percussion Revolver

Colt M1860 Percussion Revolver

Remington New Model Army M1858 Percussion Revolver

Lemat Percussion Revolver




Model 1816 US Flintlock Musket (converted to percussion)
(courtesy of John Zimmerman)

Made by Harpers Ferry Armory and Springfield Armory; c. 1816-1840 then converted (by private contractors) to percussion; c. 1840-1860. Total quantity converted unknown. 42" round 69 caliber smoothbore barrel. No front or rear sight. Bayonet lug on top of barrel at muzzle. Three barrel bands retained with barrel band retaining springs. Steel ramrod with button shaped head. Iron mountings. Metal parts finished bright, browned, or combination; the lockplate casehardened. The conversion ("French Style" or commonly known as "drum and nipple") consisted of removing all external lock parts then plugging all threaded holes; a drum type bolster (with nipple) was then threaded into the enlarged touchhole; then, the hammer was replaced with one that resembled a civilian fowling piece. This method was believed to have been performed through the early 1850s.



Model 1842 US Percussion Musket
(courtesy of John Zimmerman)

Made by Harpers Ferry Armory and Springfield Armory; c. 1844-1855. Total produced about 275,000 (Harpers Ferry Armory; 103,000) (Springfield Armory; 172,000). 42" round 69 caliber smoothbore barrel. Bayonet lug on bottom of muzzle of barrel. Blade front sight mounted on front barrel band, no rear sight. Three barrel bands retained with barrel band retaining springs. Steel ramrod with trumpet shaped head. Iron mountings. Metal parts finished bright. Walnut stock with a comb. First regulation musket made in the percussion ignition system at the national armories. Last smoothbore U.S. arm made in 69 caliber. First U.S. weapon made at the Harpers Ferry and Springfield Armories with fully interchangeable parts. 

 


Model 1842 US Percussion Rifle Musket
(courtesy of John Zimmerman)

Made by Harpers Ferry Armory and Springfield Armory; c. 1856-1859. Total produced about 14,182. Same as the 1842 U.S. Percussion Musket, but features a 69 caliber rifled barrel. Slightly more than 10,000 were fitted with long range sights, the balance were issued without them.



Model 1855 US Percussion Rifle-Musket
(courtesy of John Zimmerman)

Made by Harpers Ferry Armory and Springfield Armory; c. 1857-1861. Total produced about 59,273 (Harpers Ferry Armory; 12,158) (Springfield Armory; 47,115). 40" round 58 caliber rifled barrel with cleanout screw on bolster. Front sight doubles as lug for angular bayonet. Early models have long range rear sight, later models have two leaf rear sight. Three barrel bands retained with barrel band retaining springs. Steel ramrod with tulip shaped end and swelled shank at forend cap. Iron mountings, with brass forend cap (in 1859, the forend cap was changed to iron). Metal parts finished bright. Lock contains a Maynard primer system. Walnut stock without patchbox (in 1859, a patchbox was added on right side of butt). Staple arm of the civil war. First U.S. martial arm firing the Minie bullet in 58 caliber.

 


Richmond Armory Percussion Rifle-Musket
(courtesy of John Zimmerman)

Made by Richmond Armory; c. 1861-1865. Total produced unknown. 40" round 58 caliber rifled barrel with cleanout screw on bolster. Front sight doubles as lug for angular bayonet. Two leaf rear sight. Three barrel bands retained with barrel band retaining springs. Iron ramrod with tulip shaped end. Iron mountings with brass buttplate and forend cap. Early production muskets used a lockplate with a distinctive full humpback design. Later production muskets used a lockplate with a lower humpback design. Metal parts finished bright except for the lock, which was casehardened. Walnut stock. The lockplates were made from forgings and dies that were intended to use the Maynard tape primer used on the U.S. Model 1855 rifled musket. The unused Maynard system caused the distinctive "humpback" design. The Richmond Armory Percussion Rifled-Musket was produced in larger numbers than all other Confederate longarms.



Cook & Brother Rifle
(courtesy of John Zimmerman)

Made by Ferdinand and Francis Cook, Athens Georgia; 1863-1864. Total produced unknown; serial numbered. 33" round 58 caliber rifled barrel. Barrel marked PROVED at breach. Finished in the white. Found with or without lug on right side of muzzle for saber bayonet. Brass blade front sight and V-notch rear sight. Two brass barrel bands retained with barrel band retaining springs. Brass sling swivels attached to forward barrel band and trigger guard tang. Steel ramrod of tulip head type. Brass mountings including brass cap on tip of forend. Walnut stock.


Model 1859 Sharps Carbine

The Model 1859 Sharps Carbine was prone to several peculiarities of character.  When cleaning the carbine, it was necessary to remove the fore stock for cleaning also.  It had an unfortunate tendency to allow gunpowder to build up under the fore stock, which could cause a secondary explosion.

The gun owner needed to be alert to the fact that, while cleaning it, the breech chamber sleeve would move rearward.  That was not an indicator that it was broken, as it was designed to do so to provide a gas seal when firing.  After cleaning, the gun owner needed to be aware of thee movement of the breech chamber, though, so he could push it back into place before he closed the breech. 

The breech block required special attention while cleaning, too.  Extensive cleaning included removal of the nipple and cleaning out screw removal to insure that the ignition pathway was clean and dry.  While it was important to lightly oil the breechblock, it was equally important to remember to wipe off the oil before firing the carbine.  An oil-wetted breechblock caused fouling all too often.

 

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