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LOT 1012
Civil War Production New Haven Arms Henry Lever Action Rifle -
Serial no. 2908, 44 Henry RF cal., 24 inch octagon bbl., blue finish, walnut stock. This first model Henry lever action rifle was manufactured in 1863. The rifle has the distinctive brass receiver and crescent buttplate, with octagon barrel and integral 15-shot magazine. The rifle has the first style receiver with rear sight dovetail and early style buttplate with rounded heel. The rear sight dovetail on the receiver was discontinued about serial number 3,000, and a buttplate with pointed heel was introduced at about serial number 4,000. The barrel has the second pattern nickel silver front sight blade with tapered front and third pattern folding leaf rear sight.
The third pattern rear sight is distinguished by “900” stamped below the center notch in the top of the leaf elevator bar with rounded ends, and lack of the elevator stop screw in the top of the leaf (elevator absent). The stock and barrel are fitted with a sling swivel and loop for a sling hook. Sling swivels and loops were extra cost, special order items until mid-1863. The buttplate has a hinged brass trapdoor (cleaning rod not included).
14 The stock is straight grain American walnut with a varnished piano finish.
The rifle has a blue barrel and integral magazine. The hammer, trigger, and lever are color casehardened. The top barrel flat is roll stamped with the two-line legend “HENRY’S PATENT. OCT. 16. 1860/MANUFACT’D BY THE NEWHAVEN ARMS.CO. NEWHAVEN.CT.” The matching serial number
is stamped on the top barrel flat between the rear sight and the receiver, the left side of the lower receiver tang beneath the stock, the stock in the upper tang inlet, the inside of the buttplate below the trap, and the hand- fitted buttplate screws.
Experts believe that most of the 7,500 Henry rifles manufactured between April 1862 and January 1865 were purchased for use in the Civil War
and saw some military service. Aside from 900 rifles purchased by the Ordnance Department in 1863-1864 to arm the 1st D.C. Cavalry Regiment, nearly all Henry rifles used in the Civil War were privately purchased by soldiers who wanted to have the most advanced firearm available and take advantage of the sustained firepower of a 15-shot magazine rifle. Only
one digit away from this example, Henry rifle no. 2909 is inscribed to killed in action Civil War solider J.A. McClure of D., 57th Regiment (see Sword’s
“The Historic Henry Rifle,” page 81). As
a rifle that saw use during the Civil War, the
great majority of the Henry rifles under serial number
7,500 show moderate to heavy wear.
CONDITION: Very good plus as a well cared for Civil War era Henry rifle.
The barrel and magazine tube have an untouched mottled brown patina. The brass has a very attractive honey color appearance. The receiver has some repetitive dents/dings visible in the forward portion, both sides, tight fitting side plates otherwise. The stock is also very good with dings and scratches associated with a lifetime of use. Mechanically excellent. A solid example of Oliver Winchester’s famed Civil War repeater.
Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000

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