View single post by Johan Steele
 Posted: Sat Feb 3rd, 2007 02:37 am
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Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
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M1841 Rifle


 

                The M1841 was the last muzzle loading percussion rifle issued to US troops and arguably one of the finest looking.  With large patch box, trigger guard and barrel bands all of brass and a rust browned barrel on an American walnut stock it was indeed a fine looking firearm.   It was as outstanding a weapon as it looked.  When it was introduced the men of the First Mississippi would begin to make it famous at the battle of Buena Vista during the Mexican War and lent it a nickname that would stay with it forever.  The “Mississippi” Rifle was manufactured at Harpers Ferry, Palmetto Armory in Columbia SC, Remington, Robbins, Kendall & Lawrence (Windsor), Tryon and also by Eli Whitney.  The total manufacture run of the M1841 numbered approximately 74,000 with the majority seeing action in the Civil War.  Originally manufactured in .54 caliber large numbers were rebored to .58 caliber prior to and during the war.

                There were at least eight different variations of the M1841 from 1846-1862.  The M1841 has the distinction of being a weapon not originally designed to use a bayonet.  Ironically it also holds the distinction of having the longest bayonet (30 3/8”) ever issued to a US martial arm.  There were more sight modifications and bayonet adaptations than any other US military arm.  In many ways the M1841 was a test bed arm on which a variety of bayonet styles and rear sights were tested.

                Originally designed with seven groove rifling in .54 caliber they were astoundingly accurate out to three hundred yards and still brutally lethal out to four hundred.  When converted to .58 caliber they were rifled in either three or seven groove and when coupled with the appropriate rear sight were lethal out to nine hundred yards.

The M1841 was justifiably well liked and respected by the men who carried them.  The Union men who carried them preferred them to all but the M1855 & 61 series arms.  Confederate soldiers, in particularly cavalry, thought highly of them.

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