Question About Mississippi Rifle Tools

VMI88

Cadet
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
First question, what threads were used on the ramrods of original Mississippi rifles? The Euroarms reproduction uses M6 x 1 threads which obviously don't fit any original implements.

Second, does anyone make authentic reproductions of Mississippi rifle implements? Track of the Wolf has what they call M1817 wipers and ball pullers (https://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Item.aspx/121/1) in various standard thread counts but their website is the only place I can find this nomenclature. The wiper looks very similar to one pictured in this thread (https://civilwartalk.com/threads/my-m1841-whitneyville-mississippi-rifle.146009/) but the ball puller looks different. If these are correct I'd have to rethread my ramrod to fit.

The Horse Soldier lists a .54 cal. wiper (https://www.horsesoldier.com/products/firearms/cartridges-and-gun-tools/17291) that they say is for the Mississippi rifle -- it's basically the same style as the early elongated .69 cal. wiper, just smaller. The style certainly looks correct for the 1840s but again, I haven't found much information online.

Any information on locating original or good reproduction implements that are correct for the Mississippi rifle would be much appreciated!
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Great question...I am eager for the answer too. Also, since many Mississippi's were rebored to .58 cal, I would imagine a .58 cal set of tools would exist too...can we please get answers for that too?
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
25299485_1671108352911831_2757142901536624589_n.jpg


These are the tools you want. Original musket tools can be had for under $100. The worm/wiper and ball puller are another matter entirely. While the worm/wiper Track of the Wolf offering is good the ball pullers dimensions are off and it won't fit in the patch box as it's too long.
 

VMI88

Cadet
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
I appreciate the information from everyone! Does someone have an original Mississippi rifle ramrod that they could measure the thread count? If you don't have a thread gauge, I know the thread count of an original .58 cal. wiper or ball puller is 10-24. Those are much more common than .54 cal. implements, so maybe that could provide a good reference.
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
William Sellers originally developed the USS thread, and set forth many of its details in his paper, "A System of Screw Threads and Nuts", presented in April 1864 to the Franklin Institute.

I believe the thread thread system we were using on most civil war arms was the Whitworth thread system which was based on the inch and some of the threads per inch, but not all are the same we use today on the modern Unified thread system.

The Whitworth thread was the world's first national screw thread standard,[1] devised and specified by Joseph Whitworth in 1841. Until then, the only standardization was what little had been done by individual people and companies, with some companies' in-house standards spreading a bit within their industries. Whitworth's new standard specified a 55° thread angle and a thread depth of 0.640327p and a radius of 0.137329p, where p is the pitch. The thread pitch increases with diameter in steps specified on a chart.
 

BillWright

Private
Joined
Jul 15, 2021
I appreciate the information from everyone! Does someone have an original Mississippi rifle ramrod that they could measure the thread count? If you don't have a thread gauge, I know the thread count of an original .58 cal. wiper or ball puller is 10-24. Those are much more common than .54 cal. implements, so maybe that could provide a good reference.
I have encountered in addition to the m-55, 61, etc. the Whitney made arms of the era. I had a humpback Whitney which had the larger diameter threads but I don’t know the count. I sold all my musket collection and tools to Shiloh relics. They might be able to help you with this question.
 

VMI88

Cadet
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
I think I found the answer to my own question. This past weekend I bought a 54 wiper (AKA worm) at the NSSA Fall Nationals. This one wasn't like the one Johan Steele posted above; mine is shaped more like the wiper that goes with the 1842 musket. I suspect (but have no evidence) that Johan's wiper is an earlier style that dates back to the 1817 common rifle but was still used with the Mississippi rifle. Mine is probably contemporaneous with the Mississippi rifle.

Anyway, the threads are #12 diameter but the pitch is not a standard 24. For what it's worth the threads on an English Parker-Hale Enfield fit perfectly but I haven't been able to locate that information yet.

IMG_20211004_143455.jpg
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
I think I found the answer to my own question. This past weekend I bought a 54 wiper (AKA worm) at the NSSA Fall Nationals. This one wasn't like the one Johan Steele posted above; mine is shaped more like the wiper that goes with the 1842 musket. I suspect (but have no evidence) that Johan's wiper is an earlier style that dates back to the 1817 common rifle but was still used with the Mississippi rifle. Mine is probably contemporaneous with the Mississippi rifle.

Anyway, the threads are #12 diameter but the pitch is not a standard 24. For what it's worth the threads on an English Parker-Hale Enfield fit perfectly but I haven't been able to locate that information yet.

View attachment 416435
When new M1841s w/ long range rear sights that had been rebored to .58 I suspect whaterver implement that was on hand was what was issued. As far as I'm concerned the .58 worm and ball puller are acceptable but a purist might want to go nuts for the M1817 pattern tools which were what was issued with the .54 to start with.
 

muffinman67

Cadet
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
When new M1841s w/ long range rear sights that had been rebored to .58 I suspect whaterver implement that was on hand was what was issued. As far as I'm concerned the .58 worm and ball puller are acceptable but a purist might want to go nuts for the M1817 pattern tools which were what was issued with the .54 to start with.
A lot of the old Arsenal Rods and Tools used #12-26. Doesn't really exist in todays tap and die catalogs.
 

VMI88

Cadet
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
A lot of the old Arsenal Rods and Tools used #12-26. Doesn't really exist in todays tap and die catalogs.
That could easily be what this is. A #12-24 bolt will screw on a few threads but then bind up.

Just to be clear, this is a .54 caliber wiper.

On a related topic, I wonder what Confederate rifle tools looked like? I've seen correspondence indicating the Richmond Arsenal produced tools but I've never seen a picture or description. Knowing the shortcuts the South took it wouldn't surprise me if they made .54 tools in order to fit both .54 and .58 rifles. I'd love to see some documentation of what they looked like.
 

MarkTK36thIL

Private
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Location
IL
Gun Tools: Their History and Identification Vol 1 and 2 are extremely helpful. However, a needed 3rd Vol. is not likely in the works.
 

VMI88

Cadet
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Looks like a great resource, but unfortunately out of print and used copies are very expensive!
 
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