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Original U.S. Civil War Era British P-1860 Enfield Two Band Percussion Export Short Rifle Marked Robert Adams on Stock - Dated Tower 1864

Regular price $2,895.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Offered here is a nice example of the 2nd Model Pattern 1860 Enfield Short Rifle Musket, as produced in England with iron butt plate, trigger guard and nose cap. The "two band" short rifle was first introduced in 1856, and was updated in 1860 with 5 groove "fast twist" rifling, and again in 1861 with the recessed screw "Baddeley" bands, as with the 4th Model of the Long rifle. With the 5 groove rifling and standard non-recessed screw retained bands, this is definitely the Pattern of 1860, however unlike almost all produced, it was not updated with the Snider breech loading system.

The lock is marked 1864 / TOWER below the cap bolster, and it is marked with a QUEEN'S CROWN to the rear of the hammer. However, there is no "V.R." under the crown. This indicates that this weapon was not intended for a British Military contract but was aimed at the Overseas market, most specifically the United States, who were embroiled in its most terrible Civil War.

The barrel bears British Proof Marks, which are still crisp and easily legible. They are the correct Birmingham proof marks, with the CROWN / CROSSED SCEPTERS / BPC "Proof" and CROWN / CROSS SCEPTERS / V "Viewed markings. There is also the CROWN / BP black powder proof marking, usually seen during this time, as well as two number 25 markings, for 25 bore/gauge (.577").

The right hand side of the butt is stamped by the stock maker or retailer ROBERT ADAMS / LONDON. There is also an R. ADAMS stock on the bottom of the butt stock. Adams was a very well known mid-late 19th century British Gunsmith, who joined George & John Deane to form Deane, Adams, & Deane, which produced the .50 caliber Dragoon Revolvers of the 1850s. After Adams had a falling out with the Deane Brothers, he went into business on his own, founding the London Armoury Company, which manufactured the popular Adams revolver. This would also involve his cousin John Kerr, who would succeed Adams as factory super intendent when he left the company in 1859 over disagreements with the board of directors.

This rifle dates from after that period, so we assume that Robert Adams continued in business on his own as a supplier. Eventually his brother John, who had been working for the London Armoury Company, patented a new design revolver to replace the updated Beaumont Adams, and he himself would go out on his own in 1867. Definitely a lot of interesting history involved with the maker of this stock!

A similar Short Rifle edition of this same weapon, dated 1861, appears on the Cover of THE CONFEDERATE ENFIELD by Captain Steven W. Knott, U.S.N. (Ret). with a write up on pages 44 and 45. In addition there is a photograph of the proof marks of this known Confederate Soldier's Rifle on the Title page of the book which are completely identical to those on this weapon. This excellent book states that the Confederate Buying Agents, Josiah Gorgas and Caleb Huse purchased over 350,000 European Rifles between 1861 and 1865, over 250,000 of these were the Percussion Enfield Rifled Muskets and 100,000 were Austrian Percussion arms.

The Union also imported Enfields which were highly prized by Federal soldiers more so than the Union made arms apparently. The Confederacy however contracted for the greater number which in most cases were transported by "BLOCKADE RUNNERS" based in Bermuda. Well documented in the THE CONFEDERATE ENFIELD book.

We found no specific STATE Markings on our rifle, however after 1863 conditions were such that little time was available for such niceties upon importation. We speculate it would have probably arrived in 1865, having been produced in 1864, probably too late to see much action during the war.

The gun is in beautiful condition, with a lovely stock that does not show any major damage, wear, or post service restoration. It has the beautiful red brown color that we love to see on aged walnut, with the only crack we can see running from the rear lock screw to the breech, a very common area to see on Enfield rifles. The metalwork is lovely, showing a great gray oxidized patina, with no peppering or major oxidation visible. The rifle still has both barrel bands present, and the correct mounting lug for a P-1856 bayonet. It still has the original correct short cleaning rod with a tapered threaded end. Really a nice complete example here!

The bore still shows the original 5 groove rifling well, with the lands still crisp and just a bit of past fouling and oxidation in the grooves. There are no major areas of oxidation or pitting we can see, and the rifle definitely looks to have seen only light use. The lock functions correctly, holding at half cock and firing at full. There is very little in the way of powder burn near the cap nipple cone, and brass sheeting was added around the area to protect the stock long ago. The rear sight is intact and functional, though it is slightly bent, and the sight cap looks to have been adjusted a bit.

A very nice example of a P-1861 two band percussion export rifle with a possible CSA connection. Ready to display and research!


Year of Manufacture: 1864
Caliber: .58 inches
Ammunition Type: .577 Lead Ball & Powder with Percussion Cap
Barrel Length: 33 inches 
Overall Length: 48 3/4 inches

Action: Side Action Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

NOTE: International orders of antique firearms MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services (courier). USPS Priority Mail international will not accept these. International customers should always consult their country's antique gun laws prior to ordering.

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