CIVIL WAR Contract COLT Special M1861 Rifle-MUSKET
CIVIL WAR Contract COLT Special M1861 Rifle-MUSKET – Civil War Colt Special Contract Model 1861 Percussion Rifle-Musket, produced in 1863 at the Colts Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut. Production began in September of 1862 while the war was in full swing. The Union was still trying to make up for arms shortages and the destruction of Harpers Ferry Armory with production at Springfield, supplementing this with contracts with over 20 other contractors, like Colt, for rifle-muskets. During the Civil War, approximately 130,000 Special Model 1861 muskets were manufactured by Colt for the US government. The first contract of July 5, 1861 called for the Colt Manufacturing Company of Connecticut to produce 25,000 long arms, followed by 50,000 such arms for the June 2, 1863 contract.
The lock plate is dated “1862” and marked “U.S./Colt’s PT F.A. MFG. Co/Hartford, CT”; the eagle is visible on the nipple bolster. “U.S.” is on the butt plate, and the “VP” is visible on the breech, although the usual eagle head is not visible; “STEEL” is stamped into the side of the breech opposite the lock plate, as is the letter “D”. There are no inspector’s cartouches. The original sight is present, as is the M1861 style, swell-tipped ramrod. Attached to the upper wrist of the stock, just behind the breech plug, is a brass shield, featuring an embossed U.S. eagle. The overall condition is very good – the metal elements are a smooth, dark brown, with only minor oxidation areas; the lock plate exhibits some original case hardening; the walnut stock retains its original finish and is in excellent condition; the markings are all legible; the bore is clean, smooth and dark; the action is excellent, strong and crisp.
Barrel is 40 inches.
Caliber: .58 Percussion