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Dickson Nelson & Co Rifle

Percussion Smoothbore Rifle Musket [ 1862 ]

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.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/21/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

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.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

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Confederate States


Percussion Smoothbore Rifle Musket

Dickson Nelson & Company - CSA
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Overall Length
1,050 mm
41.34 in
Barrel Length
838 mm
32.99 in

Rear Raised Tang; Front Iron.


Percussion; Single-Shot; Muzzle-Loading

Percussion Cap
Utilizes the percussion cap system of operation to actuate ignition of propellant; much like a child's cap gun, small explosive caps are set upon nipples and these are actuated by a falling hammer previously cocked.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)



Rounds / Feed

Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.

Dickson Nelson & Co Rifle - Base Series Designation

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