1855 Springfield Rifle Musket Dated 1860
The 1855 series of long arms was adopted after testing and development. It included a number of first. A new caliber of 58 and an expanding bullet. Also adopted was rifled bores for everything. And lastly a Maynard tape primer was incorporated. The rifle musket was produced with a 40" rifled barrel and initially included a sliding leaf long range rear sight. Production started at Harper's Ferry and Springfield armory in 1857. With full scale production in force design changes were incorporated in 1858 and 1859. The rear sight was simplified, an iron nosecap replaced the brass nosecap and a patchbox was added to the butt. 47118 were produced at Springfield and over 28000 were produced at Harpers Ferry.
This example is dated 1860 on the lock as well as the barrel. It has the later rear sight which is a three leaf sight with leafs for 100, 300 and 500 yards. The metal is a light grey color with some scattered areas of light pitting, The markings are all readable. The date position relative to the VP and eaglehead is the alignment used at Springfield - with the date being centered on the V P Eaglehead. The bore has strong rifling. The stock is solid and full length. It has a brass nosecap and was not inletted for the patchbox. There are two numbers stamped into the wood above the buttplate tang, These are refered to as rack numbers. When units had barracks the weapons were typically stored in racks and numbers were applied to the weapon for accounting purposes. The number would be recorded in the records of the soldier it was issued to. There is a sub inspectors cartouche in the wood opposite the lock.