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John Gunderson Antique Militaria
Needham conversion Bridesburg M1861 musket - $1650.00

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Needham breechloading conversion of a Bridesburg M1861 musket, dated 1862 on lock. Metal parts are light gray except dark casehardened breech, with a light granular pitting overall. Stock shows faint original inspector cartouche and "J.F.CROWLEY" neatly stamped twice. Research done by Nancy Dearing Rossbacher has shown that this was likely the personal rifle of a longtime employee of the Bridesburg Manufacturing Company itself. While making and converting firearms was their business during the war and immediately after, their primary business was machinery for the textile industry. Jeremiah Francis Crowley lived from c1847-1922, had a patent in his name in 1871, had involvement in trading cotton and sheep, and gave testimony in the mid-1880s about the need for infrastructure to support promising trade with Central and South America. Stock may have been lightly refinished, still has nice edges, shows scattered handling marks, small grain crack in front of the triggerguard, a repaired sliver below the lock mortise. Left side of butt by buttplate has an enigmatic spade-shaped marking with US over 8 stamped neatly inside. These markings were seen on guns that came out of a single collection in Connecticut some time ago. While this gun may not have been in Fenian hands, it is interesting to hold the personal rifle of one the men possibly engaged in making it. Mechanically good, sold as a collector item only, not warranted safe to shoot.