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Thread: Help! M1841 Mississippi Rifle

  1. #1
    bstormer108 is offline
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    Help! M1841 Mississippi Rifle

    All,

    I've been digging for information regarding a rifle I recently inherited and my search on various forums has led me to you. I've come to possess a US Model 1841 Mississippi Rifle manufactured in Philadelphia, PA by Tryon circa 1848. The bore is original 54 caliber and not loaded, however the rifling is quite faint.

    Photos can be found here.

    From speaking with others it seems that this rifle was manufactured for the NJ state arsenal and was never rebored to 58 cal or fitted with a bayonet lug as many were. Most seem to believe that this rifle is in fair condition with a value of around $2,000 and that seems to jive with what I'm seeing them go for online in similar condition.

    Now, here are my questions:
    1) I'd like to shoot this rifle and I live near Bob Hoyt. Would it affect the history or value of the rifle to have the barrel lined?
    2) Would this rifle be worth more in "shootable" condition (i.e. if I had the barrel lined)?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Doing any kind of work to an original arm effects its collectors value. However, this example is a far shot from being "collector quailty", even though Tryon M1841s are among the most desirable. Having Mr. Hoyt reline the barrel would be an excellent option if you are wanting to shoot it.

    Cheers,
    Garrett Glover

  3. #3
    Jack C., 69th NY is offline
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    You might want to ask Mr. Hoyt about re-rifling the barrel to .58 cal from .54 cal. thereby avoiding re lining. Many of the M1841s were bored out to .58 so yours might still be considered "original" modified configuration. Just a thought.
    Good luck!
    Jack Conway
    69th NY

  4. #4
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    original arms

    I tend to disagree with the comments..... this gun looks to be in good condition and is a representation of an un modified early arm. Other than the polishing some one did on the patch box it looks untouched. That said, if it was a family heirloom, and had ties to your relatives, shoot it , clean it and display. I would not have this original barrel relined, re bored etc. if you had to shoot it on a regular basis , buy a new barrel and install it on the stock, keeping the original to return it to the original condition at a later date. These arms are "drying" up fast and there are no imports or replacements. We , as shooters and historians , need to start being better stewards of the historical artifacts we are trusted with. The need to preserve this history for later generations is or should be a concern we all keep in the forefront of our activities.
    These comments are mine and not an official statement from the N-SSA or its officers.
    Mike Davenport
    Dismal Swamp Rangers

  5. #5
    Jim_Burgess_2078V is offline
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    Devaluing an Antique

    I agree 100% with Mike. If you reline or re-rifle the barrel for shooting you will probably need to mess with the sights as well. You will be investing more money in the gun and at the same time diminishing its market value as a collectible and as a shooter. Mike's recommendation to get a separate barrel that you can switch with the original barrel is very sound advice.

    Jim Burgess, 15th Conn. Vol. Inf.

  6. #6
    John Holland is online now Moderator
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    Bstormer - You have received some very sound advice from both Mike Davenport and Jim Burgess. Both of these individuals are highly respected in the N-SSA.

  7. #7
    bstormer108 is offline
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    Thank you all very much for the advice. One of the first individuals that I spoke with recommended fixing it up to be shootable and I am glad that I went with my gut and double checked before doing so. I'm going to have the rifle examined, appraised, and then it'll get oiled down and delegated to the gun safe while I explore my family history and look for possible ties.

    Thanks again!

  8. #8
    Dave Fox is offline
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    Although it hasn't been mentioned, have you tried shooting this piece with a tightly patched round ball as-is? Don't know what kind of shooting is contemplated, but quite satisfying results for your purposes might result with 60 grains of FFFg, .525 or .530 diameter balls, and pillow ticking patching.

  9. #9
    bstormer108 is offline
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    I have not tried shooting it yet. I went to have it examined and appraised today and I didn't want to shoot it before I knew more about it. I'd love to shoot it but the bore has seen better days and the rifling is just about gone. Do you think it'd be worth giving it a shot? (Pun intended..)

  10. #10
    Harry Gaul is offline
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    No reline.

    I can support shooting the Miss but not a reline. I support buying a replacement barrel and shooting to your hearts content.

    True blue and diamond Hard,
    Harry
    3rd US

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