Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1176: Harpers Ferry Type IIA/B Alteration Model 1841 Mississippi Rifle

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Documented U.S. Harpers Ferry Type IIA Regraduated Alteration Model 1841 Percussion "Mississippi Rifle" with Saber Bayonet

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Estimated Price: $2,500 - $3,750

Documented U.S. Harpers Ferry Type IIA Regraduated Alteration Model 1841 Percussion "Mississippi Rifle" with Saber Bayonet

Manufacturer: Harpers Ferry Armory Muskets And Carbines
Model: 1841-Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 54
Barrel: 33 inch round
Finish: brown/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 260
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 80
Class: Antique

The Model 1841 is the first official percussion rifle adopted by the U.S. Military. Harpers Ferry Armory manufactured 25,296 Model 1841 rifles between 1846 and 1855, with most of these rifles receiving various alterations. Harpers Ferry Type IIA regraduated alteration Model 1841 rifles are described on pages 144-145 of George D. Moller's book "American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume III", with the rear sight of this exact rifle pictured on page 144 next to the caption, "In the Spring of 1855, the Type IIA slide pattern rear sights were regraduated, thereby creating the Type IIA regraduated rear sight. A careful examination of this base shows a portion of the original markings." The same page states, "In an attempt to make the slide pattern tangent leaf rear sights more uniform throughout the Army, the chief of ordnance ordered that the rifles that had been equipped with (Type IIA) slide pattern tangent leaf rear sights and issued to the Fourth and Sixth infantry regiments at Fort Monroe, Carlisle Barracks, and other military units, be regraduated to correspond with the (Type IIB) sights on the rifles issued to the Ninth and Tenth infantry regiments. The regraduations were made during the summer and fall of 1855." The leaf is graduated from '5' to '10' on its upper surface, and '10' at the end. The same page states, "Some of the 449 new rifles fabricated at Harpers Ferry in fiscal 1855 may have been of this configuration. It is believed that rifles of this configuration were issued to the Sioux expedition and to the Fourth and Sixth infantry regiments." "1851" dated lock and "1852" dated barrel tang. "E.71" marked buttplate tang. "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes brass handled saber bayonet, period leather sling, tools and an extra nipple in the patch box. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Very good overall with scattered patches of light pitting, and crisp markings in the metal. Brass retains an attractive golden aged patina. Stock is good as sanded and re-oiled with scattered light scratches and dents, a chip behind the rear band, and a small crack ahead of the rear side plate screw. Mechanically excellent. Included bayonet is very good with some light pitting on the blade and attractive golden aged patina on the brass handle.

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