Original U.S. Civil War Springfield Model 1863 Cut Down Rifled Musket Possibly Decorated & Used by Native Americans - dated 1863

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Springfield Model 1863 rifled musket is a .58 caliber rifled musket produced by the Springfield Armory between 1863 and 1865. The Model 1863 was a minor improvement over the Springfield Model 1861. As such, it is sometimes classified as just a variant of the Model 1861. The Model 1861, with all of its variants, was the most commonly used longarm in the American Civil War, with over 700,000 manufactured. The Model 1863 also has the distinction of being the last muzzle-loading longarm produced by the Springfield Armory.

The Model 1863 was produced in two variants. The Type I eliminated the band springs and replaced the flat barrel bands with oval clamping bands. It also featured a new ramrod, a case-hardened lock, a new hammer, and a redesigned bolster (percussion chamber). Several of these modifications were based upon Colt's contract model 1861, known as the "Colt special". 273,265 Type I variants were manufactured in 1863.

The Type II is sometimes referred to as the Model 1864, but is more commonly referred to as just a variant of the Model 1863. This version re-introduced band springs, replaced the clamping bands with solid oval bands, and replaced the three leaf rear sight with single leaf sight. A total of 255,040 of these were manufactured from 1864 to 1865.

This example in "attic find" condition looks to have had a very interesting life after the Civil war. It has had the front 26 inches removed, and now is more like a short carbine for use on horseback. The front of the stock has been smoothed out a bit, but there is no nose cap, and the barrel band is missing as well.  The rear sight was completely removed, though there is a small groove at the front top of the barrel for aiming. It also has been decorated with numerous brass tacks on the remaining stock, which is typically associated with ownership by Native Americans. We cannot accurately verify the age of the tacks so they could be later than the 19th century period. The gun looks to have seen extensive use during its long life.

Overall condition is very good considering the age and what has been through. The metalwork shows a dark oxidized patina, with rust peppering throughout. The original SPRINGFIELD marking on the lock plate is just a ghost, though the 1863 on the tail is more visible. Amazingly, the lock still works, though there is quite a bit of slop in the mechanics. We checked the bore, and it is pretty much a stove pipe, which we have made no attempt to clean. The stock is very nice, though the wrist has been broken through several times, and then was subsequently repaired.

A very interesting cut down rifle, possibly used by Native Americans on the American Frontier. Ready to research and display!


Year of Manufacture: 1863
Caliber: .58"
Cartridge Type: Minié Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 13 3/4 Inches

Overall Length: 29 3/4 Inches
Action type: Side Action Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loaded

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