1855 harpers ferry

Any info would be apreciated


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#1
Hello everyone recently acquired 185t us harpers ferry musket nice Shootable condition. Made in 1857 gun is complete minus ramrod. Could anyone tell me approximate value. Retains most of its finish. Would nice few dings. Thx randy
 

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johan_steele

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#2
There are a goodly amount of variables and trying to give a value based off of photographs is a sketchy proposition. Are the internals all there, lock fully functional, condition of rifling and bore etc. But just for being a Harpers Ferry M1855 I would say low end is $750 even sans ramrod and likely closer to $1000. Condition would determine the rest.
 

Jobe Holiday

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#3
You have an example of a rifle musket that is the product of the interchangeable parts problem. Your lock and stock are of the very earliest delivery of the 1857 dated Harper's Ferry M-1855 Rifle Muskets. I say this because the hammer cup has no cut for a "cap splitter" on the nose. This is a very desirable feature! This also means that the original barrel was dated 1857, and had the long range ladder rear sight. The barrel that is currently on this musket, although original, is a replacement from some unknown time frame. Personally, I would go to great lengths to find the proper barrel to put on this rifle musket because it will enhance the value far more than it stands today!

The value of your musket would be the aggregate value of the parts.
J.
 
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#5
There are a goodly amount of variables and trying to give a value based off of photographs is a sketchy proposition. Are the internals all there, lock fully functional, condition of rifling and bore etc. But just for being a Harpers Ferry M1855 I would say low end is $750 even sans ramrod and likely closer to $1000. Condition would determine the rest.
The gun is good Shootable condition work s perfect bore is Verry good. Believe 1857 first year. Production started. Late October of that year at harpers ferry
 
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#6
You have an example of a rifle musket that is the product of the interchangeable parts problem. Your lock and stock are of the very earliest delivery of the 1857 dated Harper's Ferry M-1855 Rifle Muskets. I say this because the hammer cup has no cut for a "cap splitter" on the nose. This is a very desirable feature! This also means that the original barrel was dated 1857, and had the long range ladder rear sight. The barrel that is currently on this musket, although original, is a replacement from some unknown time frame. Personally, I would go to great lengths to find the proper barrel to put on this rifle musket because it will enhance the value far more than it stands today!

The value of your musket would be the aggregate value of the parts.
J.
I believe barrel to be original to the gun. Had inspected. And rear sight is the early sight. Hard to see in picks ill post few more. .of barrel. Area
 

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johan_steele

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#7
I believe barrel to be original to the gun. Had inspected. And rear sight is the early sight. Hard to see in picks ill post few more. .of barrel. Area
The sight is actually the later model of M1855 and is often associated with a patch box though as they were interchangeable arms that really doesn't mean as much as some think. An armorer didn't give two figs about matching parts so long as it worked when she left his hands. The earlier model was a ladder sight. Mine (pictured below) is of similar vintage but a Springfield made up from disassociated parts and turned into a shooter. Regardless you have a rather desirable arm which may be a "transitional" model put together from parts of two generations of M1855 or one repaired in the field or arsenal. Lodgewood has a similar one right now.

http://www.lodgewood.com/M1855-Springfield_p_2872.html

Finding a replacement ramrod and original Harpers Ferry Barrel would up the value a good bit but without knowing if the tape primer is functional, how good the rifling is etc value estimation is just a WAG (wild mule guess). Personally, I see an excellent start to a collection and would keep her.


428296_10150589832462920_219601808_n.jpg
 

Jobe Holiday

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#8
Subzero50 - The barrel may very well have been on your musket since the days of the ACW, but your musket was not built with that barrel. The date of 1857 on the lock is when the lock was made, and most likely the stock too, because of the brass nose cap. The barrel was made in 1860, as per the date on the top flat. The rear sight, as noted by Johan, is actually the pattern of 1858, and was used on all of the M-1855 Rifle Muskets made after 1857. Yes, there is some transitional overlap as they used up the existing parts, so you can have an 1858 dated example with a long range rear sight and brass nose cap. The long range rear sight, with ramp & ladder, was not made after 1857. The long range sights were made at Springfield and sent to Harper's Ferry. When the supply ran out Springfield changed over to the short base leaf sight, and that is what Harper's Ferry received from 1858 onward. The short range rear sight was more economical to produce and was less prone to damage in the field. The brass nose cap ceased production and was replaced with an iron nose cap in early 1858. Which is another reason why the barrel post-dates the stock.
J.
 
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#10
Randy,
Jobe got it right,but IMHO, IF the stock was made in 1857 there would be a brass patch box cut out for the long range rifle sight and a brass buttplate, for a rifle musket that didn't exist.

As to a value, I think the 1857 rifle lock which is on this gun {a rifle musket} is worth nearly as much as the rest of the entire gun. Numbers vary on the deliveries of the 1857 dated rifles from 10 to 35 {Moller, Vol3, Reilly, "US Military Small Arms '61-'65.}, making this lock and a 1857 rifle extremely rare. An 1857 lock would have been case hardened, not Armory bright.

The 1860 dated rifle muskets were finished "National Armory Bright". The finish on yours is not "original" but rather a very light rust with shallow pin-prick pitting, in NRA good condition. The rear sight is correct for the "1860" barrel.

Rather than searching for a non-existent 40 inch 1857 dated H.F. barrel, I'd suggest the chances of finding a "1860" Harpers Ferry lock would be the way to go, and they were interchangeable.

There's a big difference between a "very good" and "perfect" bore. I wouldn't be in a big hurry in shooting it, unless you have experience in muzzle loaders.
 
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#11
Thank you for I'mput. I thought patch boxes where not added much later than 1857. Gun smith did check gun and bore and determaned Verry good Shootable condition. . I was confused because my research said later dates whee stamped when guns where issued also so many have multiple dates both manufacture and issue dates don't no if that's true. Just want make sure what I have. As I will be selling this 1855. I am more pistol collector pre 1898
 
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#12
You're confusing rifles {33" barrels} and Rifle Muskets {40" barrels}. The G/59 is a rack/company marking, everything else which you photographed, as well as all of everything produced was stamped by Harpers Ferry {or Springfield}, or contract builders, during manufacture and during the inspection process of US acceptance. There were no 1857 dated rifle muskets produced or accepted into US service.

Your rifle musket is a correct 1860 edition, except for the lock, and a missing ramrod.
 
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#14
Thank you. If anyone is interested. In this 1855. It is for. Sale. Have an offer local antique shop. Here in central ny . for 1800. Much rather see it go to a true collector like you folds here
 
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#18
This true 1860 would not have brass nose plate. Stock is 1857. As well as side plate . believe the finish to be true to the gun. It is possible it is transitional piece. And my research from nra museum. Concluded there select amount of 1860 that where case hardened. Most where arsenal bright
 

Jobe Holiday

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#19
Let me make a disclaimer before I continue with my thoughts: I am in no way, shape, or form, attempting to begin an argument, nor am I "Twisting the Tiger's Tail"!

I have a different opinion on the M-1855 Rifle Musket and the 1857 production at Harper's Ferry. It is correct that there are no production numbers shown for the M-1855 RM for the "Calendar Year" of 1857 for Harper's Ferry. (Miller, Vol. 3, pg. 254). What is shown are the production numbers for the "Fiscal Year" of 1858. The "Fiscal Year" of 1858 ran from July 1, 1857 to June 30, 1858. I am of the firm belief that Harper's Ferry did in fact produce a yet to be known number of Rifle Muskets dated 1857 during the first six months of the "Fiscal Year of 1858", which were in fact the last six months of 1857. I believe it is a simple mis-interpretation of the records by overlooking the fact that the data is for the "Fiscal Year", and not the "Calendar Year".

My personal belief for this is supported by the number of Harper's Ferry M-1855 Rifle Muskets I have seen over the past 50+ years which are dated 1857. I have also seen a H.F. 1857 dated example in a private collection that is in near unfired condition, and is fully Harper's Ferry from one end to the other. I have also seen far too many loose H.F. 1857 dated locks around for all of them to be only from the Harper's Ferry Rifle.

Again, just my personal thoughts on this, but think about the difference in the records between "Calendar Years" and "Fiscal Years"!
J.
 
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#20
Let me make a disclaimer before I continue with my thoughts: I am in no way, shape, or form, attempting to begin an argument, nor am I "Twisting the Tiger's Tail"!

I have a different opinion on the M-1855 Rifle Musket and the 1857 production at Harper's Ferry. It is correct that there are no production numbers shown for the M-1855 RM for the "Calendar Year" of 1857 for Harper's Ferry. (Miller, Vol. 3, pg. 254). What is shown are the production numbers for the "Fiscal Year" of 1858. The "Fiscal Year" of 1858 ran from July 1, 1857 to June 30, 1858. I am of the firm belief that Harper's Ferry did in fact produce a yet to be known number of Rifle Muskets dated 1857 during the first six months of the "Fiscal Year of 1858", which were in fact the last six months of 1857. I believe it is a simple mis-interpretation of the records by overlooking the fact that the data is for the "Fiscal Year", and not the "Calendar Year".

My personal belief for this is supported by the number of Harper's Ferry M-1855 Rifle Muskets I have seen over the past 50+ years which are dated 1857. I have also seen a H.F. 1857 dated example in a private collection that is in near unfired condition, and is fully Harper's Ferry from one end to the other. I have also seen far too many loose H.F. 1857 dated locks around for all of them to be only from the Harper's Ferry Rifle.

Again, just my personal thoughts on this, but think about the difference in the records between "Calendar Years" and "Fiscal Years"!
J.
Thank you. You definitely. No. Guns.
 

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