Merrill-Altered Harpers Ferry Model 1841 Mississippi Rifle

.58 caliber, 33" round barrel secured by two barrel bands, no S/N. Browned and color case hardened finish, brass furniture, walnut stock. Lock marked {eagle} / US forward of hammer and HARPERS / FERRY / 1848 vertically at tail of lock. Merrill breech lever marked in three lines: JAS. H. MERRILL / BALTO PATENTED / JULY 1858. Counterpane with correct block JHK inspection mark. Barrel with correct Harpers Ferry AW/P inspection, as well as the usual small V / P / {eagle head} marks. No date on barrel due to alteration. No "US" on buttplate as is correct, patch box with three router guide holes. US M1858 rear sight, brass blade front sight, iron trumpet head ramrod. The number "20" has been written on the reverse butt in what appears to be some sort of grease pencil, possibly numbering from the alteration process. A blued steel Colt-style bayonet adapter ring is installed at muzzle, numbered 428. Retains both sling swivels. Ca 1861-62 James H. Merrill altered a number of US long arms experimentally to his breechloading system. These included some 100 each of the US M1842 Musket, M1841 Rifle and M1847 cavalry musketoon. This is one of those extremely scarce US M1841 "Mississippi Rifles" altered by Merrill. It remains in wonderful condition and is accompanied by a Colt-style saber bayonet dated 1861 and numbered G3 777, appropriate to this pattern of bayonet alteration. A correct pattern scabbard is included as well.


Fine. Retains some brown on the barrel and significant vivid case color on the lock. All markings crisp and clear, with the exception of the leading and trailing letters of the Merrill mark on the lever. Mechanically fine, both lock and breech action, with a fine bore. Brass furniture with wonderful deep ocher patina. Stock crisp with a dry but feathery texture. Some minor scuffs, handling marks and small mars are present. Bayonet very good, as is scabbard.

Estimate: $5,000 - $8,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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