This is a good untouched example of a 1st type Model 1863 Springfield Musket that was used by Union troops during the Civil War. This particular gun recently came from an old having spent many years in Oklahoma...and quite possibly since the end of the Civil War. Judging from the nice markings and a bore that has survived 142 years in Near-MINT condition, it appears this gun was not fired many times. For an 1863, this has what every collector wants in a Civil War vintage Springfield! For starters, the gun is all original down to the ramrod and sling swivels. Original type 1 military 2 leaf rear sight and block front sight. The only thing that appears to be replaced is the percussion nipple. From there, it has good "1864" manufacture dates both on the lock and the top of the barrel. The dates on top of the barrel are particularly susceptible to being worn away due to percussion cap ignition residue. This had a tendency to cause extensive pitting and corrosion in this area which is why the markings are often obscured. American War eagle is still on the bolster and its still pretty crisp....which is quite often another casualty of corrosion from percussion ignition. The left side of the stock opposite the lockplate has survived with its two original military inspector cartouches intact. The Springfield eagle symbols along with the "V" and "P" proofs are still nice. The original beveled 1863 pattern hammer has sharp knurling with its decorative and patriotic "shield" shaped border. Top of the buttplate is marked "US" with a rack number, "49", stamped into the wood just forward of the toe.
Overall Condition is NRA Antique Very Good with nice smooth metal that has turned to a pleasing light patina. Its nice to find a 63 that hasn't been cleaned...as many of these are re-polished so as to appear with that bright "as issued" look. This one has aged gracefully and its nice to find one that still wears all of its history still on its surface. Nice sharp edges and markings. The breech area shows some very light corrosion but as mentioned earlier, the markings are all intact and remain in superior condition compared to the majority of 63's we find today. The wood has great wood to metal fit with nice edges and still adheres to its original shape and design. In other words, it has never been sanded or cleaned down. As testament to its original military origins, the wood does show some handling marks, a chip or two along the ramrod channel, and some minor scrapes and bumps. However, the wood is solid with no cracks or repairs. There is also very little to no burnout of the wood behind the bolster. The action feels nice and crisp with the hammer working on both half and full cock positions. The bore is immaculate....bright and shiny with nice sharp 3 groove rifling. In fact, you can still see the machine marks from the original boring machine at Springfield back in 1864. This is a nice solid example of a late war Model 1863 Musket that were used extensively in the final phases of the War in the Petersburg, Richmond, Atlanta, and North Carolina Campaigns.