Heavy benchrest target rifle manufactured in the 1850s by G.R. Pierce of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Heavy, telescoped target rifles were used by sharpshooter companies throughout the Civil War. These “heavies”, perhaps one per company, were retained and carried in supply wagons and brought forward and issued to the most skilled marksmen when situations warranted. Winslow Homer’s iconic 1863 painting “Sharpshooter” depicts a Union marksman perched in a tree with a scoped heavy target rifle, drawing a bead on his Confederate opponent. This G.R. Pierce rifle weighs 22.6 pounds and has a heavy, octagonal barrel with removable false muzzle and .46 caliber bore. The nipple is original and in very good condition, set into a snail shaped bolster. The telescopic sight has clear optics and bears the G.R. Pierce maker’s mark along the top of the rear end. The action is tight and crisp and holds on all positions. The original wooden ramrod is stowed under the barrel. The walnut stock remains in excellent condition with a beautiful grain. All metal surfaces have aged to a pleasant gray/plum patina. A finely crafted, American made target rifle that could easily have seen Civil War service.
Inventory Number: RIF 158 / SOLD