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Who makes the best 1861 Springfield Musket ?

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jonathan butcher

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Am thinking about buying a reproduction Civil War M1861 Springfield Musket, who makes the best/ highet quality example ? Armi Sport ? Traditions ? Would love to hear from you experts in the field.
 
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Cowboy

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I personally own both the Pedersoli 1861 and Armi Sport 1863.

When it comes to craftsmanship, the Pedersoli is superior by far. Wood to metal transition is tight. Lock is robust and beautiful. Everything about the rifle is pleasing to the eye.

Can’t vouch for any of the other 1861 reproduction’s out there?

Euro Arms makes an excellent Zouave.

Antonio Zoli made a very nice Harpers Ferry 1803 except in the wrong caliber?

Trying to make a point my friend. I own a little of everything when it comes to these reproduction’s both past and present.

Pedersoli receives my vote.

Respectfully, Cowboy
 

Trot

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The only manufacturers who currently make an 1861 are Pedersoli and Armi Sport. The Pedersoli is closer in dimensions to the original.
 

TFoley

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For a little more you could have the real thing...

So what's the difference?

Well, one is real, with history behind it, maybe from the Civil War itself. That in itself makes every survivor unique.

The other, isn't, hasn't, isn't and isn't.
 

jonathan butcher

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Thank you Cowboy, I was. However, I think I’d be open to buying an original if I could find an unmessed with example that’s priced right. I’d be willing to forego the collector tick-points- strong cartouche and inspectors marks, blueing etc in favor of a strong bore and exc mechanical condition. I’m a bit leery of buying one at Gunbroker and the like simply because I know that some sellers will happily sell a ‘dog’ to someone less educated about Springfield Civil War long arms. I’d be happy on the other hand to find one here, from a seller I could have a conversation with.
Edit: one of the best arms purchases I ever made was from a fellow forum member, a Southern Hunting Rifle which I love dearly. The gentleman who sold it to me provided more info, details and pictures than I’ve ever seen. He was kind, thorough and went the extra mile and then some.

I whole heartily agree! He was specifically asking about a reproduction gun.

Respectfully, Cowboy
 

TFoley

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For the real thing, I'd call up the Gun Works in Springfield OR and talk to Suzi or any one of the knowledgeable staff there. My point was that if you are prepared to spend $1500 on a copy, why not pay out another $500-600 and get the real deal?

Apologies if I screwed up the post.
 

jlatz

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It depends what you want the 1861 musket for. Lodgewood has some selections. I have used an older Armi Sport for cw skirmishing in the past and it has served well. I bought it from a skirmisher who was getting out of the game. He had the musket tricked out, bore refreshed, lock tuned and sights sharpened up. With a Lyman target minnie and 45 grains of fff it would do well at 50 and 100 yards. To get into better accuracy some use Hoyt barrels. Check out the Lodgewood website. They have many selections.
 
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Am thinking about buying a reproduction Civil War M1861 Springfield Musket, who makes the best/ highet quality example ? Armi Sport ? Traditions ? Would love to hear from you experts in the field.
The most true-to-original INTERNALLY, relative to the pathway of the musket cap ignition spark, thus the most dependable, is the discontinued Miroku M61. I'll post the reference to this, don't have it at my fingertips.
 

Trot

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If you can find a reasonably priced original with excellent rifling I would go that route. I have a M1863 with a good bore, it is a much better shooter than my repros.
 

rdlowe

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+1 for Pedersoli. With the exception of the one lemon Bess someone here on the forum bought I’ve not known of anyone unhappy with theirs and have been happy with mine.
 
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Am thinking about buying a reproduction Civil War M1861 Springfield Musket, who makes the best/ highet quality example ? Armi Sport ? Traditions ? Would love to hear from you experts in the field.
Craig L. Barry's book, The Civil War Musket: A Handbook for Historical Accuracy-Lock, Stock, and Barrel, (c)2011 is full of interesting facts about original and repro muskets. The author is a noted researcher of Civil War material. I was fortunate to jump on a mailing from Dixie Gun Works where they offered a small lot of the Miroku 1861 Springfields after they were discontinued. I got SN 0013, which is notable as the early ones were mfg. with new tooling! (I have no connection with the sales of this book, just a recommendation to those that would find the subject interesting.)
 

PastorB

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Springfield makes the best Springfield rifle! When I started thinking about getting a repro musket, the fellow at my local gunshop was wise enough to steer me towards an original. For a few hundred more dollars, I was able to get the "real deal" in fine shooting condition. That was 25+ years ago, and I've never been sorry with that decision. It is my main hunting rifle, it is in the deer woods every season and has never failed to do the job. Very accurate and utterly reliable. Also, just something about having the original and the history that comes with it, that a repro will never have. I would have been very disappointed to have settled for a modern production gun now, no matter how well done and defarbed it might be. Mine was made in 1862, and almost certainly saw action in the Civil War. If you are sold on a repro, currently Pedersoli makes the best. Spend the extra bucks for an original if you can, you will not be sorry.
 

vintovka

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Not sure if mentioned before but i had a navy arms 1861 for years and it shot quite well. The minor down sides were the big navy arms marking on the lock and the 2 piece stock. The latter was well done and i didn't know it till after i bought it cause the wood was matched so well. I knew the late Val Forgett Senor and kidded him about it. He responded by saying he was very proud of these and personally oversaw design and construction. While the metal was first rate, obtaining full length wood was an issue and "solved" by using same wood from larger Italian walnut blanks cut in two side by side. Sold it several years ago and hear it still shoots well. Been shooting my 1861 Wm Mason original since but age has gotten to me and will most likely list it on this forum for someone else to enjoy. Seems everyone i knew in the business is now permanently "late".
 

dave951

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It really depends on what you want to do. If you just want a shooter that is already sorted and accurate, you should go over to the North South Skirmish Association and ask the question. We shoot these critters in competition so accuracy and dependability are paramount. If you must have a new one, Pedersoli has the closest to the original but for what you'd spend on that, you could possibly get an original assembled from parts that has been set up for competition from an N-SSA member who's retiring. Not something a collector would want but we aren't really collectors. You pays yer money and makes yer choice.
 

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