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Antique Percussion Rifles

An improvement on flintlock and matchlock rifles, percussion rifles were faster to reload and required fewer moving parts. While laymen often did not appreciate these improvements, the military did.

Percussion rifles were much more durable than their predecessors due to their simplicity and the lower likelihood of parts failure. The percussion rifle was also more reliable when faced with harsh weather and could be counted on to fire in the rain.

The United States military adopted the percussion rifle in 1841. It was known as the 1841 Mississippi rifle. Most Western European nations adopted percussion rifles, resulting in a multitude of different rifles. Their weapons were made from quality materials and can still be found in good condition nearly two centuries later. Many antique percussion rifles are of military origin and often remained in armories well past their usefulness. Antique percussion rifles offer history enthusiasts the chance to hold a piece of history.


Quick Facts

  • Some M1841 Mississippi rifles are fitted with long-range sights and converted to .58 caliber for long-range shooting
  • The exact origin of the nickname of one of the most famed percussion rifles, the Brown Bess, is unknown to this day
  • Many older muskets were easily converted into percussion rifles

Recommended Items at Auction

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A RARE .58 LEETCH'S PATENT CAPPING BREECH LOADING CARBINE, CIRCA 1860, serial number 176,
Nov 21, 10:00 AM GMT
A RARE .58 LEETCH'S PATENT CAPPING BREECH LOADING CARBINE, CIRCA 1860, serial number 176,
by Holts Auctioneers
Est: £1,200- £1,600
£1,4006 Bids
Harpers Ferry Model 1842 .69 Cal. Percussion Musket
Oct 22, 9:00 AM EDT
Harpers Ferry Model 1842 .69 Cal. Percussion Musket
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$5505 Bids
Antique American Percussion Rifle
Nov 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Antique American Percussion Rifle
by Paul Arsenault Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$1255 Bids
Nineteenth Century Long Gun
Oct 15, 10:00 AM CDT
Nineteenth Century Long Gun
by Link Auction Galleries
Est: $300- $400
$2504 Bids
Howell & Co. American Full Stock Percussion Cap Pennsylvania Rifle, 19Th C., L 36" Barrel
Oct 13, 11:00 AM EDT
Howell & Co. American Full Stock Percussion Cap Pennsylvania Rifle, 19Th C., L 36" Barrel
by DuMouchelles
Est: $800- $1,200
$7003 Bids
US 1816/35 CONTRACT CONVERSION PERCUSSION MUSKET
Oct 15, 10:00 AM CDT
US 1816/35 CONTRACT CONVERSION PERCUSSION MUSKET
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $400- $600
$3752 Bids
A .451 WESTLEY RICHARDS MONKEY TAIL CAPPING BREECH LOADING MILITARY MATCH RIFLE, CIRCA 1861, serial no. 486,
Nov 21, 10:00 AM GMT
A .451 WESTLEY RICHARDS MONKEY TAIL CAPPING BREECH LOADING MILITARY MATCH RIFLE, CIRCA 1861, serial no. 486,
by Holts Auctioneers
Est: £1,200- £1,600
£1,2001 Bid
A .577 PATTERN 1860 VOLUNTEER TWO BAND PERCUSSION RIFLE, CIRCA 1859, no visible serial number,
Nov 21, 10:00 AM GMT
A .577 PATTERN 1860 VOLUNTEER TWO BAND PERCUSSION RIFLE, CIRCA 1859, no visible serial number,
by Holts Auctioneers
Est: £350- £550
£3401 Bid
A .451 WHITWORTH PERCUSSION THREE BAND MILITARY MATCH RIFLE, CIRCA 1861, no visible serial number,
Nov 21, 10:00 AM GMT
A .451 WHITWORTH PERCUSSION THREE BAND MILITARY MATCH RIFLE, CIRCA 1861, no visible serial number,
by Holts Auctioneers
Est: £500- £700
£5001 Bid
Pennsylvania Percussion Cap Rifle, .32 Cal., C. 1820S, L 26" Barrel
Oct 13, 11:00 AM EDT
Pennsylvania Percussion Cap Rifle, .32 Cal., C. 1820S, L 26" Barrel
by DuMouchelles
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
19thc American Brass Mounted Percussion Rifle
Oct 08, 2:00 PM EDT
19thc American Brass Mounted Percussion Rifle
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $400- $800
$3400 Bids
A pre-Civil War percussion musket, 19th century
Oct 13, 9:00 AM EDT
A pre-Civil War percussion musket, 19th century
by Oakridge Auction Gallery
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
Model 1846 French "Carbine A Tige" Rifle
Oct 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Model 1846 French "Carbine A Tige" Rifle
by Cowan's Auctions
Est: $1,200- $2,000
$6000 Bids
US Model 1863-1864 Transitional Rifle Musket
Oct 26, 10:00 AM EDT
US Model 1863-1864 Transitional Rifle Musket
by Cowan's Auctions
Est: $2,500- $3,500
$1,2000 Bids
Scarce & Fine US Special Model 1861 Rifle Musket by Amoskeag Manufacturing Company
Oct 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Scarce & Fine US Special Model 1861 Rifle Musket by Amoskeag Manufacturing Company
by Cowan's Auctions
Est: $4,000- $6,000
$2,0000 Bids
US Model 1863 Lindsay's Patent US "Double Musket"
Oct 26, 10:00 AM EDT
US Model 1863 Lindsay's Patent US "Double Musket"
by Cowan's Auctions
Est: $5,000- $6,000
$2,5000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Antique Percussion Rifles


Cowan's Auctions

Cowan's Auctions

Holts Auctioneers

Holts Auctioneers

Milestone Auctions

Milestone Auctions

DuMouchelles

DuMouchelles