The Model 1863 was essentially the Model 1861 with some improvements. The rifle was produced in two major types known simply as "Type 1" and "Type 2". Type 1 noted an improved hammer component as well as well as revised muzzle retaining bands. The Type 2 noted a revised rear sight and spring retainers for the muzzle bands. Externally, she shared many of the design characteristics of the Model 1861 before her including a right-sided hammer and lock plate, metal buttplate and underslung ramrod.
Like the Model 1861, the Model 1863 was also a single-shot, percussion-based, muzzle-loading rifle-musket chambered to fire a .58 caliber cartridge. Her barrel measured in at 40 inches.
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