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F143. CONFEDERATE JS MARKED ENFIELD – "FURNISHER" CONTACT MARKED "J" FOR C.W. JAMES, & INVENTORY CONTROL NUMBERED BUTT PLATE: This musket is an extremely rare "J" marked contract rifle produced by C.W. James Birmingham. The gun shows heavy use and evidence of being arsenal repaired. I discovered it at the Baltimore Antique Arms show and passed by it several time because I did not see a Tower lock on the gun. However, when I picked it up I saw the Inventory Control Number 8921A on the butt plate and the JS on the underside of the stock. The Confederates where known for sending damaged weapons back to the armory to be repaired, and this is one such example. As you look at the stock you can see there was some battle damaged, which must have destroyed the original lock. The armory repaired the stock and used a Moore "M" Enfield rifle musket lock dated 1863 for a replacement. As you look at the photos, you can see the patina on the lock, wood and screwed is untouched and evidence of being together since the Civil War. The numbered butt plate is deeply etched and the "J" is clearly visible on the top of the stock near the butt plate tang. The JS shows the expected wear, but is easy to read. Just the way you want to find them! The barrel and bands all have a deep brown patina, and there is still rifling in the barrel. The ram-rod does not have a control number, but is period and one inch short. It is not often that you will see a totally un-touched example of a Confederate M1853 Enfield musket, especially one that have an Inventory Control number on the butt plate, JS marked, and the even rarer "J" Furnisher mark on the stock. If it had a matching ram-rod, rear site and original Tower lock this gun could easily sell for $9000.00. However, since it has the arsenal repair the gun is available for less.
With care, I pulled the lock and you can see that the patina on the wood and metal show that the repair and replaced lock were done a long time ago and is period.
I just love this gun because it speaks volumes about how resourceful the South was to keep weapons in the hands of Confederate soldiers. $2600.00
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