Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1184: New Jersey Altered Whitney Model 1841 "Mississippi Rifle"

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Documented State of New Jersey Alteration Whitney U.S. Model 1841 Percussion "Mississippi Rifle" with Bayonet

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $1,800 - $2,750

Documented State of New Jersey Alteration Whitney U.S. Model 1841 Percussion "Mississippi Rifle" with Bayonet

Manufacturer: Whitney Arms Company
Model: 1841
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 54
Barrel: 33 inch round
Finish: brown/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 221
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 82
Class: Antique

The Model 1841 is the first official percussion rifle adopted by the U.S. Military. Eli Whitney manufactured a total of approximately 26,500 Model 1841 rifles between 1843-1855, with most of these rifles receiving various alterations. New Jersey alteration Model 1841 rifles are described on pages 169-170 of George D. Moller's book "American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume III", with the muzzle end of this exact rifle pictured on page 169 next to the caption, "The New Jersey State Arsenal altered Model 1841 rifles by turning down the barrel to accept a European angular socket bayonet. The original front sight was not replaced." The muzzle end of this exact rifle is also pictured on page 170 with a bayonet affixed next to the caption, "The bayonets for Model 1841 rifles altered at the New Jersey State Arsenal were equipped with a front sight." The lock is marked "N.HAVEN/1850" at the tail and "E.WHITNEY/US" at the center. "1851" (very faint) dated barrel tang. "N.J" (New Jersey) inspection mark on the left barrel flat at the breech and on the left flat of the stock. Two bordered script inspection cartouches marked on the left flat including "WAT" (William A. Thornton). "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes socket bayonet, period leather sling, and tools in the patch box. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Good with mottled brown and gray patina on the iron surfaces, some light pitting, and crisp lock markings. Brass retains an attractive golden aged patina. Stock is about good with scattered dents and scratches, some mild gouges on both sides of the forend and on top of the wrist, a crack ahead of the rear lock screw, a crack ahead of the lock, and some chips behind the barrel tang. Mechanically fine. Included bayonet is good with gray/brown patina, sling is very good.

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