This is a very fine example of a U.S. Model 1841 Mississippi Rifle, made in 1849 by Robbins and Lawrence of Windsor, VT. 5000 of these rifles were kept in storage by the State of Massachusetts until the beginning of the Civil War. At that time, Massachusetts sold 1000 of these rifles to the State of New Hampshire. New Hampshire had 791 of these rifles uniquely altered to accept a sword bayonet. Most of these NH altered rifles were issued to the 9th NH Volunteer Infantry. This example is one of those New Hampshire altered rifles. It is in such fine condition, that it is doubtful this it ever left the State... Both cartouches on the stock are light but still visible. The barrel has Robbins and Lawrence proofs which read "US" over "JPC" over "P". The barrel tang has the 1849 date still visible. The bore is in it's original .54 caliber configuration and it is in excellent bright condition with sharp rifling. This example is in overall very fine condition, with nice smooth metal that has turned to a delightful patina with no pitting. The 1849 dated lock plate has sharp markings and silvery traces of original case colors in protected areas. Notice the brass still exhibits some varnish, most likely applied for storage. The lock is very precise and has a strong main spring. The stock is in very good condition with nice clean surfaces that have good lines and mostly smooth surfaces along with a few dings and scratches collected over the years. A nice example of an 1841 Model Mississippi rifle, that is very rare in its fine condition and original configuration. It has been a while since one this nice has come to market.See my other listings for more civil war era rifles in fine condition.
A knowledgeable collector kindly provided the following input: Your Mississippi is known as the New Hampshire conversion for the saber bayonet. A very hard example to find, bayonet conversion was done by Ames. The books say Collins & Co. or Ames, I have a rifle like this and the bayonet for it is clearly marked Ames. The flat top machine screws are missing from your bayonet lug and can easily be replaced. These rifles were issued to the Ninth New Hampshire which had a great battle record. They were at Vicksburg as well as the other major conflicts. The state had 960 of these converted rifles as of May of 1862 in storage at Portsmouth. The state referred to these as Windsor rifles because of their manufacture in Windsor, Vermont. The regimental history of the ninth has several ref to the use of this rifle. This is a pretty scarce rifle with a known history of it's use...
See Moller's Volume III, page 160, for more details re the rare NH Alteration.
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