The lock plate assembly is from a Confederate Model 1855 style rifle-musket that was manufactured by the Richmond Armory in Richmond, Virginia, c. 1862. The Richmond Armory was established on the site of the former Virginia Armory in 1861 to utilize the gun making machinery and materials captured at the U.S. Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Using the machinery from Harpers Ferry, the Richmond Armory manufactured a simplified version of the U.S. Model 1855 Rifle-Musket. The Richmond Armory Rifle-Muskets are identified by the hump-back lock plate. This rifle-musket has the Type III lock plate with a less pronounced hump than earlier lock plates and is dated "1862" behind the hammer and roll-stamped "C.S./RICHMOND. VA" in two-lines ahead of the bolster. The rifle-musket has a iron front sight/bayonet lug, folding two leaf rear sight, distinctive U.S. Model 1855 style hammer, bolster with cleanout screw, flat barrel bands marked "U" on the right side and swelled, tulip-head, ramrod. The replacement U.S. Model 1855 barrel is stamped with "A" on the breech and "22" on the tang. The left side of the barrel lacks the standard "V/P/eagle head" proof and inspection marks found on most Richmond rifle-muskets. The trigger guard is stamped with a small "S" sub-inspection mark on the front finial and a small "P" on the rear finial. The barrel, lock plate, trigger guard and barrel bands are bright. The rear sight is blued. The oil finished black walnut stock has a unmarked brass buttplate and brass, screw fastened, forearm cap. The lock cavity lacks the cut for the Maynard tape primer found on U.S. Model 1855 musket stocks. The tiny initials "J.B." (LTC James Burton, Richmond Armory commander) are stamped on the underside of the stock behind the trigger guard finial. The musket is fitted with a cloth and leather reproduction Confederate style sling. Manufactured between 1861 and 1865 in larger quantities than any other Confederate made weapon; the Richmond Armory Rifle-Musket was a high quality weapon that is perhaps the best representative small arm of the Confederate infantryman.
Fine as assembled from a mixture of parts. The musket retains the "Armory Bright' finish on the barrel, lock plate, barrel bands and trigger guard. The surface of the barrel shows scattered age spotting with polished bright finish under the bands and traces of flash pitting on the bolster. The blued percussion nipple has no flash pitting or firing wear. The lock plate and hammer are bright with crisp markings. The blue on the rear sight has aged to a brown patina. The stock is excellent with sharp edges and very minimal handling wear. The brass buttplate and forearm cap have an attractive aged patina. This a very good looking example of an assembled Confederate Type III Richmond Armory Rifle-Musket.
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