Discussion in 'Civil War Weapons and Ammunition' started by John V, Sep 9, 2017.
A bit hard to help with no description and only 2 close up pics.
More photos, also photos of the entire gun would help.
I have had this Enfield since the 1980's. I am not sure if it is US Civil War or maybe an import from a different country. There is a faint "WD" on the comb of the stock as well as number.
HEY...we want more pics...we like what we see so far!
Are the barrel bands solid, and have springs in the stock, like a 55, or 61 Springfield have? 1858 date makes me think it's a second model Enfield.
[QUOTE="John V, post: 1647126, member: 21448"[/QUOTE]
Uh, OK, the bands appear to be typical 3rd Model Enfield, 1858 date on the Lock Plate...wonder what year the 3rd Model came out? Early Lock plate on a latter model?
Is this enough pictures? The hammer action is incredibly smooth , unusual for most rifles I have seen. The barrel is proof stamped "25"
Very nice piece, curious what the experts have to say. Not going to take a stab at this one, tried to ID one on another thread and found out how much I didn't know.
The VR and Crown lock plate were NOT an imported musket. the 25 is a .577. The leather on the nipple protector looks new to me. There are 2 ways to tell if this a original. Pull the lock plate off and see what the makers mark is. It will be above the main-spring. Also, Is the elevation slide on the rear sight held in by a small screw or is it swagged on the elevation slide?
Nice Gun John , Hello from Ont. Canada.
I added the new nipple protector and the bung plug, I have the original nipple protector off of the rifle. I think there are some interesting things about the markings but I am not an expert on this:
1. Crown "VR" marking- From what I have read, the "VR" marking signifies that this was a British military rifle rather than the commercial variants out of London or Birmingham. Since it is an 1858 dated rifle (three years before the American Civil War), did England condemn/surplus older or damaged rifles? If so, could these have been procured and repaired and exported out of Great Britain? Did the USA or CSA ever procure "used" Enfields?
2. 1317 Inventory #- It is interesting to note the four digit serial number is similar to what was used by the Confederacy but on the stock and not the butt plate. I have not seen any reference to this location being used by the Southern agents in England, only on the butt plate.
3. WD Cartouche- This is an apparent inspection stamp on the stock. In the book "Confederate Enfields" they show a "WD" (meaning War Department) cartouche on shipping documents and on the cases for the shipments but not on the rifles themselves. Therefore this rifle having a WD cartouche stamp could just be a coincidence.
4. Arrow on Lock Plate- I think I read that arrows indicate rifles sent to India or made in India. Is this arrow significant? Does any one know what this indicates? Or, is it some sort of inspection or "condemning" mark?
Sorry, I forgot to look at the sight. To me it looks like it was repaired at one point (silver color around the sight body) so it may not be original. Then to, the comment about later barrel bands may also indicate some sort of repair.
Here is a great link that will help you out with all of the questions you have.
This is a typical 3rd Pattern Ordnance P53 from the Birmingham trade accepted into the British Army (thus the Tower stamp and all the Ordnance acceptance stamps). This would've been rated a 2nd Line arm in the British Army 1861-1865 thus not available for surplus. RSAF Enfield built P53s were rated first line weapons as they were machine made and interchangeable. I can pretty much guarantee you not a single one of these made it to the US for the hostilities.
The 4 digit serial number is not an inventory number, it is an Irish registration number. Many of these were loaned out to Volunteer regiments when they were classed into reserve status and some went to private armories in Ireland, thus the registration. The stock has been sanded, so it'd probably hard to see the PIMLICO roundel where it was reclassed down to a second line arm.
I myself have a Birmingham made Type 3 P53 dated 1858 by Heptinstall and Son. They are nice rifles, built to better tolerances than the ones for the American imports.
Thank you very much! From the above questions that I asked, the article(s) DID have answers
Question #1 was: Could the rifle have been used in the American Civil War (because of the Royal Armory British inspection stamps and manufacture by Enfield (Government mfg.). Here is a quote from the article:
"Enfields that were made under contract for the British Government were bought by agents both North and South, and shipped to America. These guns were those that had been made for the British Army during and after the Crimean War, and later considered obsolete and sold out of store by the Government. Examples of these weapons can clearly be seen in period images of soldiers from both sides, as well as in private collections. These Enfields bear marks of British Government ownership. (Note 2) True, this type was not the norm, but they were imported in sizeable numbers. "
Note 2 discusses examples in photo images. Also interesting to note is my lock plate date of 1858 and later non-spring clip barrel bands on the rifle that was brought up in an earlier post. The article states that Type 2 Enfields (with spring barrel bands were made up to 1858 so it makes perfect sense that my rifle could have Type 3 barrel bands due to the transition year between Type 2 and Type 3.
Question #3- This was about the "WD" cartouche and by inference in the article this cartouche was a Royal Armory inspection stamp on a bayonet that is identical to what I have on my stock. therefore both the stock and lock plate were British military items.
No answers yet on questions #2 or #4
The WD stands for "War Department" and was standard on all British Army accepted P53s. The arrow stamp on your lock plate is a stamp from the gauge inspector at the tower of London of the British Army to show it passed tolerance inspection. All contract P53s to the Army got this test. The 1317 is not a British Army rack number, it's in the wrong format. (The Victorian Ordnance standard was on the buttplate tang, Regiment/Rifle Number. Later Changed to right side of stock in 1860s in same format). It's more than likely an Irish registration number.
I would disagree with the assessment that any P53 Type 3s were in surplus at any point in the 1860s. Your rifle included as very few Tye 2 P53s were made in 1858. It would have either been in service with an active regiment or active reserve as a 2nd line arm. It would most certainly not have been sold to any US buying agents. It would have had to have been stolen from an Ordnance Armory for that to happen.
My '58 dated Ordnance P53 Type is unit marked to 1st Battalion, 72nd Highlanders which fought in the Ambella Campaign in 1863-64 on the border of what is now Pakistan/Afghanistan. As you can see, these weapons were still in use by the British Army.
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