1861 Richmond Rifle Musket

September of 1861 saw the birth of the Richmond Rifle Musket, the Richmond Armory (Old State Armoury) located at the foot of 7th Street along the banks of the James River in Richmond Virginia. The river would supply the Armory the water it needed to turn the machinery to manufacture small arms.

Approximately 2200, 61 Richmond High Humps were manufactured during the last 3 months of the year, all of these weapons lockplates were without the C.S. markings. Most all the parts used to assemble the 61 Richmond’s were ones confiscated from Harper’s Ferry during the raid by Captain Turner Ashby and his men on the 18th of April 1861.

Recently I had the opportunity to acquire a great condition 1861 Richmond Rifle Musket, it had been on my wish list for sometime. I didn’t want a representative model, I wanted the real deal with as many authentic characteristics I could find.

The stock of my new Richmond has the Maynard Primer Feed Cut and a faint but clear cartouche – SA – Salmon Adams (the Master Armoror) at Harper’s Ferry as well as the Richmond Armory, butt plate has no U.S. stamp on it, brass nose cap is screwed on and has a red hue with casting flaws, barrel has clear VP and eagle (viewed & proof) as well as the cut for the steady pin for the rear sight, the forward and middle barrel bands have no U stamped on them however the bottom band is stamped with an offset U.

With the exception of the barrel, lockplate and hammer all of the metal parts seem as though they were never polished to the standard you would expect, my best guess is the polishing machines were not set up yet, which wouldn’t prevent the weapon from functioning…..so out the door it went.

Still on my wish list is an 1864 Richmond Rifle Musket in good condition, I recently committed to another 64 Richmond Carbine which I haven’t received yet………. but should before long.

I would like to thank Paul J. Davies for his book “C.S. Armory Richmond”, his book (especially when I first started collecting Richmond’s) has helped me to be a better collector. The much sought after and often misunderstood Richmond made weapons aren’t the easiest CW weapons to collect due to all the forgeries………these days I see more fakes then authentic……..I find myself thumbing thru the pages day after day hoping to discover what I missed the day before.

Thanks for stopping by and if you have any questions about this 1861 Richmond Rifle Musket or any of the other weapons in the Civil War Arsenal feel free to contact me at www.civilwararsenal@yahoo.com attn: Gene West

5 thoughts on “1861 Richmond Rifle Musket

  1. Hello Gene, I am writing because of research that I was doing on a CS Richmond and I found your website. I was visiting with a friend as his buddy was preparing for an auction in Feb. I saw and held the Richmond and is in very good shape with confederate Bayonet as well. However, I could find no markings on the stock and lock markings are very good.
    I am 71 and my Dad, a friend of Frank Lord and contributor to his book, was a big civil war collector in the 50’s and 60’s. When he passed 8 years ago, I got the guns.Smile a few shown below.

    and Yes that is an Enfield saddle ring carbine, brought back from Afghanistan a few years ago, I have the letter.

    Back to the CS Richmond, Old Barn Auction’s number is XXX-XXX-XXXX ask for XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Friend sent you. He really needs to know if this is a true Confederate Piece before the auction, and if it is, you may want it, as it is that good, and from what I can see, I do not think it is a re-pop.

  2. Attn: Gene
    I recently emailed you wanting any information on my 1863 Civil War Musket. You stated you needed better photos. I wasn’t sure of what that meant, being that the photos I had first sent were very clear (or from my end) I again took new photos, hoping these may be viewed with more clarity. Any information, value, and possible interested buyers/ dealers…any information is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you


    • Tammy,
      The weapon you have is a collection of parts from different rifles. The one piece that’s collectible is the lock plate which is indeed Southern/Confederate.
      The stock and the barrel are post war pieces and have little or no value.

      It’s unfortunate that the Richmond lock plate is not attached to the original stock and barrel, if it were it would have significant value but unfortunately it’s not. The lock plate in the condition it’s in is worth between $500 – $1000…….if the rifle were all original if would be worth between $3000 – $6000.

      Regards, Gene West

  3. Mr. West, I have enjoyed reading your articles on the Civil War Arsenal website. I have a long time history and gun buff.

    I am looking to try and obtain a Richmond rifle in the near future, however I must say my knowledge of the market is limited and I owe a most of what I know about the weapon to your articles.

    I may be a little different from most collectors in that I don’t want something that looks like it just came out of the factory, I like most of the guns I collect to look as if they’ve “been there and done that”.

    That being said, I was hoping you could lend some insight into what the price ranges are for Richmond rifles. With recent public sentiment being so negative against anything Confederate, I know that can often drive prices down but there are a few things that tend to hold their value regardless.

    I was also wondering if you knew of anywhere/anyone outside of auction sites that would have Richmond rifles up for sale?

    I appreciate any information you can provide.

    Thanks in advance,

    • Hey Gabe,
      Like anything else Richmond Rifles, short rifles and carbines have there fluctuations in price. But one things certain about collecting antique weapons is that they generally hold there value. About the only time I remember them losing value was back in 2008/2009 when the economy crashed…..there were many opportunities to be had if you had cash, but that was because many needed money and they used there assets (antique weapons) to obtain that.

      The value of a well represented Richmond rifle (long rifle) would be in the 7 to 10 k range, carbine 5 to 7 k. I’m not gonna give a value for a short rifle since so little surface and it’s subjective at best. However the prices only start there, the prices can be much higher then that if the weapons is exceptionally clean or ifs it got provenance.

      Hope this helps….Merry Christmas, Gene West

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