Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 171: Documented U.S. Harpers Ferry 1819 Hall Rifle Dated 1826

Auction Date: September 10, 2021

Very Scarce Documented Second Contract U.S. Harpers Ferry Model 1819 Hall Breech Loading Flintlock Rifle Dated 1826 with Bayonet

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $3,000 - $4,500

Very Scarce Documented Second Contract U.S. Harpers Ferry Model 1819 Hall Breech Loading Flintlock Rifle Dated 1826 with Bayonet

Manufacturer: Harpers Ferry Armory Muskets And Carbines
Model: 1819-Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 52
Barrel: 32 5/8 inch round
Finish: brown/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1560
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 130
Class: Antique

The Model 1819 Hall was the first U.S. military breech loading firearm issued in large numbers and also the first firearm manufactured with totally interchangeable parts. In 1819, John H. Hall would enter into a contract with the War Department for 1,000 of his breech loading rifles. Hall would occupy an old armory sawmill on the Shenandoah River next to the Harpers Ferry Armory, which would come to be known as Hall's Rifle Works. It took Hall some five years to get the proper tools and water powered machinery assembled to produce the rifles. This example, dated 1826, is included as part of his second completed contract of 1,000 rifles. To prove these rifles were truly parts interchangeable, in 1826, a government commission disassembled 100 Hall rifles, mixed up the parts, and re-assembled them on newly received stocks with no reported problems and thus confirmed Hall's success. Though they suffered from gas leak and other issues common to early breechloaders, the Hall rifles and carbines remained in use through the Civil War. Model 1819 Hall breech loading rifles are described on pages 465-473 of George D. Moller's book "American Military Shoulder Arms Volume II", with this exact rifle photographed on page 465, and its breech block photographed on page 470, in which the caption states, "The lower rear portion of the breech block of rifles made from 1826 has been cut away, resulting in a concave lower profile. The shoulder in the front of the cock was eliminated." This rifle has the standard offset blade and notch sights, "J. H. HALL/H. FERRY/US/1826" marked breechblock, barrel band retaining springs, and a proper button head ramrod. "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes socket bayonet, leather sling, and wood tampion. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Fine, retaining 50% original brown finish with a few patches of light pitting ahead of the breech block. Stock is very fine with attractive raised grain, defined edges, some occasional minor scratches and handling marks. Mechanically excellent. Included bayonet is fine, retaining 70% original brown finish with some light dings. A very fine example of a scarce second contract delivered Harpers Ferry Model 1819 Hall rifle!

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