Model 1861 Rifle Musket
The model 1861 rifle musket continued the basic design of the 1855 rifle musket with the omission of the maynard tape primer and the patchbox. The design modification was in progress when hostilities broke out. Springfield did not produce any model 1855 rifle muskets in 1861. With the transition to the new model production began in July 1861 with apx 33,000 produced in 1861. Springfield expanded production such that in 1862, 173,809 were produced. As the Union army mobilized and expanded, production could not keep up with demand and most rifle muskets went straight to the field. Production was increased by entering into contracts for additional production by private contractors.
This example was made by Springfield and is dated 1862. It is complete and origional except the cone looks to be a replacement. This RM came from the family. It has been stored for decades. It has a brown patina. That being said, the markings in the metal are sharp, including the barrel date. There is a even brown patina on the metal. I include pictures with thr bands pulled forward to show the barrel color under the bands. Both the lock and barrel are dated 1862. The rear sight is present and the ramrod is original. The bore does not show rifling. Apparently the bore was reamed smooth. This rifle does not seem to have been fired enough to wear out the rifling. The full length stock is sound and solid with the usual bumps and dents. Two cartouches are visible on the flat opposite the lock. One is the mark of Erskine Allin who was the superintendent of the armory. There are some scatted flecks of paint on the rifle musket.