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Model 1861 Percussion Rifle-Musket


Springfield 1861 Rifle-musket
Springfield 1861 Rifle-musket

Common name:   Springfield Rifle-Musket

Description:   The Model 1861 was the standard rifle-musket used throughout the war. A single-shot, muzzle-loading gun detonated with a percussion cap, it was originally made by the Springfield Armory, but due to the need for more firearms, the U.S. government contracted with twenty private contractors. It is estimated that about one million Model 1861-type muskets were manufactured during the war. It was a modification of the Model 1855 rifle-musket that eliminated the patch box and the Maynard tape primer. These changes lowered its manufacturing costs and time, both of which were beneficial to a country at war and in need of firearms.
(from Civil War @ Smithsonian)

Employment at Sharpsburg:   This was the most common weapon in most Federal Infantry units at Antietam. It was also in wide use in Confederate units following capture and battlefield scavenging. A large number of these were captured at Harpers Ferry immediately before the battle.

Ammunition Used:   .58 caliber bullet (minie ball)

Manufacturer:   Springfield (MA) Armory and others later    Where made:   Springfield, Mass.    Model:   1861    Year(s) made:   1861-1865

Maximum Range:   500 yards     Effective Range:   300 yards     

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