Included in this lot is a U.S. Springfield Model 1863 .58 caliber rifled musket. This is the classic standard Union issue Civil War rifle that saw service through most of the heaviest fighting in the War Between The States. This revolutionary rifle replaced the earlier smooth bore muskets. It was loaded from the muzzle with a soft lead hollow base grease-groove bullet over a charge of black powder. The charge was detonated by use of a percussion cap placed on a nipple under the hammer. Upon discharge, the gases from the powder charge would expand the hollow base of the bullet to fill the rifling grooves in the barrel to impart a spin on the projectile. This system allowed for very accurate shooting even at previously unheard of distances. It is recognized that this system changed warfare forever. This fine example has the correct clearly marked “U.S. SPRINGFIELD” with the eagle stamping on the side of the lock plate plus the manufacture date of “1863” on the rear of the lock plate behind the hammer. Importantly, the left side of the stock opposite the lock retains original inspector stampings. The barrel appears free of rust or pitting and retains the correct folding leaf rear sight. The walnut stock also appears free of all but the lightest of handling marks. The ramrod is intact and amazingly, the bore was inspected and proved to be in bright excellent condition with no pitting and retaining sharp rifling. Many of these rifled muskets were sold as surplus or were retained by soldiers after the Civil War ended in 1865. As such, this was a common firearm seen on the Western Frontier right up through the 1880s. Even though cartridge firing rifles became popular beginning in the early 1870s, fixed ammunition could be difficult to obtain in the unsettled West. Yet, with a supply of powder, lead and percussion caps the 1863 Rifled Musket would always be ready for service. Because of its large caliber and long range potential, it was a formidable weapon for hunting the largest of North American game or for self protection. Complete with leather sling, this is a most attractive example that recently turned up in Arizona. This firearm qualifies as an Antique, and does not require FFL Transfer or NICS Background Check.
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