1853 Enfield pattern rifle identification

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Dixielover

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Joined
Sep 4, 2019
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I found a Enfield 53 in Va at a flea market and am wondering if anyone has seen these before. I was told it was in an old man's collection of 7 CW or "WNA" guns for 50 years and he recently passed away. The rifled barrel is missing the rear site and has the double 25 stamp, a stamped "87", a single "B" and a carved "VII" on the bottom side, so they are not visible unless the gun is disassembled. It also has a stamped B and D stacked vertically on the butt of the barrel. The lock has (SP. & SR.) with a sharpie diameter sized crown above the letters... both in front of the hammer. There are 2 sets of initial carvings on the stock and another batch of letters (9-10) lightly carved starting at the trigger running towards the back. The brass butt plate, trigger guard, lock internal pieces, all have a tiny crown mark on them. The brass butt plate also has either an "8" or a "B" in the form of small holes being punched into it so you connect the dots to make the 8 or B. The trigger guard also has a script "HF" or "HJ" on the holding pin tang. The trigger and trigger guard has "44" stamped into both. The stock also has the "VII" carved into the wood where the barrel goes. Anyone have any information on this? Thanks!

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Feb 23, 2013
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The lock is actually German made. The SP & SR stand for Spanenberg & Sauer. Based on the round eared lock washers, the stock is German as well.
The barrel shows English proofs, which I don't recall having seen on a German Enfield before. Based on that I think the barrel is probably a replacement.
It's still a neat piece. German Enfields are quite scarce, even with a swapped barrel it's worth having.
 
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Dixielover

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Sep 4, 2019
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The lock is actually German made. The SP & SR stand for Spanenberg & Sauer. Based on the round eared lock washers, the stock is German as well.
The barrel shows English proofs, which I don't recall having seen on a German Enfield before. Based on that I think the barrel is probably a replacement.
It's still a neat piece. German Enfields are quite scarce, even with a swapped barrel it's worth having.
Thanks for the info...
 
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Craig L Barry

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Jan 5, 2010
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Murfreesboro, TN
The Germans also made US 1861 type rifle-muskets on contract. There is a chapter in one of the Unfinished Fight books about the German-made Civil War imports. Apparently, a single “lot” consisting of an unknown number of German Enfield rifles were purchased by the Union, though surviving examples are rare. Perhaps some of these were actually Liege produced P-53/56 Enfield rifles brokered by German middlemen? Liege is located in the part of Belgium very near the German border, and there is evidence of commercial exchange in the region across borders. There are German saber bayonets marked “SK” accompanying Belgian P-56 Enfield rifles imported to America. It is hard to say, but there are actual German-produced contract Enfield rifles. These are marked either in the same fashion as the earlier Suhl produced muskets, or with just the maker’s initials on the lock. For reasons lost to history, the soldiers that got these were not happy with them. They were said to be “beefier” and more cumbersome than the commercial P-53s from Britain which had more graceful contours through the wrist (or handle).
 
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