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1861 "Special Model" Colt Rifle-Musket

This is a Special Model 1861 rifle-musket made by Colt Manufacturing Co. of Hartford, Conn. in 1864.

These arms are known to collectors as the "Special Model" because they did not conform exactly to the pattern produced at Springfield Armory. Many parts were not interchangeable with Springfield parts.

The firearm is complete and in NRA excellent condition. The bore is excellent and remains in firing condition. Its good condition suggests limited use during and after the Civil war.

The stock exhibits two rectangular cartouches at right angles to each other at the rear of the flat opposite the lock. One immediately behind the rear side screw appears to have the initials "MLH" in script. The same letters appear on the barrel. The other cartouche contains the initials "LP" in script. Both inspectors have yet to be identified.

A M1855 socket bayonet marked "C & Co." on the bottom side of the socket (as fixed) with a Gaylord leather scabbard accompanies the rifle-musket. This is the correct bayonet for a Colt rifle-musket. Collins & Co. of Hartford, CT. was a sub-contractor known to supply bayonets for Colt.

A tag tied to the gun provided the only clue to its earlier ownership. It reads "Eells family/Sebring, Ohio". This tag may have been furnished by an auction house in Ohio, from where it was purchased by a previous owner, the late William Summerfelt. It is reasonable to assume that the name "Eells" is probably correct.

Sure enough, members of Eells family (retaining that exact spelling) are still plentiful in Sebring and Mahoning County according to available census and other data accessible at the Bull Run regional Library in Manassas, VA. Research has found one potential prospect, Thomas M. Eells, who served in Company H. 115 Ohio Infantry. Roster data shows he was mustered in at Camp Massillion in September 1862 and mustered out in July 1865.
Overall View of Colt Special Model Rifle-Musket
Overall View of Colt "Special Model" Rifle-Musket
Stamped Markings on Barrel Breach
Stamped Markings on Barrel Breach
Stamped Cartouche on Wood Side Lock Panel
Stamped Cartouche on Wood Side Lock Panel
Detail of Cartouche on Side Plate Panel
Detail of Cartouche on Side Plate Panel
Colt Special Model Buttstock
Colt "Special Model" Buttstock
View of Tang, Hammer, and Breach
View of Tang, Hammer, and Breach
Tang and Screw
Tang and Screw
Rear Barrel Sight with Elevation Leaves
Rear Barrel Sight with Elevation Leaves
Hang Tag
Hang Tag
Colt Special Model Buttstock, Gaylord Bayonet Scabbard and Bayonet
Colt "Special Model" Buttstock, Gaylord Bayonet Scabbard and Bayonet
Buttplate
Buttplate
Detail of US Stamp on Butt Plate Heel
Detail of US Stamp on Butt Plate Heel
US Stamped on Bayonet
US Stamped on Bayonet
Bayonet Socket
Bayonet Socket
Details of Barrel Ring Hardware
Details of Barrel Ring Hardware