New Springfield 1861 - How did I do??

Pgapro112

Cadet
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
I picked this Springfield 1861 up from a local college kid recently who wanted to sell it for funds for a Glock. I know "buy the rifle not the story" but the story is that his great grandfather left it to him and that his great grandfather had originally gotten from a female friend who lived a little east of us near Gettysburg - it was found on their farm. Don't know if it's true but I wanted to show the rifle to you all and see how I did - Picked it up for under $500 so I figured that it was a safe purchase and everything checked out when I looked it over.

I already have an excellent condition original Springfield 1863 so was excited to have one that shows actual use - and this one does. All the metal that was exposed has turned to a chocolate color - it's not rusted and there is actually very little pitting - it's just a smooth chocolate metal color with some minor pin prick pitting. Under the stock and under the bands is still bright and shiny (see the one pic). The little bit of pitting is near the breach area, around the cone/nipple and right where the date and VP Eagle markings are - other than that everything else is nice and smooth. The VP Eagle marking is still visible but I can't make out a date. Buttplate is marked US and all bands are stamped "U". All the screw easily turn and the sights flip easily. I did notice that the rear sling swivel was reversed but it looks like it's been that way for a long time and I've read where it's fairly common to find them reversed. The only sign of damage or abuse is at, what I would call, the rear tang...it's bent up towards the middle...not terribly but it's noticeable (see pics). Any idea what that could be from?

So what do you guys think? How did I do? It looks pretty much all original to me and non messed with (without the cleaning rod of course). I've already got a pretty one and I'm hoping this can be my all original "battlefield" piece!

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Pgapro112

Cadet
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
I think you did very well at that price, particularly considering the 1862 date. The damage is from somebody removing the breechplug with improper tools. They didn't get it properly indexed when they put it back on either.
Thanks Rob... great to know! Interesting though...I asked him if he ever checked if it was still loaded and he said he hasn't but was sure it was unloaded because his great grandfather told him that he removed three minie balls from it when he had gotten it...is it possible he went in through the breachplug instead of fishing them out through the muzzle? I wonder...
 

rob63

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Location
Indiana
Thanks Rob... great to know! Interesting though...I asked him if he ever checked if it was still loaded and he said he hasn't but was sure it was unloaded because his great grandfather told him that he removed three minie balls from it when he had gotten it...is it possible he went in through the breachplug instead of fishing them out through the muzzle? I wonder...
It is entirely possible that is exactly what he did. Assuming the stories you are being told are accurate, and I'm not implying anything either way, that would appear to be the most likely explanation for why it was removed. FWIW, I think it would be possible to repair much of the damage done and make it look a lot better. You just need the right tools and knowledge.
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
Very good use of $500. I’d have been on it like a lawyer behind an ambulance. As has been mentioned all the issues can be addressed for not much more into it than the price of a repro.

if you’re interested in getting her operational again I would suggest contacting Lodgewood. Dave Stavlo can repair all the issues. He’s honest and really good at what he does.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Location
Mid Hudson Valley, New York
That's a good and fair price on a Model 1861 that is very much intact. Years ago I had bought an 1863 BSA Enfield that was in nearly the same condition and let it go too easily because I wanted something in higher condition and went that route. So, my newer and cleaner Trenton contract M1861 probably never saw real combat, I doubt it. But these guns that show lots of use but have generally avoided being messed with, retain most or all of their original parts; they could probably tell some very interesting stories. Your photos are nicely done and it's interesting to see the original barrel finish that this rifle sported in it's youth.

Bill
 
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