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Original Rare U.S. Edwin Wesson Ornate .41cal Percussion Match Rifle Similar to Civil War Sharpshooter Models

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind. EDWIN WESSON, 1811 - 1849 was the older Brother of Danial Wesson who together with Horace Smith founded the Famous SMITH & WESSON COMPANY in 1855. Daniel Wesson worked with his brother EDWIN WESSON developing these precision Match Rifles during the 1840's, and contracted with Samuel Colt to supply 1,000 Barrels for the Colt Walker Revolvers. EDWIN WESSON sadly died in 1849, leaving his younger brother DANIEL WESSON to continue his firearm developments.

These EDWIN WESSON Match Rifles are extremely RARE and this example is, we feel, the finest in existence today, being close to mint, and is of the highest quality production with all Silver engraved mounts in the best possible original condition. We have left it as found, making no attempt to polish the tarnished silver, with a patina of over a century.

These were the type of extremely accurate Match Rifles of the period that were used by SHARPSHOOTERS in the Civil War, fitted with barrel length telescopic sights. If you consult the Internet under EDWIN WESSON you will find a fine but lesser example currently in THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY carried in battle by Edwin J. Stanclift of the 8th. Company, 1st. Battalion of the NEW YORK SHARPSHOOTERS during the Civil War.

Our example features a GOLD outlined Octagonal Barrel of 25 inches in length, the muzzle equipped for use with a "Bullet Starter"to facilitate loading again. This would groove the bullet before entrance into the actual bore, reducing wear on the barrel muzzle significantly. This type of device was even used with breech loading firearms, again to improve accuracy and reduce barrel wear. More information on Edwin Wesson and his rifles can be found at the wonderful Littlegun Info website at this link: EDWIN WESSON.

The Rifle is fitted with an engraved back action percussion lock, mounted in the fully engraved frame of the Rifle. The engraved intricate multi finger rest trigger guard encloses double set triggers. The tang directly behind the barrel features a screw in elevated Peep Sight surrounding a very small aperture hole. Not designed for any sort of wood Forend, the Octagonal Barrel is intricately engraved on the top flat Wesson Hartford Conn and supports an iron front tubular fore sight cover containing a vertical blade surmounted by a circle for accuracy. There is a small socket under the rifle’s chamber with a square nut inside, which may be for adjusting the height of the sight. We unfortunately do not have a square key that fits, so we unfortunately have no way to test it out.

The rifle is fitted with a very high quality KENTUCKY STYLE burl wood hooked butt stock, with ALL SILVER fully engraved mounts. This includes a lovely Silver Patch box, fully engraved featuring a Stag's head and other game animals, which still contains a wad for loading. The wrap around Silver butt plate has a lidded vertical compartment on the top strap. which contains a specialized brass mounted wood barrel cleaning jag with a threaded attachment to the rear. This is intended to be used with the horn tipped figured wooden ramrod. The inner side of this rod has a brass screw cover, under which is a “worm” screw attachment for removing a stuck wad or ball. This screw however can be removed, allowing the jag to screw in. A truly high end cleaning set for this incredible rifle.

The Rifle measures 42" in overall length, and was very recently discovered in a very old American collection in a Southern State. It has been suggested that this particular rifle is the BEST CONDITION example known to exist and also of the highest Quality. The rifle is simply in excellent condition, with a fully functional set trigger lock, and a bore that looks like it may have never actually been used. It really is like a mirror. There is only the smallest amount of powder burn around the cap bolster.

A very rare Maker from a very famous American family of Gun Makers. TRULY OUTSTANDING. Ready to treasure and display, a splendid INVESTMENT as well as a true work of art!


Year of Manufacture: circa 1854-50
Caliber: .41"
Cartridge Type: Ball and Powder with Percussion Cap
Barrel Length: 25 Inches

Overall Length: 42 Inches
Action type: Side Action 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.

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