Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1018: Civil War Production New Haven Arms Company Henry Rifle

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Civil War Production New Haven Arms Company Henry Lever Action Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $25,000 - $37,500

Civil War Production New Haven Arms Company Henry Lever Action Rifle

Manufacturer: New Haven Arms Co.
Model: Henry Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44 Henry RF
Barrel: 24 inch
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 860
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 20
Class: Antique

This Henry Lever Action rifle was manufactured by the New Haven Arms Company in January 1863. This rifle has the first style brass receiver with alternate rear sight dove-tail. The magazine has the early, small diameter, follower and the receiver has the straight, rectangular, follower cut. The 24-inch octagon barrel has the distinctive 15-shot integral magazine, German silver, square back, front sight blade and dove-tail mounted, second style, folding leaf rear sight with rounded top and 900 hundred yard center notch. A factory, screw-mounted, loop for a sling hook is mounted on the left side of the barrel. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the first pattern legend: "HENRY'S PAT. OCT. 16. 1860/MANUFACT'D BY THE NEWHAVEN ARMS. CO. NEWHAVEN.CT." in two lines with the final "NEW HAVEN" in block rather than serif letters. The walnut stock has the first style brass buttplate with rounded heel and a factory sling swivel on the left side of the butt. The serial number is stamped on the top barrel flat behind the rear sight, on the lower left side of the tang beneath the stock, in the upper tang inlet of the stock and on the inside of the buttplate. "1611" is stamped on the shanks of both of the hand-fitted buttplate screws and the shanks of all three tang screws. All of the visible serial numbers match. The rifle has the distinctive brass receiver with blued, barrel/magazine, casehardened hammer, trigger and loading lever and fire blue bolt and stock screws. The straight grain walnut stock has a high polish piano finish. Although purchased in very limited quantities by the Federal government, Henry rifles were extremely popular with individual Union soldiers who appreciated the fire-power offered by a 15-shot self-cocking magazine rifle. Experts believe that most Henry rifles manufactured between 1862 and 1865 were privately purchased by Federal soldiers. The Henry lever action rifle was the most advanced firearm to see combat in the Civil War.

Rating Definition:

Fine. The crisp barrel has traces of original blue and has aged to a mottled gray patina with scattered age discoloration and traces of light pitting on the balance. The barrel edges are sharp and the New Haven Arms legend and serial number are crisp. The rear sight is original to the rifle but is missing the elevator bar. The brass receiver remains in very fine condition with minimal side plate wear and a few scattered handling marks and scratches. The receiver retains an attractive aged patina. The bolt, hammer, lever and trigger have a deep brown patina. The stock is fine and retains what appears to be an overcoat of protective finish. Wear is limited to a long scratch on the left side of the stock comb and some shallow handling marks. This is both an exceptional and attractive example of an 1863 production, early configuration, Henry rifle that almost certainly was used in the Civil War.

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