Original U.S. Civil War Era 3rd Model P-1853 Enfield Three Band Export Rifle with S. H. & Co. Markings dated 1862
Original Item: Only One Available. Offered here is a nice 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 / 1862 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, though they are somewhat faded. They are the correct Birmingham proof marks, with the Crown over Crossed Scepters "Viewed" and "Proved" markings, and the often seen 25 marking. There is also the CROWN / BP marking, usually seen during this time.
To the rear of the trigger guard is a faint CROWN / S / HC proof, which is the marking of Sinclair, Hamilton & Company. The importance of this firm cannot be overstated when it comes to the supply of arms to the Confederacy during the course of the American Civil War. While it is not currently possible to be sure exactly how many arms were contracted for and delivered by that firm during the war, research indicates that a reasonable figure would be at least 150,000 arms, divided between as many as 5 contracts to supply guns to the Confederate central government. This figure does not include those arms sold by Sinclair, Hamilton & Company to individual Confederate States, nor those arms sold to Confederate speculators. What is clear is that the earliest purchases from SH&C were made in early June of 1861, and the first contract to deliver 30,000 “long Enfields’ (P-1853 Rifle Muskets) was entered into on July 4, 1861, with deliveries to be completed over 6 months.
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. Given the how faint the markings on the wood are, it's very likely that the markings may also have been worn away. We speculate it probably arrived in 1862-63, having been produced in 1862.
The gun is in very good condition, with a nice stock and patinated steel metalwork. It does show signs of past pitting and powder burn, especially near the cap bolster. The sight slider is intact, as is the front sight, and the rifle still has both sling swivels and the original cleaning / ramrod. The bore still shows clear three groove rifling, though there is definitely fouling and wear, which has made the rifling faint. The lock is fully functional, holding at half cock and firing at full.
A very nice example of a P-1853 three band percussion rifle with a strong CSA connection. Ready to display and research!
Year of Manufacture: 1862
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
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