Original U.S. Civil War Springfield M-1863 Rifled Musket Converted to Miller Patent Breechloading Rifle
Original Item: Only One Available. This is really a Peach! This rifle started out as a Civil War Springfield Rifle Musket, dated 1863, made by PARKERS ' SNOW & CO. / MERIDEN, CONN, as listed on the lock plate. There is also the "Spread Eagle" over U.S. marking, indicating military production. This particular rifle is technically a Model 1863, Type II, indicated by the solid bands and band springs. Around 700,000 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" breech loading system being adopted on a trial basis. With the advent of breech loading cartridge firearms, the government was looking for cost effective ways to modernize their rifles, and one way was to convert muzzle loading Rifle muskets to a breech loaders. The Union had as many as NINETEEN different systems issued during the war, some of which were extremely complex.
The Miller Breach Loading system for the 1863 Springfield involves a flip up breach block allowing access to the chamber of the .58 Rimfire 39" barrel. The rifle now measures 56" in overall length.
The conversion breech block is stamped on the top:-
PATENT MAY 23.1865
MERIDEN MANFG. CO.
In Military Trials in 1867 performance was spotty with several misfires however there appeared to be considerable gas "leakage" around the primer, resulting in this system not being adopted by the Government. Consequently few example were ever produced making these very rare. Our example is in very good condition, with crisp markings on the lock plate and breech block, though the metal finish is worn on the barrel and fittings. The stock is in good condition, with the expected wear from age and use, and no major issues.
Bore is in very good condition, with clear lands and grooves and some oxidation present overall. The machine cutting marks can still be seen in the grooves. The butt plate is marked U.S. / 14, and both barrel bands are U marked.
Fully cleaned and ready to display. Very Rare.
Year of Manufacture: 1863 - converted c.1865
Caliber: .58 "
Cartridge Type: Rimfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 39 Inches
Overall Length: 56 Inches
Action type: Side Action Lock
Feed System: Trapdoor Breech Single Shot
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