W.W. Welch "Norfolk" Contract U.S. Model 1861 Rifle Musket

.58 caliber. 40" round barrel secured by three flat spring-retained bands. SN: NSN. Bright finish, iron furniture, walnut stock. Single shot percussion muzzleloading rifle musket. Lock marked in two lines under the bolster U.S. / NORFOLK, with a {Spread-Winged Eagle} and dated 1863 horizontally at the tail. Top of breech with matching 1863 date, left angled flat with V/P{Eagle Head} proofs. Counterpane of stock with correct WW Welch/NORFOLK CT makers cartouche. Traces of an illegible U.S. inspection cartouche are present at the tail of the counterpane. US marked buttplate tang, U marks on barrel bands. Left breech flat with a small H sub-inspection mark. Rifle musket retains a correct 1861 pattern leaf rear sight, the combination musket front sight and angular bayonet lug, both sling swivels and an original swelled-shank tulip head ramrod that is full-length with threads at the end. Like so many of the contractors who entered the arms production field during the Civil War, Welch was only moderately successful in producing guns and in the end only delivered 18,360 rifle muskets between 1862 and 1865 with the bulk of the deliveries taking place in 1863. This is a solid example of one of the less common contractor produced US Model 1861 Rifle Muskets. Includes a wooden tompion.


Good. Metal with a mottled pewter and dark gray patina with some pitting at the breech, scattered surface oxidation and some roughness here and there and some areas of lightly scattered pitting as well. Markings in metal remain mostly clear and legible. Mechanically functional, nipple replaced, bolster with some dings and impact marks. Fair bore is dark, dirty and heavily oxidized with scattered pitting and weak rifling. Wood with scattered bumps, dings and wear from service and a sliver missing on the reverse of the breech plug tang.

Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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