Harpers Ferry Model 1841 US Percussion Rifle .54 Cal 33″, 1847 Antique

SOLD FOR: $3505

LSB#: 230804TM011

Make: Harper’s Ferry

Model: 1841 U.S. “Mississippi”

Serial Number: NSN

Year of Manufacture: 1847

Caliber: .54

Action Type: Single Shot, Muzzleloading Percussion Rifle

Barrel Length: 33”

Sights/Optics: The front sight is a blade fixed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “V” notch ladder slide that when flipped up has a “V” notch slider and “V” notch at the top.

Stock Configuration, and Condition: The stock is a one piece smooth wood with a large patchbox, brass mountings, two sling loops, straight comb, straight grip, ramrod groove with a steel trumpet head ramrod and brass butt plate. The plate has light dings throughout with minor nicks dotting the outer edge.  There are light to moderate nicks, dings, and compressions scattered throughout the stock, the majority of which have been oiled over. There are a handful of larger, more notable dings and compressions on either side of the stock. The LOP is 13.75” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. Overall, the stock is in Very Good – Very Good Plus condition, as an antique.

Type of Finish: Browned / Case Color

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is somewhat dim and the rifling is defined. There are spots of light erosion scattered through the bore with erosion in the grooves. In this writer’s opinion, the bore rates a 6.5 out of 10.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains none of its original metal finish. Much of the brown finish has worn away and the remainder visible can not be easily differentiated from patina. The metal shows light surface erosion, scrapes, dings and mottled discoloration on the lock and hammer. Screws are very lightly tool marked with strong slots and markings are generally clear. Overall, this rifle is in Good Plus condition, as an antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork, and Accessories: In the patch box, a 1817 Pattern female threaded worm, a female threaded ball puller, and percussion nipple are all present.

Our Assessment: Eli Whitney began work under his new contract with the U.S. government making the model 1841 percussion rifle when he took over management of the Harper’s Ferry armory in 1842, bringing along with him Thomas Warner, former master armorer at Springfield Armory. The 1841—or “Mississippi”, or “Yagger”—rifle was the first standardized U.S. arm to utilize a percussion lock system. While a great many were made at Harper’s Ferry like this example, and a great many were made under contract by concerns such as Remington, Palmetto Armory, Tryon, Robbins & Lawrence, who would make a total of 15,000 between 1848 and 1853. One would think this rifle would be better referred to as the “Vermont” or “Connecticut” given its origins, but the “Mississippi” name is actually derived from its role in the Mexican-American war, where its use resulted in a lifelong feud between future president Jefferson Davis and Colonel Winfield Scott. Often considered the most handsome of all percussion rifles, it seems worthy of the praise even today, and any collector of historical arms will want to train a keen eye on this example, that while missing a great deal of finish is in mostly good working order. Please see our photos and good luck with your bids!


Harpers Ferry Model 1841 US Percussion Rifle .54 Cal 33", 1847 Antique
Harpers Ferry Model 1841 US Percussion Rifle .54 Cal 33″, 1847 Antique