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Dickson Nelson & Co Rifle

Confederate States (1862)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Dickson Nelson & Co Rifle Percussion Smoothbore Rifle Musket.

 Entry last updated on 6/19/2013; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Dickson Nelson & Co Rifle  
Picture of Dickson Nelson & Co Rifle Percussion Smoothbore Rifle Musket

The Dickson Nelson & Co Rifle was based on the flintlock Model 1814 long gun, modified to a percussion-based action during the American Civil War.

Confederate arms suppliers of the American Civil War utilized whatever means to supply their army which lacked the facilities that favored the Union in the north. This included the adoption of the Model 1841 "Mississippi Rifle" by the Dickson Nelson & Company. An in-house lockplate and percussion nipple were added and these guns were completed with all-brass furniture. Chambered for the large .58 bullet, these guns fired through a 33.5-inch long smoothbore barrel loaded from the muzzle. The body was of a single wooden (dark cherry) piece with a single barrel band featured. A ramrod was housed under the barrel in the usual way though, interestingly, bayonet mountings were not included. The pistol grip was integrated into the rifle form and set aft of the underslung trigger group. A sling located there and under the forend allowed a strap to be fitted for transport. The stock incorporated a patchbox with hinged brass cover plate on some production models though these embellishments were later left off when wartime pressures dictated production needs for the South. Iron sights were located at the action (via a raised tang) and over the muzzle in the usual way.

Dickson Nelson & Company Rifles were produced out of the Dickson Nelson & Company facility at Adairsville, then Macon and, finally, Dawson, Georgia. The company was founded by William Dickson and Owen O. Nelson in 1862 with production of their converted rifle spanning into 1865. The 2nd Mississippi Infantry became a prominent user of the Dickson Rifle during the American Civil War.
Dickson Nelson & Co Rifle Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Confederate States
Year: 1862
Type: Percussion Smoothbore Rifle Musket
Manufacturer(s): Dickson Nelson & Company - CSA
Supported Mission Types
Frontline Infantry
Special Forces
Close Quarters Battle
Designated Marksman/Sharpshooter
Area Effect/Suppression
Indirect Fire
Airspace Denial
Attachment Weapon
Internal Design, Weight and Dimensions
Firing Action: Percussion; Single-Shot; Muzzle-Loading
Available Caliber(s): .58
Ammunition Count / Feed: Single-Shot
Overall Length: 1,050 mm (41.34 in)
Barrel Length: 838 mm (32.99 in)
Sighting Assist: Rear Raised Tang; Front Iron

Operating Performance
Rate-of-Fire (RoF): 1 rounds-per-minute (rpm)

Operators List
Confederate States of America

Model Variants
• Dickson Nelson & Co Rifle - Base Series Designation