Shooting Sports USA - January 2021 - 44

PAGE FROM HISTORY: AMERICAN RIFLEMAN

This Old Gun:
Pattern 1853 Enfield

S

imply put, the Pattern 1853 Enfield
rifle-musket, along with its variants,
is one of the most important firearms
of the 19th century. Following limited
introductory service in the Crimean War
(1853-56), the rifle became a cause célèbre
in events leading up to the Sepoy Mutiny of
1857 (or India's First War for Independence)
when its paper cartridge was suspected
of being greased with animal fat (pig,
mutton or beef)-anathema to Hindu and
Muslim troops alike. Forced usage by native
soldiers sparked a bloody insurrection and
forever changed the political climate on the
subcontinent.
As well as being issued to British regulars
and colonial troops, huge numbers of
Pattern 1853 rifle-muskets saw widespread
use during the American Civil War, China's
Taiping Rebellion and in numerous other
conflicts around the world. Recently, for
instance, a few have been encountered
by U.S. servicemen fighting in the Middle

44

JANUARY 2021 | SSUSA.ORG

East, as British and Khyber Pass-made '53s
were hot items for decades after it had been
retired in the United Kingdom.
The basic P'53 rifle-musket (there were also
Short Rifle and Artillery and Cavalry Carbine
models) was an elegant, well-made smallarm.
Its 39-inch blued barrel was secured to the
full-length walnut stock by three barrel bands,
unlike earlier British service longarms that
were pinned or keyed to their stocks.
The rifle shown here is a " Tower " 1856-dated
British so-called " second issue " featuring
solid bands retained by springs in the French
and American fashion and a button-head
ramrod-a style that would eventually be
replaced by the more commonly seen slotted
jag in a subsequent modification.
As this is an Indian Rebellion-era piece in
NRA Antique Very Good condition with its
original ramrod, it will bring something of
a premium over later P'53s that are much
more common. Because of that fact it is
easily worth $2,500.

PHOTO BY NRA MUSEUMS

BY GARRY JAMES


https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2020/12/4/this-old-gun-pattern-1853-enfield https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2020/12/4/this-old-gun-pattern-1853-enfield http://www.SSUSA.ORG

Shooting Sports USA - January 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA - January 2021

Contents
Shooting Sports USA - January 2021 - Cover1
Shooting Sports USA - January 2021 - 2
Shooting Sports USA - January 2021 - 3
Shooting Sports USA - January 2021 - Contents
Shooting Sports USA - January 2021 - 5
Shooting Sports USA - January 2021 - 6
Shooting Sports USA - January 2021 - 7
Shooting Sports USA - January 2021 - 8
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Shooting Sports USA - January 2021 - 44
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