Expert opinions solicited on 1861 Tower Enfield

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#1
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Hello gents, I am a complete Civil War novice but recently picked up a rifle with a collection of WWI and WWII rifles that I was after. This appears to be an 1861 Tower Enfield .... Short Rifle??? The little research I have done shows some distinctly interesting potential but I'd prefer to hear it from guys that have "been there, done that" and have real world working knowledge of rifles of this period.
 

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#2
Welcome. A very nice Enfield and the JS anchor is interesting. I'm sure you'll get information from our experts.
Thanks for posting.
 
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#7
It appears to be P56 Enfield two band or short/ Sergeant's model and the 25*25* designates it as .577 caliber. The bar across the breech plug and the barrel is an alignment mark and Scott I would think is the barrel manufacturer. Enfield is actually a place (a part of London) and not a manufacturer and these were made by a number of manufacturers, including Birmingham Small Arms (BSA) and the London Armory Company (LAC). BTW, welcome to the group from middle Alabama.
 
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Joined
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#9
Agreed, my bigger concern was with the JS Anchor.(which I noticed after I bought it) I purchased this and assessed it as a Union issued Pattern 56 but if I undervalued it I want to do right by the folks I bought it from. I feel I paid 90% of retail on this assuming it was of Union issue. If it has any Confederate provenance then I woefully underpaid them and feel obligated to adequately compensate them for a value closer to its actual value.
 

johan_steele

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#12
I would wait for Craig Barry or Lanyard Puller to weigh in, something doesn't quite ring true on the pictured rifle. Most, if not all, P56 were iron mounted. The middle picture is a P56, the top picture is a brass mounted P56 Sea Service rifle neither of which had the sling swivel on the trigger guard. The bottom picture is a P58 Sgt's Fusil over an early Parker Hale P58 Naval Rifle which is a superb reproduction of the original. I think what you have is a P58 Naval Rifle. If that JS anchor is legit you have a real gem but I suspect it's a stamping closer to 1961 than 1861. Looking at it with my jaded eye I think you have a legit P58 but I see no evidence of US/CS service either way. I don't believe it is a put together either as these were hand made and the fit and finish isn't sloppy or mismatched like I have seen of many put togethers. Also I see no evidence that this is a Khyber put together. In short you have a nice piece.

Lodgewood has both a ramrod and rear sling swivel if you wish to return her to service.

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#15
I would wait for Craig Barry or Lanyard Puller to weigh in, something doesn't quite ring true on the pictured rifle. Most, if not all, P56 were iron mounted. The middle picture is a P56, the top picture is a brass mounted P56 Sea Service rifle neither of which had the sling swivel on the trigger guard. The bottom picture is a P58 Sgt's Fusil over an early Parker Hale P58 Naval Rifle which is a superb reproduction of the original. I think what you have is a P58 Naval Rifle. If that JS anchor is legit you have a real gem but I suspect it's a stamping closer to 1961 than 1861. Looking at it with my jaded eye I think you have a legit P58 but I see no evidence of US/CS service either way. I don't believe it is a put together either as these were hand made and the fit and finish isn't sloppy or mismatched like I have seen of many put togethers. Also I see no evidence that this is a Khyber put together. In short you have a nice piece.

Lodgewood has both a ramrod and rear sling swivel if you wish to return her to service.

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Is the only difference between the P56 and the P56 Sea Service the brass mountings? And the P58 Sgts Fusil has a shorter barrel and no sword bayonet lug?
 

Craig L Barry

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#16
I think it's a P58 Naval Rifle, it has the lower sling swivel (which is missing) in the trigger guard. The JS stamp could be an add-on or not, but the rack number 641 on the butt plate tang kind of whistles Dixie, don't you think? Lanyard Puller can weigh in here, he probably has access to the list of known numbered Enfields that came into Savannah early in the war.

Those P58s were very good rifles which had five groove rifling with a 1 in 48 twist, but they did not have much US Civil War provenance. Of the hundreds of thousands of Enfield rifless which were imported by both sides, very few were the P58 Naval pattern.
 
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johan_steele

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#17
Is the only difference between the P56 and the P56 Sea Service the brass mountings? And the P58 Sgts Fusil has a shorter barrel and no sword bayonet lug?
For the P56 the brass mountings denoted Sea Service. The P58 Sgt's Fusil has a little shorter barrel w/ a block rear sight and is a smooth bore.
 
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