Item #17687

Civil War New England Target Rifle Made in Bangor Maine

  • Maker: Maine
  • Model: Percussion
  • Caliber: .48 Cal

  • Description: NSN, .48 caliber, 33 3/4” heavy octagon barrel with an excellent, bright bore. This is a 20 lb. behemoth of a percussion target/sharpshooter type rifle and was built by Charles V. Ramsdell of Bangor, ME, ca. 1861. This rifle is of a type commonly made by Ramsdell and is similar to those used by the Maine Sharpshooter's Company, but does not have a provision for a ramrod. Rather, a flared metal bench rest was once fitted to the underside of the barrel about 6” back from the muzzle but has since been removed. The barrel retains most of the original browned finish with scattered mottling and freckling throughout (most noticeably on a faded area along the top flats about 1' back from the muzzle). Additional silvering and fading is present on the high edges and two filled holes are present along the top just ahead of the breech where a scope or tube sight was once installed (a period globe front sight and windage-adjustable lollipop rear sight are currently installed). The barrel is maker marked: “C.V. RAMSDELL/Bangor, Me/CAST STEEL”, as is the back-action lockplate which retains slightly muted original color case-hardening mixing with a dull pewter gray around the edges. The walnut stock has a swooping cheek-piece and a mellow original oil finish with scattered light handling marks and small blemishes. Additionally, there is a short with-the-grain crack running back from the pewter forend cap on the right side, a stable cross-grain crack on the top of the wrist on the right side, and a small repair on the right side of the stock belly just aft of the wrist. The stock furniture retains the original color case-hardening as does the wrist tang. The lock functions flawlessly and the double set triggers have a crisp, extremely light let-off. Charles Ramsdell was perhaps the best known and highest quality gun maker in Maine before the Civil War, working from 1850 to around 1870. For reference see pages 68 to 70 of "Maine Made Guns and Their Makers" by Dwight B. Demeritt. Antique