Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1198: Civil War Greene Patent Underhammer Percussion Rifle

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Very Fine Civil War Era A. H. Waters Armory Greene Underhammer Breech Loading Percussion Rifle with Bayonet

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $2,250 - $3,500

Very Fine Civil War Era A. H. Waters Armory Greene Underhammer Breech Loading Percussion Rifle with Bayonet

Manufacturer: Waters A H
Model: Greene Breech Loading Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 53
Barrel: 36 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 215
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 89
Class: Antique
Description:

Around 1,500 of these rifles were manufactured for the U.S. contracts in addition to 3,000 for a Russian contract in 1859 to the early 1860s. These are considered to be the first bolt action firearms adopted by the U.S. Ordnance Dept. and are also the only U.S. contract weapons to use an underhammer system. It also has Charles Lancaster's distinctive oval rifling. The design was patented by Lieutenant Colonel James Durrell Greene of the 5th Massachusetts Militia (brevet brigadier general during the Civil War in the 17th United States Regular Infantry) and was manufactured at Asa H. Water's armory in Millbury, Mass. Some were reportedly used at the Battle of Antietam by the Massachusetts militia, and the distinctive Greene cartridges with the powder ahead of the bullet have been recovered from that battlefield. It has a bayonet stud/blade front sight, notch and folding ladder rear sight, "GREENE'S PATENT/NOV. 17 1857." on the upper tang, the serial number on the bottom of the bolt, and no visible government markings. Includes a socket bayonet marked "J.D.G" and a black leather sling. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Very fine with 70% of the lightly fading original blue finish, 50% original case colors on the hammer, mostly smooth brown patina on the balance, some dark oxidation on the buttplate, and general mild overall wear. The stock is also very fine and has mild scratches and dings and smooth oiled finish. Mechanically excellent. The sling and bayonet are both fine.



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