Samual Wilson P1853 Enfield 1862

Discussion in 'Civil War' started by Blackfingers, Aug 29, 2018.

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  1. Aug 29, 2018 #1

    Blackfingers

    Blackfingers

    Blackfingers

    40 Cal.

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    Picked this up at auction earlier this year. They and I had no idea just what we had here. Told this was one of 20,000 arms made for the Union forces in 1862. Sam Wilson was a contract gunmaker in Birmingham, England, one of several I am told. Any more info on this will be appreciated. Nice oval cartouche on right side of stock. This one was nickle plated after the War for ceremonial use, nice job at the time. Pics are available, please e-mail for them. BF

    rburl393@roadrunner.com
     
  2. Aug 29, 2018 #2

    Artificer

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    Many UnCivil War Rifle Muskets, Bayonets, Swords, etc. were nickle plated and later chrome plated for parade use by the GAR and later organizations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Army_of_the_Republic

    What are the markings on the Lock Plate? The reason I ask is because that information should tell you if it was made as an "Interchangeable" Pattern or "Non Interchangeable" Pattern Rifle Musket.

    Gus
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2018
  3. Sep 5, 2018 #3

    Blackfingers

    Blackfingers

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    Gus, on the lockplate there is the Crown at the rear and TOWER with 1862 beneath. I also beleive this is a Type 111 Enfield Rifle Musket. BF
     
  4. Sep 6, 2018 #4

    Artificer

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    OK, with the Tower marking that, means it belonged to the British Government and was not used here during the UnCivil War. It was most likely surplus sold by the British Ordnance Department once it became outmoded.

    Gus
     
  5. Nov 29, 2018 #5

    fireman1

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    Gus, I am far from an expert but my understanding is that Tower marked locks could have wound up here on during the war. I have read that surplus parts were sold to contract rifle makers in Birmingham and used to make Enfield pattern rifles for sale to both sides of the war. Was that incorrect or am I mis-remembering?

    Thanks!
     
  6. Nov 29, 2018 #6

    Artificer

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    Hi Fireman,

    Good Question. One thing I have learned about History is you should almost “Never say Never” when referring to something, as there might be some obscure or isolated incident against the general rule.

    The “Lovell Design” Percussion lock was made by outside contractors for British Ordnance for P 1851-P1853 Rifle Muskets, but they were not stamped with the “Tower” marking, unless owned by the British Government.

    While it is possible that British Ordnance had P1851-53 Rifle Muskets so damaged after the Crimean War of 1855 (with Tower Marked Locks) they considered it more economical to sell them rather than repair them, it would not have been in as great of numbers as in earlier wars. So, yes, it is possible some Contractor made Rifle Muskets with those “salvaged” locks made it here during the UnCivil War, but not in great numbers.

    The Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield Lock began making the Lovell designed Percussion Lock on the Interchangeable Parts System after they purchased American Machinery to do so in 1856. However, their entire production was devoted to making Arms for the British Government and to rearm British Forces all over the world. That was the reason they would not sell complete Arms or even locks to the either Confederate or Union buyers during the UnCivil War. Further, once Enfield Lock began production of “Interchangeable Pattern” Parts and Arms, they stopped purchasing “Non Interchangeable” locks and parts from British Contractors.

    So the vast/overwhelming majority of locks on Rifle Muskets and complete Arms sold to the Union or Confederate Governments were not marked “Tower” or with other British Government markings.

    Gus
     
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  7. Nov 30, 2018 #7

    fireman1

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    Gus, thanks for schooling me! I gotta admit my knowledge on P53 pattern Enfields is weak. for years, when I read that the north and south both got P53s I just assumed they were from Enfield. I have started to dig into them a little bit, a whole lot to learn.

    Thanks!
     
  8. Dec 2, 2018 #8

    Artificer

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    Your question was easier than how British Ordnance received/inspected/engraved/returned locks/lock parts for hardening/tempering from/to Contractors and finally received them back in the 18th and 19th centuries. I'm still trying to get a complete handle on that, as most documentation is very sketchy about it.

    You are most welcome.

    Gus
     
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  9. Dec 11, 2018 #9

    Artificer

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    Here's a little more info. D.W. Bailey in his earlier book "BRITISH MILITARY LONGARMS 1715 - 1865" does note that some P 1853 Enfields with a "Tower" marked lock wound up on British Contractor made guns and were engraved on the lock with the Contractor/s' name/s. These were sold to Volunteer and Militia Units in the UK, but no mention of any of those Tower marked locks on any rifles made for export.

    Gus
     
  10. Dec 20, 2018 #10

    fireman1

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    Gus, thanks for that info. I will have to scour my link to Civil War websites. Hopefully I can find where i read about Tower marked muskets. I am pretty sure it was the south that had them.
     
  11. Dec 20, 2018 #11

    Artificer

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    If I were still going to the Spring/Fall National Championships of the North South Skirmish Association, there were/may still be two or three guys on the Ordnance Inspection Team that I would love to double check with. To my knowledge, no other group has the amount of intensive study of original and modern documentation and actually checking period guns as they do.

    Gus
     
  12. Jan 6, 2019 #12

    CKGreene

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    1862 Enfield Tower 577 cal musket_opt.jpg
    Hi, Fireman. I am following this thread with keen interest since I reside in Georgia and have seen in person a two-banded Enfield .577 caliber musket with Tower markings and "1862" beneath the word "Tower" on the lock. Is it really too far fetched an idea it may have been used here in the "UnCivil" War?
     
  13. Jan 7, 2019 #13

    fireman1

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    CKG, thanks for posting that picture. I will have to get myself in gear and see if I can find a link or the book where I read about hte Tower markings.

    Having said that, Artificer knows much more about this than I do.
     
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  14. Jan 9, 2019 #14

    Artificer

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    A 2 Band or "Naval and Volunteers Rifle" with an 1862 Tower lock plate could have in the wildest extremes wound up here in the South during the UnCivil War if a British Sailor or Marine deserted with one or if one was stolen from a Volunteer/Militia Unit on the British Home Islands. The Sailor/Marine, though, would have had to have access to the Arms Locker or bribed a Marine and I find both of those things highly unlikely. I am not sure how Arms were controlled/accounted for by British Volunteer/Militia Units, though I'm sure they would have been under at least lock and key in a secure place, if not under continual Armed Guard as well.

    I seriously doubt a Stocker or other Worker at the Royal Armory at Enfield Lock or the Tower of London would have gotten away with stealing one, either.

    Other than that, the Royal Armories were far too busy making these rifles to re-arm their own Sailors/Marines/Volunteers - so even if they had wanted to sell to the Confederacy, they did not have "extra" rifles to sell during the UnCivil War.

    Gus
     
  15. Jan 10, 2019 #15

    CKGreene

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    Gus,
    What is your opinion on how this particular two-band Enfield Tower of 1862 ended up in Georgia? Since it is here, in Marietta, could not the 'wildest extreme' have occurred in this case?
     
  16. Jan 10, 2019 #16

    Artificer

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    CK,

    I honestly don't have a clue how that Rifle wound up in Georgia. Short of any kind of documentation, and even though I would love to see documentation proving Confederate usage, I think we have to leave it that this rifle was imported there sometime after the UnCivil War. Perhaps during Reconstruction, but even that is only speculation.

    Gus
     

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