Old South Military Antiques

CS Richmond Rifle-Musket
Item #: OS-6876

The Virginia state forces captured Harper’s Ferry on April 18, 1861. The captured stores and machinery were quickly removed to Richmond and set up in the old Virginia Armory. In late August 1861, the Confederate States Government took over the facility and it was thereafter known as the "Richmond Armory.”

Those who do not collect Richmond long arms have no idea how rare it is to find an example that is an original, complete Richmond Armory product. I estimate that I examine nearly a hundred Richmond long arms in order to find one that is truly original, and even at that, I am excepting the ramrod. The reason for this is two fold. The first is that the Confederates salvaged everything that they could by gleaning the battlefields and reused the parts. The other reason is that all through the years, collectors and dealers, some innocently and some not, have replaced missing or damaged parts with U.S. parts. Every day, rifle-muskets are being sold as "Richmond Armory” products, and at prices that reflect the rarity of the Richmond made rifle-muskets. Some of the sellers know that what they are selling is not a true "Richmond,” (as one told me, "they are just going to hang it on a wall, what difference does it make?”) but most really cannot tell the difference; they do not have the expertise to tell an amalgamation of parts from a factory made Richmond Armory product. The collector is trusting in the knowledge of the dealer which is often severely lacking, and what is worse, sometimes the dealer does know, but does not care as long as he makes the sale. The collector may own the gun for years or even decades, all the while enjoying its supposed history, but when he attempts to sell it, he runs into problems. If the buyer he takes it to is knowledgeable, he will have to inform him that what he thought was worth 14k is only worth 4k; quite a difference and let down. If he takes it to an unknowledgeable dealer, he will in turn have to take it to a knowledgeable dealer to find out what is Richmond and what is not, or buy it for the 4k assuming the worst from the first (and he will usually be right). Therefore, take great care in buying a Richmond arm or be certain that the person you are buying it from knows his business. That said, I have checked this example out and it is one hundred percent Richmond-even the ramrod. But, if you do not know me, I have provided all the detailed pictures necessary to determine for yourself if the weapon is all Richmond. So have a look at what a real 100% Richmond Armory rifle-musket looks like!

The 1863 dated C.S. Richmond rifle-musket shown here is a text-book example of a one hundred percent Richmond Armory rifle-musket. Every screw, sling swivel, barrel band, sight (but missing leaves), butt plate, stock, lock and barrel, even the ramrod is original. The gun has never been cleaned or altered in any way. It has no repairs or replacements whatsoever. The metal is smooth with the exception of the pin pricks made by the sparks from the cap blast, but even with that the view and proved stamps are still legible. The rifling remains, though the bore is dirty. Along with a few shrink cracks as a result of stocking before the wood was dry, the stock has only very minor dings and scratches. The weapon has obviously seen a lot of service, but the man that carried it knew how to care for it. Even the ramrod channel remains unchanged. These have almost always been split out by putting a swelled rod into the channel. He cut his initials "WR” into the left stock face; I wish he had left us just a little more information so that we could remember and pay him homage.

The rifle-musket comes from the Gerald Bennett Collection.

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