Two orphan pieces in my Civil War collection.

drm2m

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Location
Quebec
I bought this Dahlgren bayonet on May 10 2001 thinking that I would eventually pick up a Plymouth Whitneyville naval rifle that it was designed for-----it never happened. It is the only orphan bayonet in my collection.

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The Dahlgren knife bayonet... (named after Admiral John A. Dahlgren, U.S. Navy)... one of two bayonets associated with the Whitney Model 1861 Percussion Navy ("Plymouth") .69 caliber Rifle.
The Whitney "Plymouth" rifle, named after the U.S.S. PLYMOUTH, a naval ordnance testing ship which had been built under Dahlgren's supervision, has the distinction of being the only U.S. contract arm to be originally rifled in .69 caliber.

The first Knife Bladed bayonet is considered to be the Model 1861 for the Plymouth / Whitneyville rifle. It is perhaps better known by its nickname the Dahlgren Bowie Bayonet, named for it inventor Admiral John A. Dahlgren. Many articles have been written about the Dahlgren bayonet but what is most intriguing are the actual letters from the Admiral himself regarding its design and use. As we know the basic use of a bayonet is mounted to the end of a rifle or musket. To Dahlgren's thinking this is not the proper use of his newly invented arm. It should be known that Admiral Dahlgren was in command of several Navy ships and knew first hand what close quarters fighting was about. With this in mind perhaps we can relate to the admirals thought when he wrote that the bayonet was best used in the hand not mounted on the end of the rifle it was designed for. It is also interesting to note that the 1861 rifle already had a sword bayonet designed for it at the time of Dahlgren's invention of the new bayonet. In Dahlgren's own words he called it the "most useless thing in the world except at the end of a musket." Perhaps this explains why most Dahlgren bayonets do NOT fit the Model 1861 rifle. They were meant to but they were also designed to be used as a close quarters fighting weapon in a sailors or marines hand. The Admiral invented a bayonet because a knife would not be sanctioned by the Ordnance Board. But being the clever fellow he was the bayonet did not really have to fit the rifle either.
NOTE this was written by Frank Trzaska in 1998.
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The Confederate cavalry had a number of these P56 carbines.
Not this one----it has British markings all over it including the V.R. on the lock plate.
It is a nice piece--- but probably not in a CW collection???

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Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Parker Hale made some of the best repros of the P1856. Occasionally they come up for sale. The reason their repro is so good is they used the original dies/templates (I believe my facts are correct on this). They used those dies also for the P1853, so the P1853s are not exact replicas, but as I recall most people felt it was the closest repro. Parker Hale guns were excellent quality. This is all heresay...never owned one, but the Parker Hale is what I would WANT to buy if I was looking for a repro. As I recall, they stopped making them sometime in the late 1970s.
 

drm2m

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Location
Quebec
On September 26 2017 I traded my M1884 Springfield Trapdoor Rifle (purchased in March 2004) for the P.56 --with an M1 magazine cartridge belt.
This carbine (unknown to me at that time) used to belong to a fellow that had a cottage near mine in the 1000 Islands in Ontario Canada.

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johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
Parker Hale made some of the best repros of the P1856. Occasionally they come up for sale. The reason their repro is so good is they used the original dies/templates (I believe my facts are correct on this). They used those dies also for the P1853, so the P1853s are not exact replicas, but as I recall most people felt it was the closest repro. Parker Hale guns were excellent quality. This is all heresay...never owned one, but the Parker Hale is what I would WANT to buy if I was looking for a repro. As I recall, they stopped making them sometime in the late 1970s.
Actually it was a repop of the P58 Naval Rifle. The P56 had iron furniture instead of brass. I've owned two, one of their P53 & their P58. I actually wasn't real impressed with the P58. The P53 was too heavy when compared to my fathers original but it was a considerably better beast than the Armi Sport or Euroarms offerings.

If I had to suggest a repro ACW arm for anyone today it would be the Pedersoli P53, out of print Miroku M1861 or 1863, a Shiloh Sharps or Armi-Sport M1842... everything else I can think of seems way off when you compare them to an original.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Actually it was a repop of the P58 Naval Rifle. The P56 had iron furniture instead of brass. I've owned two, one of their P53 & their P58. I actually wasn't real impressed with the P58. The P53 was too heavy when compared to my fathers original but it was a considerably better beast than the Armi Sport or Euroarms offerings.

If I had to suggest a repro ACW arm for anyone today it would be the Pedersoli P53, out of print Miroku M1861 or 1863, a Shiloh Sharps or Armi-Sport M1842... everything else I can think of seems way off when you compare them to an original.
I stand corrected by a fine and very knowledgeable gentleman.:smile coffee:
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
I already have a PH made Enfield (the short one w/ iron furniture and an Uberti 1860 Army.
I've also been accumulating various accouterments.
I did luck into an original NCO sword with the metal tipped leather scabbard though.
 

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