Original U.S. Civil War Springfield M-1863 Rifle Converted to Robert's Patent 1867 Breechloader

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is something that we have never had before! This rifle started out as a Civil War Springfield Rifle Musket, dated 1864, made under contract by NORWICH, as indicated on the lock plate. There is also the "Spread Eagle" over U.S. marking, though it is worn, indicating military production. This particular rifle is technically a Model 1863, Type II, and these were made with solid bands, and band retaining springs, which are still present. The rear sight however was changed to a three leaf sight during conversion. Around 700,000 of all Model 1863 types were produced from 1863 until the end of the Civil War in 1865.

The U.S. Civil war had confirmed the adage of NEED is the Mother of INVENTION. Muzzle Loading Muskets and Rifles were extensively used but new developments continually resulted in a "fresh" breach loading system being adopted on a trial basis. The Union had as many as NINETEEN different systems issued during the war, and more were developed afterwards, such as the Robert's 1867 Patented system seen here. 

These are very rare. After the Civil War ended in 1865 the Providence Tool Company of Rhode Island contracted to convert Springfield Civil War percussion rifles to breech loading using the June 11th 1867 ROBERT'S PATENT. This allowed the rifle to be loaded from the breech using the special Robert's .58 caliber self contained cartridge. The system is ingenious but was not adopted by the U.S, Military. Some were supplied to France for the upcoming Franco-Prussian War and other sold within the U.S. on the local and Militia markets.

This system is actually a type of "falling-block" action, similar to the Martini-Henry.  The breech is accessed by raising a lever behind the tang that can only be fully opened with the hammer in the fired position. This drops the breech block into the stock, allowing a cartridge to be inserted from the rear. The action is then closed and locked, and the rifle can then be cocked and fired. Patent marking ROBERT'S PAT. / JUNE.11.1867 is visible on the left hand side of the receiver.

Stock is in good condition with the expected dents and dings from age, as well as some gouges. There also is a repaired crack near the front lock screw. The Metal components are in good condition, with signs of past pitting, and a great patina.. Bore shows clear lands and grooves, but does show both bright areas, as well as those showing corrosion.

A scarce Conversion ready to display.

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  • This product is not available for shipping in US state(s): New Jersey

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