Pattern 1853 Three-band Enfield Rifled-Musket - Manufactured by Tower, dated 1862. This .577 caliber longarm is a British export made for Civil War service. The Lockplate wears a dark gray patina with standard markings of the Victoria “Crown” back of the hammer and sharp, block letters “TOWER / 1862”. Crown device is sharp. View / proof marks in one line are clear on the barrel near the left breech and shows “proof - 25 – proof - 25 – proof.” The underside of the stock is marked, "C. Maybury". Ramrod is present. The long range rear sight is still present.
Note: Bullet is stuck in the barrel.
The Enfield Pattern 1853 rifle-musket (also known as the Pattern 1853 Enfield, P53 Enfield, and Enfield rifle-musket) was a .577 calibre Minié-type muzzle-loading rifle-musket, used by the British Empire from 1853 to 1867, after which many Enfield 1853 rifle-muskets were converted to (and replaced in service by) the cartridge-loaded Snider-Enfield rifle. Just over 500,000 Pattern 1853 muskets were purchased / imported by the US Ordnance Department during the Civil War.
The term “rifle-musket” originally referred to muskets with the smooth-bored barrels replaced with rifled barrels. The length of the barrels were unchanged, allowing the weapons to be fired by rank, since a long rifle was necessary to enable the muzzles of the second rank of soldiers to project beyond the faces of the men in front. The weapon would also be sufficiently long when fitted with a bayonet to be effective against cavalry. Such guns manufactured with rifled barrels, muzzle loading, single shot, and utilizing the same firing mechanism, also came to be called rifle-muskets.
The 39 in (99 cm) barrel had three grooves, with a 1:78 rifling twist, and was fastened to the stock with three metal bands, so that the rifle was often called a "three band" model.
The rifle's cartridges contained 68 grains (4.4 g) of black powder, and the ball was typically a 530-grain (34 g) Pritchett or a Burton-Minié, which would be driven out at about 850 to 900 feet (259 - 274m) per second. It was developed by William Pritchett in the 1850s.
The Enfield’s adjustable ladder rear sight had steps for 100 yards (91 m) – the default or “battle sight” range – 200 yards (180 m), 300 yards (270 m), and 400 yards (370 m). For distances beyond that, an adjustable flip-up blade sight was graduated (depending on the model and date of manufacture) from 900 yards (820 m) to 1,250 yards (1,140 m). British soldiers were trained to hit a target 6 feet (180 cm) by 2 feet (61 cm) – with a 2 feet (61 cm) diameter bull's eye, counting 2 points – out to 600 yards (550 m). The target used from 650 yards (590 m) to 900 yards (820 m) had a 3 feet (91 cm) bull's eye, with any man scoring 7 points with 20 rounds at that range being designated a marksman.
The Enfield 1853 rifle-musket was also used by both the North and the South in the American Civil War, and was the second most widely used infantry weapon in the war, surpassed only by the Springfield Model 1861 Rifled Musket. The Confederates imported more Enfields during the course of the war than any other small arm, buying from private contractors and gun runners. It has been estimated that over 900,000 P53 Enfields were imported to America and saw service in every major engagement from the Battle of Shiloh (April, 1862) and the Siege of Vicksburg (May 1863), to the final battles of 1865. The gun was highly sought after in the Confederate ranks. According to a survey taken by British officials during the early stages of war on the arms of the Western Confederate Forces, nearly 70% were armed with smoothbore arms, such as the Model 1842 Springfield, among others. Later in the war the same survey was taken, they found that more than 75% had attained a rifle and most being the Pattern 1853 Enfield.
Inventory Number: RIF 002