Finding an original ACW rifled musket

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KHyatt

Private
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Jan 7, 2019
Messages
75
Less than a year ago I bought my first BP weapon, a Zolli “Zouave” for a good price. It was all it took to get me hooked. Later I acquired a Parker Hale P1853 Enfield and an Armi Sport 1861 Springfield. All have been fun to shoot but I’m now thinking of moving “up” to an original ACW musket. I can probably spring for something under $2,000, maybe $2,500, and I would appreciate any advice y’all might have, where to look, what to look for, etc. I would like something in shootable condition but I don’t expect to fire it often. (I’ve got the repros for that.) I’m also thinking of buying either an Enfield or Springfield. I know my gggrandpa carried an Enfield and may have later carried a Springfield. Plus, these seem most affordable. Any thoughts/advice will be most welcome!
 

drjekyll76

Corporal
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Oct 18, 2016
Messages
269
Location
South Jersey
i would check local gun shops, i had recently pick up a 63 Springfield NJ Contract, and also i picked up a Enfield 2 band for pretty good fireable condition. i had also went to Horse Solider in Gettysburg and picked a few up there too for under $2000.
 

KHyatt

Private
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
75
I now live in Montana so I don’t expect to see much locally. I’ll look, though. Maybe I can find someone “back east” who would act as agent for me.
 

drjekyll76

Corporal
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
269
Location
South Jersey
well if you contact horse soldier they might be able to ship the musket out to you depending on your state
 
Last edited:

rob63

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
738
Location
Indiana
I have always gotten much better prices purchasing at auctions than I have ever seen from a dealer. Considering that a local auction might be a problem, perhaps online auctions would work well for you? The best values are at local auctions without internet bidding, but I still see reasonable prices on things that are relatively more common.

The photos aren't the best, but this one looks decent and I would bet it will sale for less than your top dollar. You could at least keep an eye on it just to get an idea what something might cost you if you went this route. Considering it's a west coast auction it will likely bring less money than something on the east coast and the shipping wouldn't be as much for you. If you do bid, just make sure you take into account the buyer's premium and shipping cost.

 

CHarris

Cadet
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
21
Try the N-SSA forum a lot of guys have original muskets for sale from time to time.
 

Michael W.

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 19, 2015
Messages
1,310
Location
The Hoosier State
Another possibility is an auction house. I would recommend Cowan's Auctions in Cincinnati. You should be able to get a standard Springfield or Enfield reasonably.
 

vmicraig

Corporal
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
411
Location
Mobile, AL
You'll find a wide variety of great arms at Rock Island Auction, too. Sometimes you can get a great deal, but it all depends on who is bidding and your top bid. Invaluable serves as a good warehouse for numerous auction sites and covers both domestic and international auctions.
 

WJC

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Answered the Call for Reinforcements
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I now live in Montana so I don’t expect to see much locally. I’ll look, though. Maybe I can find someone “back east” who would act as agent for me.
The best is a local gun shop or a gun show, where you can see firsthand the offerings and decide for yourself. I also like to look through on-line auctions and shops. Whether you buy or not, it helps give an idea of what's available and what some asking prices are.
Don't know how close you are, but you might look into North American Auction Co., Bozeman, MT https://northamericanauctioncompany.com/. As an auction house, they charge a premium.
The Horse Soldier, located in Gettysburg, frequently has some mouth-watering offerings. http://www.horsesoldier.com/
I enjoy looking through the offerings of both, though I have yet to buy. They will ship anywhere in the US.
Good luck! When you make your purchase, be sure to share photos!
 

Package4

2nd Lieutenant
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Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
3,245
Less than a year ago I bought my first BP weapon, a Zolli “Zouave” for a good price. It was all it took to get me hooked. Later I acquired a Parker Hale P1853 Enfield and an Armi Sport 1861 Springfield. All have been fun to shoot but I’m now thinking of moving “up” to an original ACW musket. I can probably spring for something under $2,000, maybe $2,500, and I would appreciate any advice y’all might have, where to look, what to look for, etc. I would like something in shootable condition but I don’t expect to fire it often. (I’ve got the repros for that.) I’m also thinking of buying either an Enfield or Springfield. I know my gggrandpa carried an Enfield and may have later carried a Springfield. Plus, these seem most affordable. Any thoughts/advice will be most welcome!
The Enfield would be my choice if you are not going to see it first hand, many pieces have been "upgraded" and the Enfield was the most difficult to do so. You would be surprised how many "dealers" upgrade their arms. I would pick a weapon type and then research it, then purchase. I know the Horse Soldier to be on the up & up, but even they are fooled by what comes in the door. Research, research and then research some more. Know what markings to look for on the stock, lockplate and barrel.

I won't say where, but I went into a shop, where I was invited into the backroom to check some work being done to one of my longarms and there were two M1841s on bench rests. I asked about them and the smith said "oh the one on the left is fairly eaten up, so I'm improving the one on the right for XXXXXX with the better parts. The XXXXXX was a well known Civil War Arms dealer...…..

Make sure the patina is consistent, take the barrel off and look at the underside and make sure all of the parts fit snugly in the wood.

One of the worst feelings is to find out later that you bought a parts gun...….
 

rob63

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
738
Location
Indiana
There have been several occasions when I have noticed a gun for sale on a dealer's web site that was missing small parts, and then there is an update to the photos and the gun suddenly has the previously missing parts.

I think we have ourselves to blame to some extent. Collectors get so focused on everything being perfect that the price difference between a complete gun and one with a few issues becomes too out of whack. The result being that once people start looking for parts to fix the various issues, the value of a gun as a collection of parts becomes greater than what it was whole, and then people start taking them apart just to sell the parts on eBay so that someone else can "complete" their rifle. It's a really sad cycle.
 
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