Manufactured in 1863. Colt was given a contract to supply 112,500 of these special Rifled Muskets, and between 1861 and 1865, 75,000 were delivered under Ordnance Department contracts. All parts are armory bright except for the blue rear sight and casehardened trigger. The Colt Special Model 1861 Rifle-Musket had a distinctive hammer, bolster that lacked a clean-out screw, screw fastened barrel bands and a straight shank tulip head ramrod. Many of these features were incorporated by Springfield Armory in the Model 1863 Type I and Type II rifle-muskets. The lock plate is dated "1863" behind the hammer and marked "U.S./COLT'S PT F.A. MFG CO/HARTFORD CT" ahead of the hammer. The top of the barrel is dated "1863" at the breech, the left upper flat is marked "V/P/eagle head" and the left flat "E.F.. The face of the nipple bolster is stamped with the spread eagle/shield motif. The lower tang is marked with a small "T" ahead of the trigger guard, a "M" on the trigger guard bow and "J" at the rear, and an "M" on the ramrod head. There is a small "M" on the rear and middle barrel bands and a "T" on the front band. Blade front sight on a square base which doubles as a bayonet lug and three leaf rear sight marked with a "C" on the left side. Mounted with an oil finished black walnut full length straight grip stock with two sharp boxed cartouches on the left flat. The buttplate tang is marked "U.S" ahead of the screw and with a small "P" above it.
Fine. The metal surfaces remain bright with scattered speckled discoloration. 3 inches of the muzzle end of the ramrod has a smooth gray patina. The refinished stock shows only a couple of very small dings and light handling/storage marks and legible cartouches. The markings are sharp. The action is excellent.
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