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Model 1863 US Rifle (Zouave)


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Gents,



I picked up a nice clean Civil War Remington made M 1863 US RIfle last week that I thought I would show. This particular rifle is unaltered and was made in 1863 according to the matching lockplate and barrel markings. The rifle also has a nice Federal Inspector cartouche on the left side of the wooden stock. No unit markings except for "19" on the right side of the butt stock and brass patch box which I presume is simply a rack number. This rifle is commonly called the Remington "Zouave" rifle but this is collector terminology. There is no contemporary information as to which units this Federal Contract rifle was issued to, much less any Zouave Militia units.



These rifles are interesting in that they were all made by Remington in the same shorter two brass banded format as the earlier model 1841 and 1855 Models. There were approximately 12,000 of these reportedly very accurate rifles manufactured by Remington under this Civil War contract and many will be found in this minty condition that seems to indicate they were unissued during the war. Some will also be found showing heavy use but used by whom is unknown.



This particular rifle came with quite a few accouterments and the former owner's written provenance back to when he purchased it in the 1950s. The rifle came with a period sling, spare nipple, spare sight, some mini-balls, percussion caps, and tools. This rifle was manufactured by Remington with a blued, and Federally inspected, 7 grove rifled steel barrel in .58 caliber. The barrel is made with an attachment for the so-called Zouave saber bayonet instead of the angular bayonet used on the longer three band CW rifles. All the hardware is brass and there is a hinged patch box on the right side of the stock at the butt plate. The bright finished ramrod is correct for this rifle as is the black leather sling.




Zouave rifle musket.JPG

Zouave action.JPG

Zouave action left.JPG

Zouave cartouche.JPG

Zouave inspector markings.JPG

Zouave lock plate.JPG

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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A beautiful rifle, but too bad none of them were ever issued to troops. There has been a LOT of discussion about this over the years in reenactor magazines, but to my knowledge, nobody has ever prooved that any of these were actually issued to troops. They have however had a lot of use in the civilian market and were popular hunting rifles.

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Strange that they weren't used. I wonder why? I've read about troops being issued old surplus guns from Europe that were so bad only the rust was keeping them from falling apart.

 

Mikie

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Great musket and very cool to have the tools and sling! Will you be adding a saber bayonet?

 

Frank

 

 

Thanks Frank. And, yes I already have a Zouave saber bayonet for the rifled musket. The bayonet is uncleaned with 150 years of patina on it so I won't be cleaning it any time soon. These bayonets have no maker on the yataghan bright finished steel blades but are marked with "B.H" on the back of the hilt just behind the muzzle ring. They also have a short pommel groove cut to match the short guide on the barrel. This bayonet is shown as number 74 in Harden, "The American Bayonet 1776-1964".

Zouave bayonet.JPG

Zouave bayo close.JPG

Zouave bayo hilt.JPG

Zouave bayo hilt back.JPG

Zouave bayo pommel.JPG

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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A beautiful rifle, but too bad none of them were ever issued to troops. There has been a LOT of discussion about this over the years in reenactor magazines, but to my knowledge, nobody has ever prooved that any of these were actually issued to troops. They have however had a lot of use in the civilian market and were popular hunting rifles.

 

 

Lee,

 

You are right about the large volume of chatter concerning these two band rifles. Some even go as far as to say since there is no proof that they were issued to CW troops they should not be used by re-en-actors when engaging in weekend skirmishes and encampments. I don't want to add fuel to the fire but I do have an opinion on the matter.

 

First off, we collectors, and re-en-actors, cannot even agree on what to call these M1841 & M1955 Mississippi style rifled muskets. Some call them the "Model 1862", some the "Model 1863", and some the "Zouave Rifle". Saying these rifles are not legitimate Civil War rifles is incorrect IMHO. These stands of arms (including bayonets) were contracted for by the Federal Government during the Civil War. They were produced, and delivered, by Remington during the Civil War. They were inspected, and passed, by Federal inspectors after manufacture and some have rack numbers indicating they resided in an armory or barrack during the war. By this logic we should not include Militia marked weapons, foreign made Enfield Rifles, or any CW period firearm that is not directly traceable to a soldier in a Civil War combat unit.

 

It is hard to disprove a negative such as indicating there is no proof these rifles were used by troops during the CW. It is also hard to prove that a specific rifle was used by a soldier during the war unless there is specific provenance verifying that fact.

 

Just my opinion mind you. :rolleyes:

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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They were used in very small numbers you have did buts its their, i think Ohio had a few, most were held in stock or reserve

by the NY inspector general, I aso belive the Rogers and spence pistol was all some held, A bunch were sent to France for the 1870 war with Germany and some went to U.S. GAR groups.

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