Rock Island Auction Company

Premiere Auction

Harpers Ferry Armory Muskets And Carbines - 1850

Lot 3093
Sold for
Full Screen
Estimated Price: $4,250 - $6,500
Outstanding Harpers Ferry U.S. Model 1855 Percussion Rifle-Musket
Serial # ManufacturerHarpers Ferry Armory Muskets And Carbines Model1850
TypeMusket Gauge58 Percussion Catalog Page148
Barrel Length40 In FinishBright Grip
Stockwalnut ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionModel 1855 rifle-musket manufactured by the U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in 1858. The Harpers Ferry Armory produced a total of 12,158 Model 1855 rifle-muskets between 1857 and 1861. Nearly all of these muskets were issued and used in the Civil War. Examples in very good condition are scarce. The musket barrel, lock, trigger guard, buttplate and barrel bands are "National Armory Bright". The rear sight and percussion nipple are blued and the black walnut stock is oil-finished. The lock has the distinctive Maynard tape primer magazine utilized on the Model 1855 rifle-musket, the Model 1855 rifle and the Model 1855 pistol-carbine. The magazine door is roll-stamped with a bold eagle and shield motif. The barrel has a long range, folding leaf, rear sight graduated to 900 yards and an iron block front sight that serves as a stud for a socket bayonet. Late in 1858, the long range rear sight was replaced with the simplified, two-leaf rear sight used on most Model 1855 rifle-muskets. The stock has the early, brass, forearm tip that was replaced with a steel tip in 1859. The musket has an iron, 'tulip head' ramrod with swelled shank. The flat, iron, barrel bands are secured by band springs. The nipple bolster has the clean-out screw introduced on the Model 1855 rifle-musket, The lock plate is dated "1858" behind the hammer and roll-stamped: "U.S./HARPERS FERRY" in two lines in front of the primer magazine. The top barrel flat is dated "1858". The inverted inspection mark "W.C.K." is stamped on the right barrel flat in front of the bolster. The left barrel flat is stamped with "V/P/Eagle Head" proof and inspection marks. The right side of each barrel band is stamped with a "U" facing the muzzle. "U.S." is stamped on the heel of the buttplate in front of the buttplate screw. The left stock flat is stamped with the same "W.K.C." inspection mark that is on the right side of the barrel and Ordnance Final Inspection and sub-inspection marks. One of the Ordnance marks consists of two script initials an oval border, the other mark consists of three initials surrounded by an oval border. The Model 1855 rifle-musket was the most advanced percussion rifle-musket manufactured when it was introduced in 1855; it was the first regulation U.S. weapon to use the famous, .58 caliber, expanding base "Minie' bullet, the first U.S. musket fitted with a long range rear sight and the first U.S. rifle or musket to be fitted with the Maynard tape primer. Model 1855 rifle-muskets were in great demand at the start of the Civil War and most of the available rifle-muskets were issued to regular U.S. Army regiments or elite volunteer units with political connections. Many Model 1855 rifle-Muskets were acquired by the Confederate Army and used throughout the Civil War. Virtually all Model 1855 rifle-muskets saw Civil War service.

ConditionExcellent. The musket is completely original. The Maynard tape primer is complete and functional. The barrel appears to retain the original "National Armory Bright' polish; wear is limited to a few shallow and very minor patches of light pitting along the edge of the stock. The bolster has traces of flash pitting and dried grease. The barrel date and inspection marks on the barrel flats are crisp. The bore is excellent with strong rifling. The barrel tang has been professionally drilled and tapped and fitted with a small screw. The lock plate and iron furniture are bright; the surfaces of the lock plate, magazine door and hammer are smooth and free from pitting. The lock plate and magazine door markings are sharp. The barrel bands, trigger guard and buttplate are in the same fine condition as the lock. The stock is in very good overall condition and shows only scattered and very minor handling and storage marks. The Ordnance final inspection and sub-inspection marks on the left stock flat show some handling wear but remain clear and legible. This is an outstanding example of a scarce, 1858-production, Harpers Ferry Model 1855 percussion rifle-musket with desirable long range rear sight. It would be difficult to improve upon this important Civil War rifle-musket
Use your keyboard for viewing photos.
F Enters/exits full screen view for items
Esc Exits full screen view for items
Moves to previous lot, or moves to previous image if full screen view is enabled
Moves to next lot, or moves to next image if full screen view is enabled
Fully zooms the image when full screen view is enabled
Fits the entire image to the screen when full screen view is enabled


Buyer’s Premium: 17.5%

Cash Payment Discount: 2.5%

Participation Requirements: Valid Credit Card required for bidding approval. You will have the option to pay with these payment options: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Check, Money Order, Wire Transfer, and Cash.

We will contact you after the auction to arrange payment and shipping.


Premiere Auction Terms

Terms and conditions regarding Premiere Auctions. Revised : 08/29/2014


SHIPPING CHARGES. All shipping charges must be paid by the successful bidder prior to delivery of the firearm. If Rock Island Auction (RIAC) is asked to ship the purchased lots, there will be a separate charge for such shipping. Shipping charges will be based upon what it costs RIAC to ship the purchased lots to the purchaser. All items must have shipping insurance; this insurance is mandatory. RIAC will not charge any labor charges for shipping. RIAC is not liable for any acts of omissions in packaging or shipping. Purchased lots handled by outside carriers or packers, including those RIAC may have recommended, may carry their own insurance and any claims for losses or damages should be addressed directly to the outside carriers or packers. RIAC will arrange for packing and shipping at RIAC’s earliest possible convenience. RIAC will attempt to ship as soon as possible; however, due to RIAC’s high volume of absentee bids, shipping can take up to two weeks after full payment is received. In the case of crating or any exceptional packaging, the purchaser will be charged RIAC’s cost from outside agents. Purchaser pays shipping, packing materials, and insurance charges. The shipping of any purchased items outside of the United States is hereby classified as “foreign export”. All foreign export is the sole responsibility of the purchaser.