Make: Harper’s Ferry, Under Supervision of J.H. Hall
Model: M1819 U.S. Rifle, Converted to Percussion, 2nd Production Run (1826-1838)
Serial Number: NSN
Year of Manufacture: 1831
Caliber: .52 Ball
Action Type: Single Shot, Hinged Bolt, Breech Loaded, Percussion Rifle
Markings: The top of the breech bolt is marked “J.H. HALL / H. FERRY / US / 1831”, the right side of the trigger and breech release lever are marked “IV” and “VI”, respectively, the top of the stock inside of the action area is stamped “H / A / VI”, the bottom of the wrist is marked “M”.
Barrel Length: 32 ½”, with 16-groove rifling
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a low profile blade, fixed to the barrel; the left side of the base of the sight is missing as photographed. The rear sight is a “V” notched base that is dovetailed onto the barrel; the sight is off center by design, as the hammer sits in the way of a normally ‘centered’ sighting system. The base has a small hash mark that is aligned with a centering mark on the barrel.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The smooth American walnut stock three barrel bands, the middle has a sling swivel, the forward one has two top straps and houses the steel ram rod; portions of wood surrounding the rod channel have chip losses, the exposed areas darkened from age. There are scattered scuff and scratch marks with light to moderate depth compressions. There is a line in the wood by the aft receiver bolt from a screwdriver, the damage looks to have occurred long ago. Despite its age, the wood to metal fit is superb! Please see our pictures. The LOP measures 14” from the front of the trigger to the back of the metal shotgun-style butt plate. The top of the plate extends into the metal and shows pin prick erosion and scattered compression marks. The stock rates in about Fine Plus overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blued & Case Hardened
Finish Originality: Original, please see Overall Condition
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is highly pronounced; the rifling stops 1.353” from the muzzle. There are patches of pitting in scattered areas, with light frosting on the lands and grooves.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 18% of its metal finish. The breech bolt contains most of the remaining finish with scattered instances where the bluing has survived on the barrel and receiver area. The metal has darkened to patina with areas of built surface oxidation and secluded areas of pin prick erosion. The surfaces have been unevenly cleaned, resulting in wire wheel and (steel wool?) marks on the surfaces; the barrel, between the front and middle barrel bands, shows heavier cleaning with white metal turning back to patina. The trigger guard has some moderate depth pits. Please see our photographs for full detail. The left side of the receiver is missing a screw that holds a stabilizing tab, which is included but not secured to the rifle. The receiver bolts on the left side, to include the butt plate screws show screwdriver tooling in the slots with evidence of tooling on the surrounding metal in some instances. The balance of the screw slots are only lightly tooled. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good Plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The rifle was converted from flintlock to percussion shortly after the invention of the cap. The breech hinges up allowing loading from the rear. A ramrod is included but was used primarily for cleaning the rifling. The breech has rattle in the receiver but the hammer and release lever have ample spring tension. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: From http://ww2.rediscov.com/spring/VFPCGI.exe?IDCFile=/spring/DETAILS.IDC,SPECIFIC=14880,DATABASE=objects “”In March 1819, the government hired John Hall to oversee the manufacturing of his patented rifles at Harpers Ferry Armory. Over the next 25 years, Harpers Ferry produced 19,870 flintlock and 3,000 percussion Hall rifles. Additionally, 5,700 flintlock Hall rifles were contracted for and manufactured by Simeon North of Middletown, Connecticut. The first deliveries to the field occurred in September 1825. One hundred twenty Hall rifles were sent to Fortress Monroe, Virginia, for use by the artillery school of practice. On July 27, 1826, 87 Hall rifles were issued to the two light companies at the school. They were used for guard duty, parades, drills and practice. The rifles were subject to all services performed in a garrison environment. The day after their issue to the two light companies, test trials were conducted on the rifle’s serviceability. These trials lasted for the next five months. In trials for accuracy, at a distance of 408 yards, the Hall struck the 12-foot-square target 21 times, while the Model 1803 rifle struck the target 14 times and only four times for the smoothbore musket. A Hall rifle was discharged 8,710 times and found still in serviceable condition. The December 11, 1826, report from the school was of the opinion that the Hall rifle was superior to all other types of small arms then in service. With these favorable results, the four light infantry companies at the infantry school at Jefferson Barracks Missouri were directed to be issued Hall rifles.” – McAulay” This rifle has a very well preserved wood stock with sharp markings and only minor cosmetic damages. The metal was unevenly cleaned at different intervals, resulting in wire wheel and other cleaning marks. The bore has highly pronounced rifling with scattered instances of pitting; frost has gathered in patches throughout the bore, in light form. The rifle was converted to percussion shortly after the invention of the cap in 1820. This highly historic rifle would do well in ANY early American or military firearm collection. Please see our pictures and good luck!