Original U.S. Civil War Era M1841 Mississippi Rifle by Harpers Ferry converted to .58 Minie - dated 1849

Item Description

Original item: Only One Available. A great Civil War Long Gun, the U.S. .54 Caliber Percussion Rifle was in 1841 way ahead of its time and showed stout service in the American/Mexican War.

This example was made in 1849 at the Harpers Ferry Armory, located in Harpers Ferry, in what was then Virginia. After the outbreak of the U.S. Civil war, The North West corner of Virginia separated itself into West Virginia. This example is in lovely condition, a real great example of this type. The lock plate is marked [EAGLE] / U.S. and HARPERS / FERRY / 1849. It has however been updated, by the retrograde step of being smooth bored after 1855 to accept the then Standard 58 Caliber Minnie Ball. This was the ammunition used by the Springfield Model 1855, and later 1861 and 1863 models, which the U.S. wanted to standardize. Some were also modified to take sword bayonets.

The barrel would normally have some proof marks, however there is significant powder burn over the entire breech area, which has obliterated any markings there and on the barrel tang. The powder burn stops by the rear sight though, so the rest of the barrel has a very pleasing aged patina.

The weapon is fully brass mounted including a brass patch box to the Butt which was used for storage of patches and sometimes bullets, as well as spare cap nipples. This way if the nipple broke or was clogged, it could easily be replaced.  The stock is a lovely red brown color, and has a very nice finish.

An early U.S. issue rifle that may have seen service during the civil war. In really nice Collector's Condition ready to display.

History of the M1841 "Mississippi Rifle"

The M1841 Mississippi rifle is a muzzle-loading percussion rifle used in the Mexican–American War and the American Civil War.  When Eli Whitney Blake took over management of the Harpers Ferry Armory in 1842, he set about tooling up under his new contract from the U.S. government for making the model 1841 percussion rifle. Machinery and fixtures for making the 1822 contract flintlock musket had to be retooled or replaced in order to produce the lock and barrel of the new model. Whitney, Jr. had the good sense to hire Thomas Warner as foreman, who, as master armorer at Springfield Armory, had just been making the same kind of major changes there. Thomas Warner had spearheaded the drive to equip the Springfield Armory with a set of new, more precise machines and a system of gauging that made it possible for the first time to achieve, in the late 1840s, the long-desired goal of interchangeability of parts in military small arms. Under his tutelage, Eli Whitney, Jr. equipped the Whitney Armory to do likewise.

The nickname "Mississippi" originated in the Mexican–American War when future Confederate president Jefferson Davis was appointed Colonel of the Mississippi Rifles, a volunteer regiment from the state of Mississippi. Colonel Davis sought to arm his regiment with the Model 1841 rifles. At this time, smoothbore muskets were still the primary infantry weapon and any unit with rifles was considered special and designated as such. Davis clashed with his commanding officer, General Winfield Scott, who said that the weapons were insufficiently tested and refused the request. Davis took his case to the President James Knox Polk who agreed with Davis that his men be armed with them. The incident was the start of a lifelong feud between Davis and Scott.


Year of Manufacture: 1849
Caliber: .58 inches
Ammunition Type: .577 Lead Ball & Powder with Percussion Cap
Barrel Length: 33 inches

Overall Length: 48 1/2 inches
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.

  • This product is available for international shipping.
  • Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon


Cash For Collectibles