Looking for info on an 1863 50 Cal. Springfield

Discussion in 'Springfield Armory General Rifle Discussion' started by Coinfiender, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. Coinfiender

    Coinfiender New Member

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    In 2011 my father passed, leaving me half of his firearms collection. I was always drawn to 2 of the old black powder guns in his collection. I never gave second thought that they might be valuable until I actually inspected them for the 1st time in 30 years. I'm a collector of anything old, namely, coins and US currency. You can imagine my surprise, once the grieving subsided, when I read the words, "1863 U.S. Springfield". I took the gun to a local gunsmith and old friend of the family, who simply told me, " Yep, that's a nice gun you got, you wanna sell me the knife"? Hinting that he wants the bayonet attached. He was able to tell me that all parts are authentic, as far as the gun being issued by Springfield and any alterations appear to be made by the manufacturer. The gun was converted to be a breach loading gun. I'm far from an expert, but my thoughts are from the info I've gathered, that this piece was issued as a round ball gun in 1863 and then converted by Springfield in 1869 to a breach loading gun. The plate that the cocking trigger is attached to reads "U.S. Springfield". At the top, base of the rifle itself, just behind the sights, it simply says, " 1869 U.S.". Other than this, all pieces of the gun, carry the same serial number, "3074". The gun has a bayonet attached, and somehow managed to steer clear of my high school years of stripping and re-staining a few of dads shotguns. The gun has been in the family for the last 60 to 75 years, has what I believe to be, an authentic patina, both on the metal and the wood of the gun. Its my speculation that the gun had been dropped in action and picked back up on the battlefield, as on the butt of the stock are faint remnants of 2 or 3 sets of initials. My thoughts are that this gun may have been used as the snipers gun of choice during the civil war years, as the sights are those used for distance accuracy and flip up. The more I look at and verify things about the gun that I have been told over the past 30+ years, the more I fall in love with this piece. It's in extremely good condition and have no doubt that it would fire, AS IS. I plan to contact Springfield to see if they can identify the gun by serial number. If anyone can assist me in finding out what this gun may be worth, I would be grateful. I can email photo's, but the info I have provided is accurate as far as determining condition of the gun. I appreciate any help!
     
  2. gumpy

    gumpy Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Good evening sir. Thank you for joining our forum. Just jump in and be happy! Whatever you find out about this rifle, please keep us filled in. Photographs at this time would be helpful also. Pictures are always required. That's so we have something to drool over!!
     

  3. squirrelhunter

    squirrelhunter Well-Known Member

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  4. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    You should pick up a copy of Guns Of The Old West, by Charles Edward Chapel. There are several copies at ABEBooks.com for less than $5. I would be surprised if you did NOT find the gun in there.