Original U.S. Civil War Springfield Model 1861 by Norwich Converted to Hunting Rifle - dated 1863

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Springfield Model 1861 was a Minié-type rifled musket shoulder-arm used by the United States Army and Marine Corps during the American Civil War. Commonly referred to as the "Springfield" (after its original place of production, Springfield, Massachusetts), it was the most widely used U.S. Army weapon during the Civil War, favored for its range, accuracy, and reliability.

The Springfield Rifle cost $20 each at the Springfield Armory, where they were officially made. Overwhelmed by the demand, the armory opened its weapons patterns up to twenty private contractors, including Norwich Arms Co. of Norwich Conn, which manufactured around 18,000 rifle-muskets under contract from 1863-64. 

After the war ended, many model 1861 and 1863 rifled muskets were modified to a breech loading actions with new metallic cartridges. Others, such as this one, went home with soldiers, and were converted into weapons more suited for hunting.

This example has had the stock cut down, and fitted with a single barrel band. The rear sight was also removed, though possibly just from use, and not as part of the conversion. It is dated 1863 on the lock plate tail, and also has U.S. / NORWICH next to an Eagle stamped into the lock. The barrel stills shows a ghost of the V/ P/ (eagle) markings, which are clear. There is no ramrod, and no pipes were installed for one on the exposed barrel.

The metalwork overall shows peppering from past pitting, with a worn and aged patina, exactly as one would expect from long use and storage. The cap lock nipple is also missing, and the cleanout for the bolster has lost the screwhead, so it cannot be opened. The lock functions, but will fire at half cock. We did check the bore, and it does still have rifling, so this was not made into a "fowling piece", but kept as a rifle.

This is a great chance to pick up a nice Civil War Contract Rifled musket, cut down for hunting after the war! Ready to restore or display as is!


Year of Manufacture: 1863 - sporterized later
Caliber: .58"
Cartridge Type: Minie Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 40 Inches

Overall Length: 56 Inches
Action type: Side Action Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loaded

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