A recently purchased commercial P.53 Enfield in Canada—no VR lock marking under the Crown.

drm2m

Corporal
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Messages
326
Location
Quebec
#1
Lock plate dated 1861 over Tower.
Barrel marking 25 bore for .577 caliber.
The gun came with a bayonet without a scabbard---fortunately I had an extra Enfield scabbard with a frog.
All is well that ends well.
I have no idea if this P53 has a CW history---no markings on the buttplate tang. or on the stock.

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Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
7,754
#4
An 1861 Enfield almost certainly has Civil War history and the odds are overwhelming it was put into Confederate service. Interesting it turned up in Canada.

Nice specimen, for sure. Congratulations.
 

drm2m

Corporal
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Messages
326
Location
Quebec
#8
I bought the P53 on March 15 2018 after having seen it on a local militaria dealer’s table at a gun show a few days earlier on March 10th.

It was not the type of piece that would usually be seen on his table. I later learned that he had just got it from a picker. I tried to get the name of the picker to find out where he got it--- he would not give the name to me for whatever reason.

It was only when I went to his residence on March 15th to talk about making a deal that I found out that it came with a bayonet. (no scabbard)
As luck would have it—I had an extra bayonet scabbard with a frog for a P.53 bayonet.

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The bayonet fits on the musket perfectly.
There are some markings on the bayonet that I can not read.

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Rear sight.

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This dealer does not often have CW stuff but over the years I have purchased from him a beautiful Dahlgren knife bayonet (with sheath on May 10 2001) as well as a very nice M1855 saber bayonet and scabbard for a M1841 (Mississippi) rifle. (March 12 1995) Both are shown below.

The%20Dahlgren%20and%20Mississippi%20bayonets%20together_zpsjsyzjlmr.jpg
 
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drm2m

Corporal
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Messages
326
Location
Quebec
#9
On September 26 2017 I received this P56 carbine in a trade. (.577 cal.)
The lock plate has Crown over VR and 1861 over Tower.
(Different from the P.53 Enfield rifled musket shown above with no 'VR' under the Crown)

The Confederacy purchased 10,000 of this model carbine-----this was not one of them.

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Comments from a fellow who is much more knowledgeable than I am.

The “1” under the stock roundel actually means that, following completion, the carbine was rated as a “First Class Arm" - although the result of that would generally mean that it would be most likely to be issued to a regular unit in the British Army , it would not preclude loan and/or sale to one of the self governing colonies, such as the various colonies in British North America , the various Australian colonies, etc. (A “Second Class” arm would be kept in reserve, or perhaps be issued to British militia, or perhaps colonial forces. The fact that the lockplate does bear a complete Royal Cypher (the crown over V.R.), the stock roundel is the official War Office Tower Armoury mark, and the various other broad arrow marks would confirm that this was indeed a carbine made under contract for the British Government, albeit with those markings it was clearly not made at Royal Small Arms Manufactory Enfield, but rather was produced by one of the independent contractors who also made such arms for the government - and who also were allowed to make other arms for private sale or export - e.g. to both the United and Confederated States during the ACW.

Although it is apparent that Canada did not purchase any P’56 cavalry carbines in its own right, a number of such carbines were loaned from Imperial Stores, apparently as early as 1858. As nearly as I can make out from my references, there were at least 500 such carbines on loan, but perhaps as many as 1,000 or possibly even more. The Militia forces in British North America were significantly bolstered following the Trent Affair in 1861. and a mid-1862 report refers to a request for 500 cavalry carbines from Imperial Stores; also. a written application for loan of arms in November of that year refers to 1,000 cavalry carbines (although it is unclear whether this number includes - or is in addition to - the 500 previously mentioned.) At any rate, it seems apparent that the cavalry strength had been increased, or it was anticipated there would be such an increase.
 
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drm2m

Corporal
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Messages
326
Location
Quebec
#11
More P.53 stuff.

The top P.53 was purchased on January 26 1994---24 bore (.58 caliber)—CS inventory number on the buttplate tang with faint markings behind the trigger guard.

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The bottom P.53 was purchased March 15 2018---25 bore (.577 caliber---as shown above.)

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Last edited:
Joined
Jul 19, 2014
Messages
150
Location
Mississippi
#12
Thank you for the Enfield information. I'm trying to learn the variants, but it gets confusing. So many times in the records the issues are listed as only artillery carbines or short rifles in Mississippi and it is challenging trying to sort them out. We did have some Enfield cavalry carbines issued though, but I don't think they were as well liked as the short rifle with cavalry - just my opinion based upon reading requests in Mississippi.

Thanks again
 



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