Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3077: First Contract U.S. Henry Deringer 1817 Flintlock "Common Rifle"

Auction Date: August 28, 2022

First Contract Henry Deringer U.S. Model 1817 Flintlock "Common Rifle"

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $2,750 - $4,250

First Contract Henry Deringer U.S. Model 1817 Flintlock "Common Rifle"

Manufacturer: Deringer
Model: 1817
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 54
Barrel: 36 inch round
Finish: brown
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 499
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 62
Class: Antique

This rifle was manufactured c. 1819-1821 by Henry Deringer of pocket pistol fame under his first contract and features lock markings without a date, unlike on second contract rifles made from 1821 onward, as well as the presence of inspection initials "GF" of U.S. martial inspector George Flegel. There reportedly was 13,000 of these Deringer rifles manufactured in multiple variations between 1817 and the early 1840s out of a total of approximately 38,200 manufactured by various contractors. These arms are among the first widely issued rifled firearms used by any military and saw use in the Seminole Wars, Mexican-American War and Civil War. This model has been referred to as the "common rifle" since the actual period of use to differentiate it from the "uncommon" breech loading Hall rifle. This example has the blade and notch sights, "US/H. DERINGER/PHILADA" marked on the lock, "GF" inspection initials and "P/US" on the barrel at the breech, "V" above inspection initials "GF" stamped on the left stock flat, "TF" inspection initials stamped behind the lower tang, iron fittings aside from the brass flash pan, trigger guard with pistol grip at the rear and sling swivels mounted on the middle barrel band and pistol grip. All matching "B" mating marks on various components inside the lock including the brass flash pan, indicating this rifle is still in its original flintlock configuration! Includes a period slab of lead for securing the flint (absent), a "U" shaped screwdriver, rod attachments and a period patch inside the oval patchbox, and an unmarked reproduction leather sling.

Rating Definition:

Fine, retains 30% original brown finish with light flash pitting and absolutely sharp markings and edges in the metal overall. Stock is very fine as re-oiled with attractive original raised grains, distinct edges, a small crack ahead of the rear lock screw, some light handling marks and defined inspection stampings. Mechanically excellent.

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