Civil War Muzzleloading Muskets


           When the Civil War broke out in 1861, neither the North nor the South was prepared to engage in a major war. Decades of relative peace had left limited stockpiles of arms. As tens of thousands of men volunteered to fight alongside their friends and neighbors, those arms stockpiles were quickly exhausted.

            Purchasing agents for the Union and Confederacy began buying up every European rifle they could find and shipping them back to American ports. As a result, many volunteers during the first two years of the Civil War found themselves using a wide variety of rifles, including antiquated weapons dating back to the War of 1812. Meanwhile, American rifle and gun manufacturers--Sharps, Colt, Remington, and the United States armory at Springfield--quickly expanded rifle production.


 
Federal Armories
Confederate Armories
Musket Contractors
Harpers Ferry Armory
Springfield Armory 
Richmond
Palmetto  Rifle
30 Private contractors
European Contractors

Galleries

US Rifles
CSA Rifles
Rifles Used by Both

Cartridge Rifle/Carbines Here
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Federal Armories


Harpers Ferry Arsenal
Harpers Ferry, WVA.
U.S. Model 1855 Type 1 
No. Produced: A total of 15,071 mfg: from 1856 thru 1858. 
Cal .58. 
First of the new models firing the .58 cal minie ball developed at Harper's Ferry and the Maynard tape primer lockplate. Used throughout the civil war.
U.S. Model 1855 Type 2
No. Produced: A total of 3,680 mfg: from 1858 thur 1861 
Cal. .58. 
Changes to a new rear sight. 
Addition of an iron grease box and brass nose cap distinguishes this type from the first type. 
Production ceased when the arsenal was captured by the Confederate Army. 
U.S. Model 1842 Rifled Musket
Between 1856 and 1859 the US Government modified in both national armories a number selected Model 1842 Smoothbore Muskets to take advantage of the new Minie type elongated ball.. 
No. Modified: A total of 14,300 
69. caliber 
Barrels were rifled with three groove rifling.
long range rear sight added.






Springfield Arsenal

First of the new models firing the .58 cal minie ball developed at Harper's Ferry and the Maynard tape
primer lockplate. Used throughout the civil war.
 
U.S. Model 1855 Type I 
No. Produced: A total of 24,721 
Mfg: from 1856 thru 1858 Cal. .58. 
Long range rearsight. 
Brass nosecap 
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U.S. Model 1855 Type 2 
No. Produced: A total of 22,394 
Mfg: from 1858 thur 1861 Cal. .58. 
New 3 leaf rear sight. 
Iron patch box. 
Iron nose cap.
U.S. Model 1842 Rifled Musket
Between 1856 and 1859 the US Government modified in both national armories a number selected Model 1842 Smoothbore Muskets to take advantage of the new Minie type elongated ball.. 

No. Modified: A total of 14,300 
69. caliber 
Barrels were rifled with three groove rifling. 
long range rear sight added.

U.S. Model 1861 
.58 caliber 
No. Produced : A total of 265,129 mfg: from 1861 thur 1862. The major differences with the Model 1855 were : 
Elimination of the patch box. 
Elimination of the Maynard primer. 
The rear sight was reinforced around the holes for the leaf screws.
U.S. Model 1863 Type I 
.58 caliber 
No. Produced A total of 273,265 mfg: in 1863 
Eliminated band springs. 
Replaced flat bands with oval clamping bands. 
Eliminated swell in ramrod. 
U.S. Model 1863 Type II 
.58 caliber 
No. Produced A total of 255,040 mfg: in 1864 thru 1865 
Re-introduced band springs. 
Replaced clamping bands with solid oval bands. 
Replaced 3 leaf rear sight with single leaf sight. 





 
 





Confederate Armories

Richmond Armory 

Richmond Va. 
C.S. Model 1861 Type I , Type 2 & Type 3 
No. Produced : Approx. 15,000

 

Palmetto Armory 

Columbia SC. 
SC. Model 1842 alteration from smoothbore to .69 cal rifled musket 
No. Produced : 3,720

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Rifle Musket Contractors


US
A. Jenks & Son Providence Tool Co. E. Remington & Sons Wm. Mason
E. Robinson Savage Repeating Firearms Co. Norwich Arms Co. Jas. D. Mowry
Welch Brown & Co. Parker's Snow & Co. E. Whitney C. B. Hoard
A. M. Burt & J. T. Hodge C. D. Schubarth  Eagleville Mfg. Co.    Sarson & Roberts
S. Norris & W. T.Clement Union Arms  Windsor Locks P.S. Justice
A. H.. Waters German Contracts  Amoskeag Mfg. Co. Moore
Colt Patent Firearms Mfg. Co. Lamson Goodnow & Yale  Lindsay Model 1863 O. Blunt
John Rice Wm Muir

CSA

Fayetteville Arsenal  COOK & BROTHERS COLUMBUS ARMORY  Mobile Depot
DAVIS & BOZEMAN BILHARZ AND HALL READ & WATSON T.W. Cofer
DIXON, NELSON, AND CO MENDENHALL JONES & GARDNER

 
 
 

Imported Rifle Muskets


The secession ot the southern states & beginning of the Civil War found both the U.S.A and C.S.A. woefully deficient in preparedness for the comming hostilites. Neither side had enough small arms to adeqately equip their respective rapidly expanding armies. To remedy this situation both the North & the South sought to purchase small arms from Europe, where they found the continental powers eager to sell them obsolete stores from their armories and gun making firms eager to supply them with their products and turn a profit.

To supplement its limited store of small arms the C.S.A. sent Capt. Caleb Huse to Europe in April of 1861 to purchase weapons. His efforts provided a flood of small arms. The 400,000 British Enfiled rifle muskets ranked as the Confederate standard, followed by the Austrian Lorenz model 1854 which was heavily used by the Army of Tennessee.

In July 1861 the U.S. War Dept. sent 3 agents abroad with the hope of buying arms. These agents spurred on by Caleb Huse's success proceeded to purchase arms with reckless abandon. In the process they not only purchased the British Enfield & Austrian Lorenz, plus other excellent weapons, but any worthless piece of junk to keep them out of Confederate hands. 


 
English Enfield Austrian Lorenz  Belgian Liege  Saxon Model

 
 

Enfield Model 1853


The standard arm of the British Army from 1853 thru 1867. Approximately 900,000 were imported by both sides during the Civil War. Most of these were made for the American Trade by firms in Birmingham, (Tower), or London (London Arms Co.). They were .577 caliber which meant the standard US .58 minie could be used by soldiers of both sides. Other makers lock markings include Barnett, Parkerfield and Potts & Hunt. Enfields were also manufactured in Liege, Windsor Vt. & France.
  • Barrel length : 39 "'
  • Total length : 55"
  • Weight : 9 lbs.
  • Caliber : .577
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    Barnett Enfield
    LondonArmory Enfield
    Parkerfield Enfield
    Potts & Hunt Enfield
    Tower Enfield
    Windsor Enfield

     
     

    AUSTRIAN LORENZ MODEL 1854


    M1854 Austrian Lorenz 3-band musket
    54 & 58 Caliber

    There were several models imported from Austria, but the most common was the Lorenz.. It was second only to the British Enfield in numbers used in both theaters of the Civil War. The most popular calibre was .56 which could use the US .54 minie. The Lorenz was made by various contractors in Austria as well as the Austro-Hungarian state Armory. Between 200,000 to 300,000 Model 1854 Rifle Muskets were imported between 1861 to 1865 by both sides and were used through out those years. 
  • Barrel length : 36 "
  • Total length : 52.75"
  • Weight : 8 lbs".
  •  
     
     
     
     

    Caliber .54 - .59



     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    BELGIAN LIEGE MODEL



    There were several models imported from Belgium and France all similar in appearance, with a backaction lock and massive percussion hammer, but varying greatly in quality. Before the war, extensive manufacturing facilities located in France & Liege Belgum made numerous small arms. many of these arms were based on earlier French designs which were becoming obsolete. This made available for sale a substantial number of small arms of assorted patterns which the U.S.A. & C.S.A. were more than happy to purchase. The French model 1859 was on of the best imported arms. It was made in France & Belgium in .577 caliber and was a first class arm. On the otherhand those manufactured in .69 & .71 caliber were not as well made or reliable. 
  • Barrel length : 43 "
  • Total length : 56"
  • Weight : 9 lbs".
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    Caliber .57 - .69 -.71
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    SAXON LIEGE MODEL 1857


    Manufactured by P.J.Malherbe, Liege, Belgium - Single-shot, muzzleloading, percussion rifle musket with 4 groove rifling. Three bands, spring fastened with a distinctive doubled strapped middle band. Barrel octagonal for 6 .5 inches at breech, metal finished bright and cheekpiece on left side of stock. Made in Belgium on contract to Saxon government. George Schuyler purchased 27,000 of these in Dresden for the U.S. government. Some what clumsy in design & having a tige breech they were never the less strong and servicable weapons of .577 caliber, the same as the Enfield and were able to take the standard service ammunition. 
  • Barrel length : 43 "
  • Total length : 56"
  • Weight : 9 lbs".
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    Caliber .57