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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    King of Prussia, PA
    Posts
    261

    Re: SN&WTC 1863 type 1 Springfield 2 band

    Were SN&WTC still making M-1861's in 1864? I own a cut-down rifle with a SN&WTC lockplate dated 1864. The origional stock and barrel bands are from a M-1861. The hammer is from a M-1863, but that might have been a replacement to match the cone on the .54 cal. barrel now on the weapon.

    I've often thought about replacing the barrel and stock fore end, but I'd like to get it right.
    Bill Rodman, King of Prussia, PA

  2. #12
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    Re: SN&WTC 1863 type 1 Springfield 2 band

    Hallo!

    Most of the older references, and opinions, on Norris & Clement's are vague or wrong. Such as the 2,000 "Springfield Rifle Muskets' in 1863 and another 1,000 of the same in 1864. Which always bothered me because it did not conform to the MASS Adjutant General's Report citing the Master of Ordnance report for 1864 of 11,000.



    IMHO, while we do not have the full picture, a key piece of expanding our knowledge was a look at the often talked about but not located and shared, Massachusetts' contracts.

    In March 1863 the State of Massachusetts passed a resolution calling for the purchase of 13,000 stands of rifle-muskets for the use of MASS troops. Governor Anders formed a three man commission to study availability of RM arms and the costs. In April the commission toured gun makers in New England, asking for proposals.

    But, none were forthcoming as they all were either busy finishing up their 1862 and 1863 contracts for M1861's or SM1861's for the Federal government.. it just recently having made the switch to the new M1863 authorized in February 1863.

    Norris & Clement had no contract(s) to make M1861's.

    While the getting was good, Samuel Norris wrote to Chief of Ordnance Ramsay in September of 1863 seeking a contract to make 20,000 RM's (presumed to be contract M1861's but may be not) for $19 a stand. Ramsay was suspicious as S.N. & W.T.C. were minor players. Ramsay denied a contract, in October, politely saying he was not interested in arms mostly assembled from parts made by subcontractors and not complete arms on site.

    And then in stepped the State of Massachusetts looking for guns. MASS gave S.N. &. W.T. C. a contract for 13,000 M1863 RM's with appendages. By the end of December 1863. Norris & Clement had delivered 2001. The rest were delivered in 1864.

    Ah... the M1861 S.N. & W. T. C.

    A mystery gun, as the vast majority of Norris & Clements are 1863 or 1864 dated M1863's.

    But there ARE a small number of M1861's with 1863 or 1864 N & C locks. One that is referenced is really nice, and came out of a Hollywood gun rental company. It is often held up as a Hollywooo composite of pieces parts with a N & C lock but on a Muir or Savage contract.
    But, Muir had already been in trouble for doing what Norris did, "assembling" guns from subcontract pieces parts.

    In my heresies there is a remote possibility that the M1861 N & C's were Muir, and Savage, and other contractor assembled parts as part of Norris sample models for their sales pitch to show that they could do the work and deliver guns. (Stampings such as barrel proofs V, P, Eagle Head) and inspector stamps and cartouches are IDable to contractors as the Government wanted to trace barrels if flawed in service..)
    But in the Vacuum of History, they may also be Hollywood composites or for that matter composite surplus sold off post War. (However, it is impossible to know whether say Bannerman's replaced a missing site with an
    "M1864" rear sight, or a dealer did it in 1961, or a hobbyists in 1991. There is a well known collector and dealer here in town that is infamous for swapping parts to make guns 'better' etc., etc.).

    At any rate, not everything in the "literature" and knowledge pool" adds up to the complete N & C story- but the more recent dated documents is helping.

    Curt
    Heretic
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    -Hard and sharp as flint...secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.
    -Haplogroup R1b M343 (Subclade R1b1a2 M269)
    -Pointless Folksy Wisdom Mess, Oblio Lodge #1
    -Vastly Ignorant

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    250

    Arrow Re: SN&WTC 1863 type 1 Springfield 2 band

    Quote Originally Posted by Davesb View Post
    He mentioned one he had for sale and gave me the details on it. Of course, claiming it was all original. I had speculated that it had been cleaned and possibly had the stock stripped and refinished, he had agreed to the possibility. Although, still swearing it to be all original parts. I can't help but think I have been taken by someone who would have known it to not be an original rifled musket.
    I think the problem here is one of idiom. In the N-SSA, when someone is selling a gun and says "all original parts", it's commonly understood that said parts aren't from the same gun, and may not be in the original configuration. That means something different to a living history participant than it does to a skirmisher.

    If I were in your position, I would offer it for sale on the N-SSA web site for $50 more than you paid for it (with the understanding that they're going to try to talk you down on the price), and using mostly the same words he used: SN&WTC "artillery rifle", made from all original parts, good shooter, just need to thin the herd. Something like that. With Nationals coming up in two weeks, I bet you won't have to wait long.
    Michael McComas
    drudge-errant

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    199

    Re: SN&WTC 1863 type 1 Springfield 2 band

    Well said and evaluated Herr Schmidt.
    Thomas Pare Hern
    Co. A, 4th Virginia
    Stonewall Brigade

  5. #15
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    Re: SN&WTC 1863 type 1 Springfield 2 band

    Hallo!

    Danke sehr, Herr TP.

    I would like to emphasis Herr Michael's excellent advice, and add that I find it highly useful to look at "Reenacting" and N-SSA "Skirmishing" competitive target shooting) as apples and oranges. Being
    different "hobbies," the culture and language are different. The members of reenacting/living history and the N-SSA who "cross over" and do both are statistically very very small (look at N-SSA skirmish photos aside from the Miller Award competitors).

    (Not saying one is superior or inferior to the other, just that culture, language, and activities are different branches on a Civil War interest tree with different fruit.

    An aside to that language and culture, is jargon and terminology. I well remember the heyday of custom-builts were lads like myself were "building" long arms using various approaches such as restoring originals, using original parts gathered and collected from a number of sources, or mixing and matching increasingly available exact reproductions of original parts (unlike Italian parts).

    Unfortunately in my opinion now, we contributed to the death and destruction of many intact original arms because to feed the demand where supply was small, a number of dealers and suppliers started striping down intact originals (not just post War surplus shotgun pieces) because parts were worth 4-5 plus times more than the cost of an intact arm.

    Anyways... "original parts" can mean just that, that the pieces are parts are original.. not necessarily ALL from one intact "original" gun. IMHO, saying that a gun is "original" implies its being intact. Saying it is "original parts" means it may have parts from other guns.

    Were the N & S "artillery rifle" mine, and I were NOT a member of the N-SSA.. and I was a member of the Civil War Community segment where I could not use it.. I would do as Herr Michael suggests and sell it on the N-SSA market.

    Oh, another aside. A quick way to spot an N-SSA gun, NUG, is to look for modifications to the rear sight, and particularly most often its front sight being replaced with a taller "blade" to facilitate 50 yard target shooting.
    As a result of the higher front sight to lower POI at 50 yards, the bayonet no longer fits. Especially so in "artillery rifles" if the barrel end has not ben turned down. Since fixed bayonets are not much part of the N-SSA.. a fixable bayonet is not important.

    And every once in a while, I see an N-SSA gun for sale that still has traces of day-glo orange, green, etc., paint on the front sight.

    Curt
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    -Hard and sharp as flint...secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.
    -Haplogroup R1b M343 (Subclade R1b1a2 M269)
    -Pointless Folksy Wisdom Mess, Oblio Lodge #1
    -Vastly Ignorant

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    King of Prussia, PA
    Posts
    261

    Re: SN&WTC 1863 type 1 Springfield 2 band

    Curt,

    Thanks for the excellent information.
    Bill Rodman, King of Prussia, PA

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    4

    Re: SN&WTC 1863 type 1 Springfield 2 band

    Thanks for everything gents, I will take your advice.
    Dave Winter

    "Good.... Bad.... I'm the one with the gun." -Ash

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