Original Excellent U.S. Civil War Springfield Model 1863 Type I Rifled Musket by Springfield Armory - dated 1863

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Springfield Model 1863 rifled musket is a .58 caliber rifled musket produced by the Springfield Armory between 1863 and 1865. The Model 1863 was a minor improvement over the Springfield Model 1861. As such, it is sometimes classified as just a variant of the Model 1861. The Model 1861, with all of its variants, was the most commonly used longarm in the American Civil War, with over 700,000 manufactured. The Model 1863 also has the distinction of being the last muzzle-loading longarm produced by the Springfield Armory.

The Model 1863 was produced in two variants. The Type I eliminated the band springs and replaced the flat barrel bands with oval clamping bands. It also featured a new ramrod, a case-hardened lock, a new hammer, and a redesigned bolster (percussion chamber). Several of these modifications were based upon Colt's contract model 1861, known as the "Colt special". 273,265 Type I variants were manufactured in 1863.

The Type II is sometimes referred to as the Model 1864, but is more commonly referred to as just a variant of the Model 1863. This version re-introduced band springs, replaced the clamping bands with solid oval bands, and replaced the three leaf rear sight with single leaf sight. A total of 255,040 of these were manufactured from 1864 to 1865.

By the end of the Civil War, muzzle-loading rifles and muskets were considered obsolete. In the years following the Civil War, many Model 1863 muskets were converted into breech-loading "Trapdoor Springfields". The breech-loading weapons increased the rate of fire from 3 to 4 rounds per minute to 8 to 10 rounds per minute. The Model 1863 could be converted to breech-loading for about $5, at a time when a new rifle would cost about $20. The conversion of Model 1863 rifles therefore represented a significant cost savings to the U.S. military.

This Excellent condition Type I 1863 however escaped conversion, and is presented for sale in the original Civil War era configuration. It is dated 1863 on the lock plate tail, and also has an Eagle stamped into the lock to the left of U.S. / SPRINGFIELD, indicating production at the United States Armory and Arsenal at Springfield, in Springfield, Massachusetts. The markings are still crisp, and the lock plate shows only light cleaning from service and afterwards. It is still fully functional, holding at half cock and firing at full. The cap bolster still bears a crisp Eagle marking, a real rarity, and there is very little powder burn around the nipple cone, indicating that it saw only light use while in service.

The barrel stills shows clear V / P / (Eagle's Head) proofs on the left facet of the breech, with a clear 1863 date on the top facet. The left side of the stock by the wrist still has an ESA oval cartouche, for Erskine. S. Allin, Master Armorer at Springfield Armory from 1853 until his death in 1879, as well as the designer of the trapdoor system. In very nice condition this is a rare U.S. Military Rifle that led to the the legendary Model of 1873. Really some fantastic markings on this example!

The one piece walnut stock is in great condition, showing light wear from service including some dents, scratches, and dings, but no major damage or evidence of a past restoration. It has a lovely color and glow, and really would be hard to improve upon.

This gun still has the original rear sight, which is a single leaf type, with the shorter portion for 100 yards, and the longer for 300 and 500 yards. This most likely was produced later in the 1863 run, so it has the Type II pattern rear sight. The "barleycorn" front sight is in great shape, still firmly attached to the barrel. All barrel bands are U stamped, however the butt plate marking is missing or worn away. Both sling swivels are still present and move, and the hardware is solid. The ramrod is the tulip type without an enlarged shank, correct for the model 1863.

A wonderful example, offered in really excellent condition with a great bore and still in the original percussion configuration. This would find a welcome home in any U.S. Civil War collection. Ready for display!


Year of Manufacture: 1863
Caliber: .58"
Cartridge Type: Minié Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 40 Inches

Overall Length: 56 Inches
Action type: Side Action Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loaded

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