This Henry lever action rifle was manufactured by the New Haven Arms Company c. September 1864. This rifle has the distinctive 24-inch blued octagon barrel with integral 15-shot magazine and brass receiver which immediately identify a Henry rifle. The barrel has the later style, square back, nickel-silver, front sight and folding leaf rear sight with 900 yard center notch and elevation bar stop screw. The magazine has the large diameter brass follower. The second style receiver lacks the rear sight dovetail found on most Henry rifles manufactured in 1862 and 1863. The bottom of the receiver has a beveled follower cut. The hammer spur has coarse hand-cut knurling. The second style brass buttplate has a sharply pointed heel and hinged butt trap door. The butt trap contains the four-piece jointed, steel cleaning rod with brass tip furnished with Henry rifles in this serial number range. The left side of the stock has a sling swivel, and the left side of the has a screw-fastened ring for a sling hook. The sling swivel and ring were standard features on Henry rifles by 1864. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the second style, two-line legend: "HENRY'S PATENT OCT. 16. 1860/MANUFACT'D BY THE NEWHAVEN ARMS CO. NEWHAVEN CT." ahead of the rear sight. The second style legend is slightly larger than the legend used through about serial number 3600 and has all serif letters. The serial number, "6543", is roll-stamped on the top barrel flat between the rear sight and the receiver and is visible on the left side of the lower tang beneath the stock, in the stock upper tang inlet and on the inside of the buttplate. All of the visible serial numbers match. The later style buttplate and receiver screws correctly lack the serial numbers on the shank found on the hand-fitted screws of earlier production Henry rifles. The barrel/magazine has a commercial blue finish. The rear sight, bolt, trigger, loading lever, sling swivel and ring all have a fiery, niter blue finish (this is one of the very few Henry rifle with sufficient finish remaining on the lever, trigger and sling swivel to show these components originally had a niter blue rather than casehardened finish). The receiver and crescent buttplate have a natural brass finish. The hammer is casehardened with muted case colors. The straight grain, American walnut stock is oil-finished. Experts believe that most of the 9,000 Henry rifle manufactured between the beginning of production in April 1862 and the end of the Civil War in April 1865 were privately purchased by individual Federal soldiers who appreciated the fire-power offered by the Henry repeating rifle. Several Midwestern regiments were primarily armed with privately purchased Henry rifles. Nearly all of the Civil War production Henry rifles show moderate to heavy service use. A Henry rifle with even traces of the blue finish on the barrel/magazine is scarce. Henry rifles with large amounts of original finish are very rare and highly desirable.
Excellent. This exceptional rifle retains 90% plus of the original blue finish on the barrel. The rear sight, bolt, loading lever, trigger, sling swivel and screws all have significant amounts of the original fire blue finish present in protected areas. The hammer retains 90% plus of the strong and vibrant original casehardened finish. The distinctive brass receiver and crescent buttplate are in excellent, untouched condition. The excellent receiver and buttplate exhibit a beautiful mellow patina that develops only with great age and proper storage. The receiver side plate joints are perfect. The buttplate and receiver are free from handling marks or scratches. The barrel legend and serial numbers are crisp. The stock has nearly all of the original oil finish and remains in excellent condition with a few scattered and insignificant storage marks. This is one of the very few standard grade Civil War production Henry rifles in excellent, nearly un-fired condition with most of the original finish. This exceptional rifle would be the centerpiece of the most advanced Winchester collection.
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