Susat Civil War Antiques
  • 1841 RIFLE -WHITNEY 1851


    1841 Rifle - Mississippi

    Whitney dated 1851.  SOLD

    The 1841 rifle is a brass mounted 54 caliber rifle.  As originally designed it was rifled with 7 lands snd grouves.  It was not fitted with a bayonet.  It had simple V rear sight.   They were used in the war with Mexico.  In the 1850s with the development of hollow base expanding bullet and the adoption of 58 as the caliber for infantry arms, 1841 rifles started being altered.   There were a number of alterations performed on some 1841 rifles in the late 1850s and into the Civil War.  

    The 1841 rifle was produced at one national armory - Harpers Ferry and by 5 contractors.  Total production was 92,807 rifles.  Eli Whitney received two contracts - one in 1842 for 7,500 and a second in 1848 for 15,000 rifles.  Rifles from his first contract were issued to the 1st Mississippi Rifles and carried in Mexico.   One unit that carried them was the 1st Mississippi infantry commanded by Col. Jefferson Davis.  Their performance earned the nickname Mississippi for the 1841 rifle. 

    This example is from Whitneys second contract and dated 1851 on the lock.  Whitney was known to sell rifles  that did not pass Federal inspection, to states or militia units.  This particular example has visible inspection cartouches in the wood flat opposite the lock.   The metal is in nice condition.  The lockplate is a pleasing grey color with clear deep markings.  There is some light pitting on the top of the hammer.  There is also a inspectors mark on the backside of the hammer.  The lock works well and when i removed the lock it looks near new on the inside.  The barrel has generous amounts of browning along the barrel.  It has the original sights.  The breech has a V over a P.  Whitney did not use the eagle head below the VP.  There is no barrel date.  There may have been some light cleaning in the breech area or it might not have been stamped with the barrel date.  The rifling is strong and has the 7 lands and grooves.  This rifle is in the original configuration.  It has not had the sights or bore altered.  Nor has a bayonet been added.  The wood is full length and a nice walnut color.  There are some nicks and bumps.  There has been some light sanding.  As mentioned earlier the cartouches are visible.            The brass furniture is original.  The buttplate has a US stamped on the tang.  There are single letter inspectors marks in several places on the brass .  The original sling swivels are present and the ramrod is original.