This is a rare and quite possibly one-of-a-kind example of a Model 1863 Remington "Zouave" rifle with a Robert's Percussion Conversion to a breachloader by the Remington factory. Roberts was a Brigadier General in the US Army receiving a patent following the war for a conversion patent to .58 rimfire. In the late 1860's, using his patent, the Providence Tool Co. converted 5000 surplus Model 1861/63 Percussion rifles and muskets for the state of NY and SC. What makes this one interesting is that its not your typical post-war breech-loading conversion. Instead of the typical Robert's conversion to a .58 metallic rimfire cartridge, its actually a breech loading percussion rifle and could very likely be a Civil War era conversion performed at the Remington factory in Ilion, NY.
For starters, please note the photos of the left side of the stock opposite the lockplate point. The side of the stock no longer has a standard rear lock screw...as this screw would have interfered with the breech mechanism. Instead, the rear edge of the lock is milled in such a way so that it could be secured by a large countersunk bolt turned 180 degrees opposite of the front lock bolt....the threaded end of the bolt is secured by a unique brass escutcheon. While the action follows the same type of breech-loading mechanism consistent with Robert's later conversions, its noticeably different in size and shape from Robert's later conversions. The rifle has a special reinforced breech area fitted to the end of barrel with the percussion bolster forged integrally to the right side....note the shape of the bolster is more cylindrical and angular on the ends than a standard Remington percussion bolster. Coming off the breech is a long iron upper tang with a rectangular hole for securing the bolt handle. The bolt is locked or secured by an even larger rectangular hole towards the front of the upper tang. At the face of the bolt is a round pivoting cup-shaped head which appears to serve as a gas seal.
Overall, this rifle is in Very Good condition with standard Zouave 33" round barrel, patchbox, and brass furniture. The lockplate is dated 1863 and marked "Remingtons Ilion NY" with Eagle and "US" stamps. Standard Zouave two leaf rear sight with stepped rear shoulder. Standard front sight and bayonet lug mounted on right side of the barrel. Overall, the metal is a light salt and pepper gray patina. Brass has aged nicely to a mellow patina. Wood is in Fine condition overall with tight wood to metal fit with no chips, cracks, or repairs. Bore is dirty but has good pronounced rifling and should clean to at least Good condition. Both lock and Robert's conversion components are complete and working. Original ramrod and sling swivels.
A rare "One of a Kind" Experimental Civil War rifle!