Premier Firearms Auction
May 12, 13, 14, & 15, 2023
Early Civil War Henry 1860 Lever Action Rifle
Cal. 44 Henry Rimfire
Address & “HENRY’S PATENT OCT. 16, 1860” marking.
Shroud at forward portion of barrel rotates for loading. German silver blade front sight, open dovetail on barrel with receiver mounted graduated leaf rear sight. Brass frame. Walnut stock with early style rounded point crescent brass trapdoor buttplate. Inside toe of buttplate has matching serial number as do both buttplate screws & both upper tang screws. Lower tang screw is not numbered.
Interesting that this rifle has no internal New Haven Arms inspection marks usually (H) for Henry (H) or (W) for Winchester. All noted civilian privately purchased rifles have some internal factory proof mark. Rifles bought by US military in 3000 S# range have no factory inspection markings, only military proofs externally.
There were 50 initial rifles sent to Colonel Lafayette Baker on June 19, 1863 for field use with 1st DC Cavalry. This is likely one of those guns which went straight to field without going to any armory or ordnance facility for inspection. Wiley sword in his 2006 text “The Historic Henry Rifle” states “..it is likely that no special identifying markings were applied to them by the factory inspectors on behalf of the US government”.
This fine survivor that likely saw early Civil War service with 1st DC cavalry. There are in National Archive records of 21 1st DC cavalry rifles reissued to 3rd Veteran Reserves that were are in range 1491-2573, two bracket this one 1732 & 1798. This rifle is most likely one of the early rifles sent direct from Henry to 1st DC cavalry.
UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: 1 fired cartridge found in buttstock compartment.