Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1181: Harpers Ferry 1855 Iron Mounted Percussion Rifle with Bayonet

Auction Date: May 15, 2021

Desirable U.S. Harpers Ferry Model 1855 Iron Mounted Two Band Percussion Rifle with Sword Bayonet

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,000 - $7,500

Desirable U.S. Harpers Ferry Model 1855 Iron Mounted Two Band Percussion Rifle with Sword Bayonet

Manufacturer: Harpers Ferry Armory Muskets And Carbines
Model: 1855-Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 58
Barrel: 33 inch round
Finish: bright
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 881
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 143
Class: Antique

This is one of an estimated 7,317 Model 1855 percussion rifles manufactured by Harpers Ferry from 1857-61. This example, the second type made by Harpers Ferry features iron mountings, including an iron patch box. Most of the iron mounted rifles were issued to militia units, and a number were shipped to Southern states prior to the outbreak of the Civil War and the capture of the armory by Confederate forces. Any Harpers Ferry rifle dated 1860 or 1861, like this one, is likely to have been issued at the outbreak of the war or captured and issued to a Confederate soldier. The limited number of Harpers Ferry Model 1855 rifles saw heavy use throughout the Civil War, and many were destroyed when the factory was burned in 1861. The rifle is equipped with a blade front sight, three leaf rear sight with proper "1", "3" and "5" graduations, and a bayonet lug on the right side of the barrel 3 1/2 inches back of the muzzle. The lock is dated "1860" and the barrel "1859". Includes an unmarked proper brass handled sword bayonet with a brass mounted leather scabbard, an extra nipple in the patch box.

Rating Definition:

Fine, showing mostly bright finish with some scattered light pitting. The lightly sanded and reoiled wood is also fine with some minor dings on the left flat, some light handling marks, and faint cartouches. Mechanically excellent. The bayonet is very fine with a nearly untouched blade preserved in a coat of dried grease and attractive aged patina on the brass handle. The sheath is also very fine with a lightly aged patina.

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