December 14-17, 2021 Collectible Firearms & Militaria
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/14/2021
Another invention from the fertile mind of James Paris Lee, this rifle was produced at Springfield Armory in about 1875. Congress had appropriated $10,000 for the development of this rifle but after only 143 were produced the funds ran out and the project was never refunded. With that limited production it makes this one of the most rare of all military rifles. Rifle is described as having a 32 - 5/8" barrel with barleycorn front sight/bayonet lug for socket bayonet and a Trapdoor Springfield 1,200 yard ladder rifle rear sight. Mounted in a full length, one piece, uncheckered walnut stock with two bands and blued steel nose cap. Upper band has both stacking and sling loops with corresponding sling loop in front of the trigger guard. Bottom of forestock is slotted for a partially concealed trapdoor-style slotted head ramrod. Left side of the wrist has the “ESA” (Erskine S. Allin) cartouche and bottom of the stock has the circle “P” stock inspector cartouche. Top tang is stamped “U.S.” and patent date. Action is most unusual with Martini-style breech block that is opened by striking the rear face of the hammer spur with the heel of one’s hand which causes the front of the breech block to lower and if sufficient force is exerted the empty cartridge casing will be ejected. At that point the breech block is locked open and is allowed to close only when a cartridge is loaded into the chamber and the rim of the casing depresses the extractor. The hammer is then cocked and fired in the normal manner. Very few of these rare rifles have survived today and are found only in the most advanced Springfield Collections or museums. CONDITION: Excellent. Barrel retains 92-93% strong original blue showing wear only around the muzzle from bayonet installation and a storage rub that has turned chocolate 10" from muzzle; receiver and top tang retain about 95% original blue with losses at high points from light period use. Breech block and hammer retain virtually all of the arsenal finish with about a 10% loss at high points. Stock is superb with most all arsenal finish remaining. Vivid, crisp cartouche as well as circle "P" inspection to rear of trigger guard. Serial number 125 is observed on trigger group, hammer, sear and left side of upper tang. Mechanics are fine, brilliant shiny bore. This is one of the finest examples we have observed. MKS
Barrel Length
32 - 5/8"
.45-70 Government
Drop at Comb
Drop at Heel
FFL Status
Length of Pull
1875 Verticle Lee
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium:
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Number Bids: 3
Auction closed on Friday, December 17, 2021.
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