Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1295: Whitworth Rifle Co. Percussion Military Match/Sharpshooter Rifle

Auction Date: August 27, 2022

Rare Whitworth Rifle Co. Percussion Military Match/Sharpshooter Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $4,000 - $6,000

Rare Whitworth Rifle Co. Percussion Military Match/Sharpshooter Rifle

Manufacturer: Whitworth
Model: Percussion
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 451
Barrel: 32 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 498
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 238
Class: Antique

Included correspondence from the late UK rifle expert William S. Curtis states, "B187 is one in original state and was probably used in the 1861 NRA Meeting as a Queen's Final Stage rifle." The British National Rifle Association held their first meeting and match at Wimbledon Common in 1860 and continued to do so annually until 1889. Queen Victoria fired the first inaugural shot on July 2, 1860. She also established an annual Queen's Prize. The winner in 1861 was Private Joseph Middleton Jopling (1831-1884) of the 3rd Middlesex Volunteers. His father was a clerk in the Horse Guards, and Jopling worked in the adjutant-general's office and became a well-known artist. This rifle has an adjustable blade front sight, folding ladder rear sight with platinum sight lines and "WHITWORTH RIFLE Co PATENT" marked base, "WHITWORTH PATENT" on top of the breech section, Birmingham proofs and "B187" on the left at the breech, "WHITWORTH" marked lock with sliding safety and the crown and "W" trademark at the tail, some light border engraving, plain trigger, iron furniture, rifle-musket style stock with checkered wrist and grasping section, sling swivels on the upper barrel band and lower tang (latter swivel marked "R&W A"), round patchbox, and flat buttplate. In addition to use by English volunteer riflemen, the Whitworth was famously used by some Confederate sharpshooters during the American Civil War.

Rating Definition:

Very good with patches of the period refinished brown on the barrel, mostly gray and brown patina on the balance, some light pitting, and general mild wear. The period refinished stock has crisp checkering, some minor scratches and dings, small white flecks, and a couple small filled spots on the left. Mechanically excellent.

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