Old South Military Antiques

1862 Richmond Armory Rifle-Musket
Item #: OS-6656

The parts and machinery taken at Harper’s Ferry in April of 1861 were transported to Richmond, Virginia and set up in the old Virginia Armory. The state of Virginia transferred the armory to the Confederate Government in August, 1861 and from that time forward the facility was known as the Richmond Armory. The Richmond Armory was far and away the most prolific maker of arms for the Confederacy. The rifles and rifle-muskets made at the Richmond Armory are the most widely recognized and sought after long arm of the Confederate era.

Slight variations in the profile, markings, and the materials used in the construction of the early Richmond rifle-muskets exist. These variations allow the modern collector to more specifically calculate the date of manufacture of a particular arm. In the case of this example, it has the year 1862 stamped into the low hump lock and into the top of the barrel flat. This of course dates its year of manufacture, but it can be dated more specifically than just the year, by its configuration.

In February of 1862 the Armory changed the method of attaching the nose cap from a rivet to a screw and the high hump lockplate was still in use. In March, the Armory reduced the lock plate profile and made the last of the iron butt plates. April saw the first full month of lower profile lock production and the first of brass butt plates.

The rifle-musket shown here has an unmarked iron buttplate and a screwed on, iron nose cap. The ramrod is original to the gun, but it is not a Richmond product, it is the Model 1842. The higher hump lock is deeply marked 1862 behind the hammer and CS, Richmond VA. forward or the hammer. All three barrel bands are struck with an off center "U”. This configuration allows us to date its production to approximately February, 1862. It also tells us that all of these are Richmond Armory production, with the exception of the ramrod. Because the rifle-musket is so untouched, I am unwilling to put a screwdriver to it, so I cannot confirm that the stock was made at Richmond, nor can I confirm that the barrel was rolled at Richmond, however, should anyone wish to confirm that they are, as a condition of buying the gun, I will be happy to do so, but it really is unnecessary. The very fact that it is so untouched leaves no possible room for doubt that this is the way it left the Richmond Armory (with perhaps the previously noted exception of the ramrod) and I do not recommend it being done, as it would harm the gun’s impeccable integrity.

The rifle-musket is in very good "attic” condition. The term "attic” does not mean it was found in an attic; it could have been found in a basement. What it means is that it is just as it was found; it has never been cleaned, nor has it had a screw turned since it was put away by the soldier who put it away. The gun is well used, but was also well taken care of during its service life. It is complete in all regards, still retaining both of its original sling swivels and rear sight. The rifling remains strong, but is of course as dirty and untouched as the gun itself. The gun comes with documentation showing that it came from the renowned Michael Kramer Confederate Long Arm Collection, and that he acquired it in the Mount Bethel section of eastern Pennsylvania. It is likely a Gettysburg captured weapon.
Price $9,500.00 USD