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Lot 1000: Exceptional Civil War Production New Haven Arms Company Henry Lever Action Rifle
December 1, 2012
Rock Island, IL, USALive Auction
Estimate: $90000 - 130000
Henry Lever Action rifle manufactured by the New Haven Arms Co., in July 1864. The rifle has the distinctive Henry brass receiver and brass buttplate with blue octagon barrel and integral 15-shot magazine. The hammer and loading lever have a color casehardened finish. The straight grain black walnut stock has an oil finish. The barrel has the later style square back nickel-silver front sight blade and dovetail mounted folding leaf rear sight. The rear sight has a center notch marked "900" and sight bar retaining screw at the top of the leaf. The magazine has the larger second style brass follower. The receiver is the second pattern which lacks the rear sight dovetail which was eliminated at about serial number 3,100 (September 1863). The rifle has the second style brass buttplate with pointed heel. The buttplate has a hinged brass trap door and the trap contains the correct four piece jointed steel cleaning rod with brass tip and steel eyelet introduced around serial number 4,000. The left side of the stock and barrel are fitted with a sling swivel and a screw-fastened loop for a sling hook. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the two-line legend "HENRY'S PATENT. OCT.16.1860/MANUFACT'D BY THE NEWHAVEN ARMS CO. NEWHAVEN.CT.". The legend is the later, larger style with all serif letters in the second line. The rifle serial number, "6040" is stamped on the top barrel flat between the rear sight and the receiver, on the left side of the lower receiver rail, in the upper stock inlet and on the inside of the buttplate below the lower screw. All of the visible serial numbers match. The serial number is correctly not stamped on the late style cap-head buttplate and tang screws. The "H" inspection mark of B. Tyler Henry is stamped on the lower tang behind the lever latch. What appear to be the script initials "C C C" are very lightly scratched in the right side of the stock.
BBL: 24 inch octagon
Gauge: 44 Henry RF
Serial Number: 6040
Condition: Extremely fine overall. This rifle is exceptional with only very minor handling wear. The barrel and magazine retain 80% plus of the original blue finish. The balance of the blue has aged to a very attractive plum patina and retains the original bright finish in protected areas. The barrel edges and markings are sharp. The only significant wear is four small spots of pitting on the top of the barrel between the legend and the rear sight. The rear sight is very fine and has much of the original niter blue finish in protected areas. The exceptional brass receiver and buttplate have a mellow and very attractive unpolished patina. The side plate joints on the receiver are perfect. Large amounts of the original blue finish are present on the bolt and the hammer has nearly all of the case colors intact. The case colors on the lever have aged to a very attractive plum brown patina. The stock is excellent with all of the original oil finish and minimal handling or storage marks. Most of the case colors are present on the sling swivel. The screws are very good and the screw shanks retain most of the original niter blue finish. Henry rifles typically saw hard use and are rarely encountered with any original finish. This rifle is one of the finest examples of Civil War production, Henry rifle ever offered for sale by the Rock Island Auction Company. It would be extremely difficult to ever upgrade this exceptional Henry rifle.