Muzzleldrs Another 1853 enfield to educate me on

allegiant120

Cadet
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Here's one I just committed to purchase. My biggest question here is has the stock been sanded? You can still make out some faint proof Mark's in the stock. Thanks,

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ucvrelics

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
The stock is a little light and could have been lightly sanded. Are there any other marks underneath the stock in the barrel channel and in front or behind the trigger guard and are there any on the butt plate. In the mean time paging @Lanyard Puller and @Craig L Barry
 

Craig L Barry

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
Quick glance, this looks like a hardband or type II Enfield and the barrel has government proof house marks. Does it have bandsprings like the US models? The one band you show looks like that type so I would suspect so. The name between the lock plate screws is probably the stock maker. Interesting because the lock plate has the usual Birmingham commercial gunmaker "TOWER" mark which was supposed to indicate a War Department inspection with gauges at the government facility at Bagot Street in Birmingham but there is no V*R mark under the crown behind the hammer as you might expect to find on an Enfield made on a British government contract. Perhaps the lock assembly is not original to the weapon? The fit is not flush. The IC mark in a circle on the gun stock was associated with an inspector employed by the CS during the US Civil War named Isaac Curtis.
 

Lubliner

2nd Lieutenant
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Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
It looks to me like the stock was never stained, which I find doubtful. Would a linseed oil and/or turpentine application turn it a heavier shade? I keep thinking ash wood, though the grain is weak.
Lubliner.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
The stock looks like it would if you rubbed it with 0000 steel wool (trust me, I know cuz I foolishly did that once to a small area of an Enfield stock, not realizing it would take away the "colour").
 

Peter Stines

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
Like Craig pointed out, the gap between the bolster and the lock plate makes me leery of it. On un altered guns there is no gap in that area. And note the gaps (more like gouges) in the stock around the lock. Someone must have pried the lock out of the mortice for whatever reason. Can you tell if the bore is still rifled or smoothbore ? You'd find these guns reamed out years after the war to make a cheap shotgun out of them. And a lot of those had the barrel and stock chopped off.
 

Craig L Barry

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
Also, besides not fitting well, the lock plate date of 1860 doesn't quite work for what appears to be an earlier model P53 type ll (Crimean War-era). These things are like a puzzle and all the pieces are not in the box, so to speak. My suspicion is that the lock is not original to the piece at the time it was manufactured.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Also, besides not fitting well, the lock plate date of 1860 doesn't quite work for what appears to be an earlier model P53 type ll (Crimean War-era). These things are like a puzzle and all the pieces are not in the box, so to speak. My suspicion is that the lock is not original to the piece at the time it was manufactured.
I gotta agree. I was thinking the same thing, but was waiting for someone with more knowledge than I to say it.
 

Craig L Barry

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
That upper barrel band looks like a mid-to-late 1850s type II solid band which was held in place by bandsprings, not unlike the US 1855/61. Another name among collectors for this transitional version of the P53 is the "hardband" Enfield. Obviously the ramrod on this one is not original to the weapon, but everything else but the TOWER 1860 lock plate looks like a Crimean War-era type II P53. Just my .02 on it.

For what it is worth, because of the distinctive bands and bandsprings, there are US Civil War images where the type II "hardband" P53 can be seen. They were not common in any sense of the word, especially compared to the huge numbers of the commercial P53 type III, but there were some type IIs that made it over the pond and saw service in the US Civil War.
 

Lanyard Puller

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
South Carolina
QUOTE=Craig L Barry,
"...there were some type IIs that made it over the pond and saw service in the US Civil War."

I've got one of these in my collection with Sinclair, Hamilton marks, and Isaac Curtis inspected. Most likely this was a surplus gun, purchased on the commercial market {by a notorious agent..Grazebrook} and put in the bottom of a crate, so the top band wouldn't be too obvious.

Now to the sanded stock or not ?
Below are some photos of an excellent condition CS P53 type 3 Enfield, which has most definitely not been sanded; Compare it to yours, noting the edges of the flats, the grain in the wood and the fitting of the parts:

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Jeff in Ohio

Corporal
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
As Lanyard Puller says, this is a Crimean War vintage model, and many thousands of these have been imported in modern times from Afghanistan, and those tend to have this light stock look.
But the IC cartouche looks correct and old, and that would suggest inspection in England before being shipped Over Here.
The wood ramrod is the type found on a shotgun, and you might check the bore to see if it is still rifled.
 

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