Item:
ONSV21NCS19

In stock

Original U.S. Civil War Era 3rd Model P-1853 Enfield Three Band Export Rifle marked Cook & Son and Tower 1861 with Battle Damage

Regular price $2,895.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Offered here is a nice service used example of the 3rd Model Pattern 1853 Enfield Rifle Musket, as produced in England with brass butt plate, trigger guard and nose cap. The three steel barrel bands are held on with screw pressure, as typical of the 3rd model. The lock is marked TOWER / 1861 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.

As a Confederate destined weapon it should have the right hand side of the butt stamped with a roundel stating "BIRMINGHAM SMALL ARMS TRADE", however this marking is now GONE due to wear. The barrel bears British Proof Marks, which are still relatively clear. They are the correct Birmingham proof marks, including the CROWN / CROSSED SCEPTERS / BPC "proof" and CROWN / CROSSED SCEPTERS / V "viewed" marks. There is also the CROWN / BP definitive proof, and two 25 markings, indicating "25 bore" or about .577".

The bottom of the stock is marked COOK & SON, and we removed the lock, which is marked J. COOK on the rear of the lock plate. John Thomas Cook is a known British gunsmith, who originally worked as a barrel maker in London. He moved to Birmingham in 1855 and his son joined the business, which operated until 1875. The markings of this maker have been seen on Enfield carbines and rifles with definitive Confederate import markings. More importantly, COOK & SON worked with a number of Birmingham suppliers to produce Enfield pattern arms almost exclusively for the Confederate market, which marked the stocks with the Birmingham Small Arms Trade roundel, which has worn away on this example. However nearly all Cook's production went to this trade.

Unfortunately, the stock is quite worn, so it is impossible to verify that it was sent to the South through their inspection channels, however it definitely matches typical examples. It came marked M H on the left side of the stock, and there is a lead ball converted to a nipple protector, a typical confederate addition.

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 conditions were often such that little time was available for such niceties upon importation. Also with the amount of service this rifle has seen, all markings on the wood stock have long since been worn away. We speculate it probably arrived in 1861-62, having been produced in 1861.

The rifle is in very good service used condition overall, and is complete with the rear sight, both sling swivels, and all three barrel bands. The cleaning rod is present as well, and is marked 913 on the end. The lock is fully functional, holding at half cock and firing at full. The metalwork shows an overall dark oxidized patina, untouched for years. The bore is clear, but there is little trace of the original rifling left, and shows a lot of oxidation and fouling in the interior.

The stock definitely shows the most wear, and shows a repaired crack in the wrist area, which goes all the way across the stock. Most interestingly, there is a large chunk torn out of the stock on the left side just in front of the lower barrel band. We examined this and feel that there is a very good chance it is from a bullet strike or cannon fired shrapnel. It was left unrepaired and has aged wonderfully.

A very nice example of a P-1853 three band percussion rifle with a strong CSA connection and some real battle damage. Ready to display and research!

Specifications:

Year of Manufacture: 1861
Caliber: .58 inches
Ammunition Type: .577 Lead Ball & Powder with Percussion Cap
Barrel Length: 39 inches 
Overall Length: 55 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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