The Plymouth Rifle was manufactured on the recommendation of Navy ordnance officer John A. Dahlgren and was based on the French Model 1849 "Chasseurs de Vincennes" percussion rifle. Offered here is serial number 14, and it was one of the first 100 production rifles delivered on February 5, 1863. It features a .69 caliber rifled barrel with bayonet lug on the right side, long range leaf sight graduated to 1,000 yards, trigger guard with spur finger grip and ramrod with large cylindrical tip pierced with a small hole. The 1862 dated lock is decorated with a large eagle/shield ahead of the hammer and is marked "U.S./WHITNEY-VILLE". The barrel tang is marked with the low serial number "14". The buttplate tang is correctly unmarked as the first 100 rifles delivered lack the "US" marking. "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes a leather sling and fighting knife type bayonet. The bayonet has a 12 inch steel blade marked "AMES MFG Co/CHICOPEE" and "USN/DR/1864" along with an anchor, "P" and "GG". The walnut grip has finger grooves, and the pommel has the inspector mark "DR." The leather scabbard is attached to a leather belt with a "US" buckle. Dahlgren ordered only 375 of these fighting knife bayonets from Ames Manufacturing Co. The first 75 bayonets were for the trial rifles, and the remaining 300 bayonets were delivered in late October 1861. These Plymouth rifles are described in depth on pages 507-513 of George D. Moller's book "American Military Shoulder Arms Volume III", with this exact rifle photographed on the top of page 510. Provenance: The George Moller Collection
Very good showing a silver-gray appearance mixed with pitting. The stock is also very good with a few splice repairs and minor dings and scratches. Mechanically excellent. Bayonet is fine overall with casting flaw on upper left. Blade is mostly bright polish. Leather is fine.
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