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SN 3423. Cal 44 RF Henry. Standard Henry rifle with 24-1/4″ oct bbl that has integral magazine, a replacement copper front sight blade & fixed rear sight in the bbl dovetail. Top flat of bbl has the early Henry Patent date & address in small lettering. Frame is 2nd type with milled recess for the magazine follower on the bottom front. Mounted with uncheckered straight grain American walnut with straight stock and first type brass buttplate with rounded heel & large trap which contains an orig 4-pc hickory & iron wiping rod. SN was observed on top flat of bbl between rear sight & receiver, left side of lower tang under the wood, in top tang channel of buttstock and inside toe of buttplate. Buttplate screws are matching numbered to the rifle while the 3 tang screws are properly un-numbered but are undoubtedly orig to this rifle. Rnd portion of the bbl under the loading sleeve is marked with the assembly number “868” with matching number on rear face of loading sleeve. Right forward side of the frame is marked with the inspector initials “HC” with a corresponding “C” on the bbl at the frame along with the inspector initials “C.G.C” (Charles G. Chapman). Adjacent to the initials on the frame are 3 partial stamped initials that appear to be “H-R-“. Right side of the wrist has a faint, partially legible “CGC” cartouche. Right heel of the buttplate has a small “C” inspector initial with a corresponding “C” adjacent on the wood. Left side of the buttstock, near the buttplate has 4 stamped initials that are partially legible that are possibly “V–W”. Accompanied by a Springfield Research Service letter which identifies this rifle as having been issued to private James Curran of Company K, 3rd U.S. Veteran Volunteer Infantry which occurred in May 1865. This unit was organized in February and March of 1865 to be an elite corp of shock troops. They were recruited from seasoned veterans units and issued repeating rifles. As part of their enlistment, with honorable service at the time of discharge they were allowed to keep their issued arms & accoutrements. Apparently most of them availed themselves of this opportunity. General Lee’s surrender in April 1865 left the unit with little to do but garrison duty around Washington D.C. They were eventually transferred to Camp Butler, Illinois and mustered out of service July 20 1866. Also accompanying is Private Curran’s enlistment paper dated 1 March 1865, for a period of 1 year. Additionally accompanied by copies of 4 of Private Curran’s muster roll papers which shows that he was mustered out March 2, 1866 at Fort Snelling, MN. Also accompanying is a copy of a general order dated September 21,1865 entitled “The following method of loading the Henry Rifle is hereby published for the instruction and guidance for the officers of the 3rd REGT. U.S. Vet. Vol” which lists 8 steps in the process. According to The Henry Rifle, Quick there were a total of 1,731 Henry rifles purchased by the Union government between April 1863 and May 1865. There were approximately 800 Type Irifles delivered in that time frame. The remaining 900 or so rifles are divided between early deliveries which were not inspector marked and the approximately 600 Type II rifles delivered between 1864-1865 that are found in the 7000-9000 serial range. The majority of those 3rd Veteran Volunteer Infantry Henry rifles examined by this cataloger have generally been in rather poor condition having seen hard service after the war on the American frontier. Rarely are they found with visible cartouche or any orig finish. CONDITION: Fine, all matching. Bbl & magazine retain a fine smooth plummy brown patina over all the surfaces, stronger in the gullets and in protected areas. Receiver shows light to moderate sharp edge wear with a wonderful, even, medium mustard patina having only a few minor nicks & scratches. Stock has a hairline back of top tang with a small gouge on left side of wrist and another on right side of buttstock with small slivers missing from the toe, otherwise wood is sound showing a hand worn patina. Mechanics are fine, strong dark bore. 51633-1 JRL (25,000-35,000) – Lot 1012

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Auction: Firearms - April 2017
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.