1841 Rifle. SOLD
The 1841 rifle was the first percussion rifle contracted for the US army. It was made by 5 contractors and at the national armory at Harper's Ferry. 1000 1841 rifles were made for the state of South Carolina. The total production including those produced under contract and at the Harpers Ferry was 74,000 rifles. E. Whitney received 4 contracts to produce 1841 rifles. The first was in 1842 and the last was in 1853. Whitney's production totaled 22500 rifles. Rifles from their first contract were used by the 1st Mississippi Regiment during the Mexican war, and thus the nickname "Mississippi " was applied to the rifle.
This Whitney 1841 rifle is dated 1850 on the lock and 1851 on the barrel tang. All marks are clear and readable. The lock is a pleasing grey Color with only scattered light pitting. The barrel is full length and has sharp clear marks. The 1841 rifles were the first contract rifles to have steel barrels. This barrel is marked "STEEL" along with the proof marks. The barrel has only scattered areas of light pitting. The bolster and breech areas have strong contures. The stock Is solid and full length. There are a few scattered handling dings and the cartouches are readable. The stock has some rounding on the corners. The brass furniture is a mellow color and fits nicely in stock. The butte late is marked "US". There is no provision for a bayonet on this rifle.
This rifle was owned at one time by a shooter. There are two filled holes in the wood behind the barrel tang where a tang sight was attached. There is a ghost outline of the shape of the sight base as shown in the picture. The rear sight is correct and original. The original brass front sight blade has been filed to make it a thinner blade. The ramood appears to be original bur the threaded tip has been turned to a smaller diameter and threaded. The barrel is 54 caliber with 7 lands and grooves. The rifling is good and strong.
All in all this is a nice example of a popular rifle that at the start of the war was quite in demand. They were stored all over the north and south and most saw heavy service.