Read and Watson Rifle


Description and Photograph




     N.T. Read and John T. Watson of Danville, Virginia made rifles and carbines for the Virginia State Line.  These rifles and carbines were made from Virginia state arms received under the Militia Act of 1808.  They were made by using the Hall barrel, barrel bands, butt plates and trigger and trigger guard assemblies.  Read and Watson manufactured stocks and the breech and adapted the Hall parts to them.  The front section of the stock was made by attaching the old Hall forearm to the stock by means of a heavy iron staple.  It is estimated that they produced approximately 900 arms in this manner.

     They made two types; the First Model, shown here, used only a small brass insert in the breech, the Second Model, used a large, full brass casting that covered the entire breech.  The center fire percussion nipple combined with the .54 caliber and the tight 16 groove rifling made for a very fine rifle.

     The example shown here is in beautiful untouched condition.  It is missing one band pin, but is otherwise perfect, even retaining its original ramrod.

     This is the exact rifle shown on page 182 in Collecting the Confederacy.




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