Original U.S. Civil War Era British P-1853 Enfield Percussion Rifle made in 1863 Possibly for Confederate Trade

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Offered here is a very nice example of the 3rd Model Pattern 1853 Enfield Rifle Musket as produced in Birmingham, 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 / 1863 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.

This rifle is in outstanding condition, still retaining the chained nipple guard and a discreet Maker's stamp in the under side of the butt stock :- ISAAC HOLLIS & SON together with various unknown stamp markings. Inside the lock on the wood is the stamp of the "assembler" T. FORD, on the lock's interior side it is marked for Isaac Hollis again and on the underside of the barrel which is also marked R. COOPER for the barrel maker.

The Barrel bears British Proof Marks and a number 25, and the wood butt stock is clearly stamped with a rondel marked:-  BIRMINGHAM SMALL ARMS TRADE in a circle around a Crown over the B.S.A.T. logo.

An identical Short Rifle edition of this same weapon, dated 1862, appears on the Cover of THE CONFEDERATE ENFIELD by Captain Steven W. Knott, U.S.N. (Ret). with a writeup 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 or other Civil War Markings on our rifle, however after 1863 conditions were such that little time was available for such niceties upon importation. The Blockade runner's hay day were in the early years of the war 1861 and 1862 however Caleb Huse was busy right up to 1865 when the last shipment arrived early that year.

We rather suspect that this particular rifle arrived in 1864, possibly even in the final consignment of January 1865 and from its amazing condition probably only saw limited or no use in the conflict.

A Great condition Rifle that may have seen service in the American Civil War.


Year of Manufacture: 1863
Caliber: .58 inches
Ammunition Type: .577 Lead Ball & Powder with Percussion Cap
Overall Length: 55 inches
Action: Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

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