Sold For: $4,005.00
Model: U.S. 1862 Contract Model
Serial Number: NSN
Year of Manufacture: 1863
Caliber: .58 Caliber Ball
Action Type: Single Shot, Muzzle Loaded Percussion Rifle
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “STEEL” with “B.H.” inspector mark, the top is marked “US / V / P” and an inspection mark, the upper tang is marked “1863”. The lock plate is marked “1863 / REMINGTON’S / ILION N.Y. / U.S. / R”. The butt plate is marked “H / U.S.”, the patch box is marked “P”, the trigger guard is marked “H”, the underside of the trigger plate is marked “P”. The left of the hammer is marked “H”. The left of the barrel bands are marked “U”, the underside of the front is marked “P”, the rear with “A”. The left of the stock has two inspector cartouches, the upper one is faded and would have been an arsenal inspection, the other was from a factory inspector and looks to read “AJB”. The bayonet is marked “S” on the left of the ricasso, “C” on the left of the guard, “C” on the right and “BH” on top of the hilt. The frog stud of the scabbard is marked “C”.
Barrel Length: 33”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade upon a rounded base, near the muzzle. The rear sight is a standing “U” leaf with two other flip-up blades are marked for 300 and 500 yard adjustments, they are currently stuck in the downward position.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stock is smooth walnut with brass fixtures, a nose cap with sling swivel on the first of two brass barrel bands and the rear swivel is found on the trigger guard. The wood has absolutely beautiful grain and surface texture, its fit to the metal components is seamless to the touch. There are some scrape marks on the left at the cartouche marks, on the flanks of the forend and on the belly. There are some small chip losses of wood by the ram rod slot; all said, this is one of the best preserved rifles from the Civil War era that we have come across, perhaps ever with few others showing such rich tone. The LOP measures 13 1/2” from the front of the trigger to the back of the brass butt plate; the plate has natural aged patina and mild marks, the right side patch box has similar aging and minor marks, the fit to wood is very nice, please see our pictures. The stock rates in about Fine Plus to Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: The barrel is blue, the brass items are in the white, the lock and plate are case colored.
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is brilliant with highly defined 7-groove rifling. There is no visible erosion.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 90% of its metal finish. The barrel near the muzzle has some light surface etching and a shift to plum/cocoa patina, the brass items have verdigris, we did not remove this to preserve its natural aging. The top of the bands have some dings and there is a general shift to dijon mustard patina. The lock and plate have silvering to the case coloring, in some cases leading to frosting on the surface. The left of the butt plate has some mild surface erosion. The case coloring of the plate is still discernible, please see our pictures of this beautiful rifle! The screw heads are highly preserved with only a small amount of tooling. The markings are slightly faded on the upper tang, all are fully legible. Overall, this rifle rates in about Fine Plus to Excellent condition for its age.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger pull is crisp and short. The nipple has light marks, but does not show contortion. 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: Included is a ‘tulip’ ram rod that shows mild patina and surface etching, rating in Fine Plus condition. Also included is a correct sword bayonet with armory bright blade, brass guard and ribbed hilt. The lug mechanism still functions correctly, locking tightly onto the rifle. The blade is 20″ and has some spots of surface etching, including a few sparse spots of dark oxidation. The OAL is 24 3/4″, the apex is still sharp and the cutting edge has not been re-sharpened. The brass items have a natural dark patina and mild erosion, rating in Fine condition. A correct brass and leather scabbard is included, the tip is broken off but included in the auction, it looks like there was glue applied to the inside at some point. The leather body has scrapes through the black finish, the brass items have natural patina and mild erosion, rating in about Good condition.
Our Assessment: Only 10,000 “Harpers Ferry” type rifles were made by Remington for the U.S. government during the American Civil War, these rifles are known to be some of the finest items ever produced by the company to that point. With the 7-groove rifling and effective sights, this rifle would have been the envy of the battle field and would have been one of the higher quality weapons of the era. The name Zouave is apparently a harkening to the bayonet that almost looks like a French Yataghan type but with a less exaggerated swoop to the blade. This rifle retains most of its finish, with an absolutely beautiful walnut stock and a bright, sharp bore that looks better than some guns from the 1970’s. Absolute craftsmanship is readily noted upon first sight. With the correct bayonet and scabbard, this will be the envy of any collection. Please see our pictures and good luck.