2 Odd Little Screws On A New-to-me 1862 Dated P53

kotkinjs1

Private
Joined
May 25, 2017
Hi, has anyone ever seen anything like this before? The two little brass screws on either side of the lock plate? What might they be for? Some have suggested a removable cover (leather or some such) to cover the action during inclement weather (the screws might just be 'plugs' to fill in the holes when the cover attachments weren't used?). I don't think they're for any type of repairs or reinforcement. The stock looks perfect inside the lock and out. In fact it's probably one of the nicest pieces overall that I own. The bluing/browning of the barrel is in great condition as are the bands.

It's a Ward and Sons Tower piece per the stamp on the stock, barrel, and lock. What someone had mentioned is that the 'scratches' on the butt plate resemble a Masonic symbol. I had noticed the main, deep V but haven't really noticed the smaller and lighter inverted one inside it until seeing the photos I took. Does those look like a purposefully, if not hastily or at least shoddily made inscription?

Being that it's an 1862 date, a Ward and Sons 'import' (a well-known Birmingham contractor who exported guns to the Confederacy), and maybe a Masonic symbol, maybe it could've been a piece that made it through on a blockade runner. :wink: But in all likelihood, judging by it's very fine condition I seriously doubt it ever saw heavy use, especially in a civil war.

But back to the screws....any idea? I haven't attempted to remove them for fear of buggering them up. They don't look as if they've been disturbed in a very long time. In fact I don't think the lock had been off for an equally long time before I'd unscrewed it.

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Dbackfed29

Private
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Location
Chicago, IL
It's odd since there does not seem to be anything structural about adding the screws. I have seen a musket with two small holes plugged where it once was mounted on a wall, but they were spaced much wider apart (one on the wrist and one on the forearm) to make the weight more widely dispersed.
 
Joined
May 1, 2015
Location
Upstate N.Y.
Nice looking piece. I see no useful purpose for the brass screws. I disregard them being used to hold a cover for the lock. Having a canvas or whatever piece mounted on the right side would interfere with easy quick access. Mounted on the left side using the lock mounting screws would make more since. Quickly flipped out of the way allowing access to hammer and cone
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2015
Location
NJ
I’m thinking it was for a repair in the stock but it doesn’t appear to be damaged?
Here is a picture of an old repair on my Ch1 inspected Enfield made by Barnett
London. The repair is very old and it may have been a quick arsenal repair to get it back into
the fight.

4B7E145C-295E-4938-BE0C-00A2D76FBE40.jpeg
 
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Peter Stines

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
I can't see any wood damage; cracks or breaks that would need two small screws. Decoration ? ID ? Maybe but that would be considered damaging/defacing government property. Subject to a fine or other punishment. Yes we've seen it done, kepi insignia inlet into the wood, names and others carved in the wood. Post war additions ? Maybe. It's still a keeper!
 

Peter Stines

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
I’m thinking it was for a repair in the stock but it doesn’t appear to be damaged?
Here is a picture of an old repair on my Ch1 inspected Enfield made by Barnett
London. The repair is very old and it may have been a quick arsenal repair to get it back into
the fight.

View attachment 392112
Now that is clearly a repair. But the lock inlet is a bit sloppy. The lock might be a replacement. And the hammer nose looks like its damaged. Not trashing your treasure. A common repair. The old warrior has seen action
 

DixieRifles

Captain
Member of the Year
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Location
Collierville, TN
They are not there as part of any repair, so we have to assume their use is decorative or as suggested, as a means of identification.
I was told many years ago, the Southern boys liked Brass — thus the pretty brass hardware on the Mississippi Rifle.
Maybe it was a decoration, albeit a rather crude one. Indians decorated with brass tacks.

The two screws seem to be precisely placed and equally spaced. Interesting.
 
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