Bernadelli Mississippi Rifle in .58

LeadShark

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Jun 1, 2021
I was offered a Mississippi rifle from Bernadelli in .58. I have heard that the bolsters blew off on earlier ones. This one has a "W" and "Silesia" stamped on it.

How accurate to the originals are they? Are they any good? What would be a good price for it?
 

frontrank2

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I bought a used one in 88 when I first joined the N-SSA. I used it in competition for 25 years. Never had a single problem with it. The accuracy was pretty decent too. It's difficult to put a price on one today without checking it over. But I would say anywhere from $450 and down. They are not allowed for reenacting as it's a two bander but they are good for hunting or competition so there's a limited market for them. Here's mine, pretty much a wall hanger now.
20210914_115456.jpg
 

Rusk County Avengers

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Coffeeville, TX
Gotta admit, I'm happy with my Euroarms Mississippi. I've actually been thinking of getting proper accoutrements for one and reenacting with it this Fall. It's been a long time since I've had it in the field.

These mentions of of Antonio Zoli Mississippi Rifles has me wondering if I ought to try buying one back from a guy...
 

Craig L Barry

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Murfreesboro, TN
The Euroarms, which is essentially the same product currently offered NIB by Pedersoli (at $1200) is a copy of those earlier efforts by Italian gunmakers like Zoli and Bernadelli. I don't believe the quality is as good as those earlier US 1841s but as I understand it the Zoli will actually exchange some parts in the lock assembly with the Euroarms/Pedersoli. And as far as re-enacting with a repro US 1841, there are many scenarios which would support their use throughout the US Civil War on both sides. If anybody claims two banders are discouraged, tell them to put you in the front rank.
 

frontrank2

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And as far as re-enacting with a repro US 1841, there are many scenarios which would support their use throughout the US Civil War on both sides. If anybody claims two banders are discouraged, tell them to put you in the front rank.
Respectfully disagree with you on this. For a small living history, they might be acceptable. But if you wanted to do a large event such as Gettysburg or Cedar Creek, they would be frowned upon ( if not turned away outright ). Also, it would be kind of problematic to stack arms since a Mississippi has the saber type bayonet instead of the more common socket type.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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Respectfully disagree with you on this. For a small living history, they might be acceptable. But if you wanted to do a large event such as Gettysburg or Cedar Creek, they would be frowned upon ( if not turned away outright ). Also, it would be kind of problematic to stack arms since a Mississippi has the saber type bayonet instead of the more common socket type.
He is referring to the Mississippi seeing a lot more use historically than usually thought and being more period correct for certain units than Enfields or Springfields.

He wrote a very good and informative article on the history of the guns and why why they should see more use in reenacting in the May/June 2007 issue of Civil War Historian. As I recall he mentioned how one New York unit at Gettysburg was armed entirely with modified Mississippi Rifles.

I used to reenact with a Mississippi when I started out and finally retired it for an Enfield when my officers berated me enough, often saying our unit historically didn't have them, it was unsafe and so on, BUT later an image of a man armed from the historical regiment turned up and guess what he was holding!:D Not an Enfield lol! The rifle really should see more use in reenacting, it is very underrepresented history wise.
 

frontrank2

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He is referring to the Mississippi seeing a lot more use historically than usually thought and being more period correct for certain units than Enfields or Springfields.

He wrote a very good and informative article on the history of the guns and why why they should see more use in reenacting in the May/June 2007 issue of Civil War Historian. As I recall he mentioned how one New York unit at Gettysburg was armed entirely with modified Mississippi Rifles.

I used to reenact with a Mississippi when I started out and finally retired it for an Enfield when my officers berated me enough, often saying our unit historically didn't have them, it was unsafe and so on, BUT later an image of a man armed from the historical regiment turned up and guess what he was holding!:D Not an Enfield lol! The rifle really should see more use in reenacting, it is very underrepresented history wise.
Agreed. There is a lot of evidence that the Mississippi Rifle and other 2 banders were very prevalent during the ACW. My own gr gr grandfather's regiment was equipped with 1841's for a couple of years. But in a modern setting, there's less of an opportunity to use them.
 

Craig L Barry

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Murfreesboro, TN
Funny, I forgot about writing that old 2007 article in Civil War Historian, but that sounds right. I have long been a proponent of US 1841 use in various reenactment scenarios for many years, and consider them very much under-represented. And actually most of the Mississippi rifles don't have any provision for a bayonet for use in stacking arms at all. Just have to do what they did at time and lean it on the stack I suppose.
 
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Rusk County Avengers

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Agreed. There is a lot of evidence that the Mississippi Rifle and other 2 banders were very prevalent during the ACW. My own gr gr grandfather's regiment was equipped with 1841's for a couple of years. But in a modern setting, there's less of an opportunity to use them.
Its kind of like something I said to an officer friend when we were bemoaning the constant politics of reenacting and him saying that "It's how its always been so we got to live with it." what I replied being, (actually one of the few times I said something smart),:

"Just because that's how its always been, doesn't mean it has to be that way."

Mississippi's in reenacting would be an easier problem to solve. After all, we've got so many excellent gunsmiths for defarbing, I'm sure arrangements could be made for having pre-war modifications of M1841's for a bayonet. Heck one way to get them more used would be have infantry units deploy skirmishers, and just kind of dedicate them to that use.

It'd make typical reenacting skirmishers look a lot better arms wise, run off dismounted cav. farbs-from-h*** and they're "skirmish lines" and get the Mississippi more use at normal events. It's a win-win-win!:D Plus it is technically the role early military rifles like the M1841 were meant for.

Least that's one idea.

Funny thing on your ancestor, and the sides of the argument we have. My GG-Grandfather most likely had a P1853 Enfield.
 

LeadShark

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Jun 1, 2021
I bought a used one in 88 when I first joined the N-SSA. I used it in competition for 25 years. Never had a single problem with it. The accuracy was pretty decent too. It's difficult to put a price on one today without checking it over. But I would say anywhere from $450 and down. They are not allowed for reenacting as it's a two bander but they are good for hunting or competition so there's a limited market for them. Here's mine, pretty much a wall hanger now.

Very good. I would only really use it for target shooting purposes anyway. I was just worried about the whole thing with the bolster flying off that early ones apparently suffered from.

The older Bernadelli US 1841 repro is actually quite decent. Probably right behind the Antonio Zoli reproduction in terms of desirability. In other words, well ahead of the more current offerings. As far as cost, everything depends on the condition.
500 is the price they wanna go with. Barrel is clean, no cracks. Got the desired W stamp so that is good. What makes the Bernadelli better than the Pedersoli (despite the price)?

When these were still in production, were they only sold with the V-notch sight like Pedersoli does or did Bernadelli offer different sights?

Thank all of you for your answers. I appreciate you guys' help!
 

Craig L Barry

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Location
Murfreesboro, TN
That is a subject for another day I suppose. In general, the older Civil War reproduction rifles and muskets were of better quality in their earlier production runs. The molds, tools and dies were new and sharper. The markings were cleaner. The wood was a better grade and the fit/finish was better. As far as I know, those early Bernadelli US 1841s all had the notched rear sight. I think if you spent $500 for one of the older Italian-made Mississippi rifle reproductions in the condition you describe, you would not be sorry.
 

frontrank2

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That is a subject for another day I suppose. In general, the older Civil War reproduction rifles and muskets were of better quality in their earlier production runs. The molds, tools and dies were new and sharper. The markings were cleaner. The wood was a better grade and the fit/finish was better. As far as I know, those early Bernadelli US 1841s all had the notched rear sight. I think if you spent $500 for one of the older Italian-made Mississippi rifle reproductions in the condition you describe, you would not be sorry.
It seems as if the repros made after 2000 are of lesser quality. I have my Bernadelli Mississippi, a Euroarms Enfield, and an Armisport Springfield all made before 2000 and never had any mechanical issues. I bought a Euroarms JP Murray in 2005 ( whose accuracy is less than desirable ) that needed a new tumbler and sear after a couple of years. And one of my reenacting comrades bought an Armisport Springfield less than 5 years ago and had to replace his tumbler and sear within the first year. And the seller would not warranty it.
 

LeadShark

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Jun 1, 2021
That is a subject for another day I suppose. In general, the older Civil War reproduction rifles and muskets were of better quality in their earlier production runs. The molds, tools and dies were new and sharper. The markings were cleaner. The wood was a better grade and the fit/finish was better. As far as I know, those early Bernadelli US 1841s all had the notched rear sight. I think if you spent $500 for one of the older Italian-made Mississippi rifle reproductions in the condition you describe, you would not be sorry.
That sounds very good. I think I will buy it. I've always liked the M1841.

A shame that they only sold them with the notched rear sight. I'm not mechanically enclined enough to attach the 1855 Springfield sight on the thing and there is no way in hell I could ever put a bayonet lug on it. And not being located in the US, there is no real option for any alternative sights anyway. So sadly no way to make it more historically accurate (as far as looks go). But no need to cry over spilled milk. It's still a beautiful rifle and I will use it for target shooting anyway so the sights are fine.

Thanks again for all your help!
 

Noonanda

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Oct 19, 2016
Location
Fredericksburg Virginia
That sounds very good. I think I will buy it. I've always liked the M1841.

A shame that they only sold them with the notched rear sight. I'm not mechanically enclined enough to attach the 1855 Springfield sight on the thing and there is no way in hell I could ever put a bayonet lug on it. And not being located in the US, there is no real option for any alternative sights anyway. So sadly no way to make it more historically accurate (as far as looks go). But no need to cry over spilled milk. It's still a beautiful rifle and I will use it for target shooting anyway so the sights are fine.

Thanks again for all your help!
the variant that had the 1855 long range sight that started at 200 was soldered on, but you would need a taller front sight for it (which you could solder on as well
 

Noonanda

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Fredericksburg Virginia
Funny, I forgot about writing that old 2007 article in Civil War Historian, but that sounds right. I have long been a proponent of US 1841 use in various reenactment scenarios for many years, and consider them very much under-represented. And actually most of the Mississippi rifles don't have any provision for a bayonet for use in stacking arms at all. Just have to do what they did at time and lean it on the stack I suppose.
Craig do you still have that article? would love to read it.
 

Craig L Barry

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
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limberbox

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Apr 25, 2020
He is referring to the Mississippi seeing a lot more use historically than usually thought and being more period correct for certain units than Enfields or Springfields.

He wrote a very good and informative article on the history of the guns and why why they should see more use in reenacting in the May/June 2007 issue of Civil War Historian. As I recall he mentioned how one New York unit at Gettysburg was armed entirely with modified Mississippi Rifles.

I used to reenact with a Mississippi when I started out and finally retired it for an Enfield when my officers berated me enough, often saying our unit historically didn't have them, it was unsafe and so on, BUT later an image of a man armed from the historical regiment turned up and guess what he was holding!:D Not an Enfield lol! The rifle really should see more use in reenacting, it is very underrepresented history wise.

According to McAulay, the 10th and 45th NY carried .54 caliber Remington M. 1841's at Gettysburg, previously converted by NY to accept bayonets. He lists over 50 regiments carrying M. 1841's in the 4th quarter of 1862. Usage was most common in the Western and Trans-Mississippi theaters, so I guess it depends on where you're reenacting.

The Fifth Iowa, armed entirely with M. 1841s, had a very stiff fight at Iuka in September 1862. It was right next to the 11th Ohio battery at the center of the battle. This link posted in the Western Theater forum has some great first person accounts of the intensity of that fight.
https://dan-masters-civil-war.blogs...A3pntVhkOBRFgmpRaimDDykrmmQEKGY8er4DTuA8g&m=1
 
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