Reportedly, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts contracted with A. J. Drake of Boston in 1862 to alter approximately 1,839 "Windsor rifles" (believed to have been Model 1841 rifles made by Robbins & Lawrence) they had on hand to accept a socket bayonet with a blade/stud front sight and three-leaf 500 yard Model 1858 rear sight. These Drake alteration Model 1841 rifles are described on pages 165-167 of George D. Moller's book "American Military Shoulder Arms Volume III" with the buttplate of this exact rifle pictured on page 166 next to the caption, "Most of the Drake altered Model 1841 rifles saw service in the hands of the Massachusetts forty-sixth and fifty-first Infantry regiments." The buttplate tang of this rifle is marked "U.S" ahead of "17/c/B" and the rear surface of the buttplate is marked "51 MASS". "ROBBINS/&/LAWRENCE/U.S." marked on the lock plate ahead of the hammer and "WINDSOR VT/1850" at the tail of the lock. "US/J.P.C./P" (James P. Chapman, initials are faint) marked on the left of the barrel at the breech and an "1850" dated barrel tang. Drake alteration number "431" marked on the underside of the barrel (requires disassembly to view). The straight wrist walnut stock has a brass patch box, and two inspection cartouches marked on the left flat including a boxed script "LBC" (Luke B. Chase) and an oval script "WAT" (William A. Thornton). Brass tipped trumpet head iron ramrod. Sling swivels mounted on the barrel band and front of the trigger guard. "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes a Drake pattern socket bayonet marked "K.86" on the socket, period leather sling, tools and an extra nipple in the patchbox. Provenance: The George Moller Collection
Good with scattered moderate dark pitting overall and mostly clear markings in the metal. Stock is very good with some light scratches and dents, a crack ahead of the rear lock screw, and crisp cartouches. Mechanically excellent. Included bayonet is very good with sharp edges and some scattered areas of light pitting, sling is fine with some light cracking.
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