Original U.S. Civil War Springfield Model 1863 Type I Shortened Rifled Musket - Dated 1863
Original Item: Only One Available. A great find! Long stored and only recently released after more than 100 years. We have cleaned it up to put in it the best light. 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.
By the end of the Civil War, muzzle-loading rifles and muskets were considered obsolete. In the years following the Civil War, many Model 1863 muskets were converted into breech-loading "Trapdoor Springfields". The breech-loading weapons increased the rate of fire from 3 to 4 rounds per minute to 8 to 10 rounds per minute. The Model 1863 could be converted to breech-loading for about $5, at a time when a new rifle would cost about $20. The conversion of Model 1863 rifles therefore represented a significant cost savings to the U.S. military.
This type I 1863 escaped conversion, however it was shortened significantly at some point post war, probably to make it a more friendly size for hunting or as a shotgun. It is dated 1863 on the lock plate tail, and also has an Eagle stamped into the lock over U.S. / SPRINGFIELD, indicating production at Springfield Armory, in Springfield Massachusetts. Lock holds properly at half cock, firing at full cock. The markings on the lock are mostly clear and overall the lock plate is in good condition, with a nice gray patina. The bore still shows three groove rifling, though it is quite dirty and powder fowled, with some oxidation.
As a whole, the area around the action suffered quite a bit of powder burn, and it looks like at some point the area was filed down to improve the appearance of the barrel. The filing marks can still be seen. The hammer was not filed, but does show past pitting.
The one piece walnut stock still is in good condition, though time and cleaning have worn away the original inspection cartouches, and it is shortened. The barrel stills shows the P over "Eagle's Head" proofs, though the others are worn away. The barrel is smooth with some dents and pitting, particularly near the breech from powder burn. The rear sight has had the leaf removed or broken off. The butt-plate is stamped U.S. as per regulation, and all barrel bands are U stamped. The ramrod is the correct and original tulip type, shortened the appropriate amount.
A very nice example of what happened to a lot of guns from the civil war, once their service life was over. Ready to display!
Year of Manufacture: 1863
Cartridge Type: Minie Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 28 Inches
Overall Length: 44 Inches
Action type: Side Action Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loaded
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