Remington Model 1841 (Mississippi Rifle) Muzzle-Loaded Rifled-Musket
Updated: 2/11/2015; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The Remington Model 1841 was the Remington take on the classic Model 1841 Mississippi Rifle originally produced by the Harpers Ferry arsenal.
The Remington gun company of today holds a long and illustrious history dating back to its founding in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington (1793-1861). The firm evolved through the early days of gun-making before becoming a household name. In the early 1840s, the Harpers Ferry arsenal began production of a new muzzle-loading, percussion-based long rifle known as the Model 1841 "Mississippi Rifle". Such was the success of this rifle - it was used in both the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and the Civil War (1861-1865) to good effect - that E. Remington & Sons of Ilion, New York purchased some 5,000 of the type from one John Griffiths of Cincinnati and agreed to terms on the manufacturing machinery involved as well.
This purchase allowed the Remington concern to begin outputting the Model 1841 as its own - which it did beginning in 1850 as the Remington Model 1841. It was purchased in some number by the United States Army and opened the door to future U.S. government contracts that would make Remington one of the most successful and longest running American gun makers in history. The rifles maintained their "Mississippi Rifle" name in honor of the outnumbered 1 Mississippi Rifles, then under the command of Colonel Jefferson Davis (future Confederate States President), during the Battle of Buena Vista in the Mexican-American War.
The Remington Model 1841s were largely indistinguishable from their Harper's Ferry design, utilizing a single band design, long-running wooden body with integrated grip, and patchbox in the stock. The weapon remained a muzzle-loaded, single-shot rifle so a ram rod was carried and held in a channel under the barrel to push the barrel contents down near the action. The action itself relied on the percussion cap system which saw a cap placed on an awaiting nipple. With the cocked hammer falling down on this cap, the propellant in the barrel (and behind the ball ammunition) was ignited and forced the ball out of the muzzle end. The percussion cap arrangement was a drastic improvement to the preceding temperamental flintlock systems of old. The rifled barrel also aided accuracy by imparting a tighter spinning effect on the exiting projectile.