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   According to author George Moller, fewer than 4,105 U.S. Harpers Ferry Model 1803 rifles were manufactured between 1804 and 1807
 LOT 350
Rare and Significant Documented 1804 Dated U.S. Harpers Ferry Model 1803 Flintlock Rifle - Serial no. 974, 54 cal., 32 7/8 inch part octagon bbl., brown/ bright finish, walnut stock. The U.S. Model 1803 was the first true military rifle issued by the U.S. government. Prior rifles were basically civilian American long rifles purchased from gunmakers, but this model was designed and manufactured at the Harper’s Ferry Arsenal. It is also distinct from the rifles that followed thanks to its half-stock configuration and under-rib on the barrel. Altogether, they are unique and historically significant
U.S. martial arms. This early Type I Model 1803 is pictured and discussed in the “Model 1803 Harpers Ferry Rifle” chapter on pages 336-346 in “American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume II: From the 1790s to the End of the Flintlock Period” by George Moller and has his discreet “GDM” collection mark by the toe. This variation was manufactured in 1804-1807 and limited to around 3,914 to 4,105 rifles
per Moller’s work. It has seven-groove rifling, low profile blade and notch sights, a “wedding band” at the transition point, the sunken “eagle head/P” and “US” proofs and stamped “974” on the upper left barrel flat at the breech, “eagle/US” at the center of the lock, “HARPERS/FERRY/1804” on the tail of the lock, “13 V” inside the lock, brass furniture, iron ramrod with flared tip, oval “V/IP” cartouche (Harper’s
Ferry Superintendent Joseph Perkins) on the left stock flat, “L” behind the trigger guard, “IW” hand carved above the cheek rest which has an incised line border, and a worm and vent pick inside the patchbox. CONDITION: Very good plus with a mix
of gray and brown patina on the lock
and barrel, mild pitting on the lock and around the vent, attractive aged patina on the brass furniture, and mild overall wear. The stock is very good with mild scratches and dings, a few tiny flakes at the edges, and faint hairline cracks in
the butt. Mechanically fine. This is a rare opportunity to get your hands on an incredible early and historically significant Model 1803 flintlock rifle documented in one of the comprehensive books on U.S. martial arms.
Provenance: The George Moller Collection; Property of a Gentleman. Estimate: 16,000 - 25,000

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