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Item #: 39519
A Brazilian contract Belgian made Enfield rifle that was imported by the Union for the Civil War.
Year made: 1860's
Made in: Belgium
Maker: O.S. Drissen
Model: Brazilian Minie Rifle
Gun retains a pleasing patina overall with some light surface and pitting here and there. There is good spring tension on the hammer, however it does not stay cocked. Original ram rod. Has a brass eagle plaque on the wrist which is common on these guns. Enfield pattern rifle made in Belgium. Missing the saber bayonet lug from the right side of the barrel. Bore is dirty with good rifling. 32 inch barrel. Stock is solid with some dings and scratches. This gun is quite dusty and has clearly been sitting in someones attic for a very long time. While there is still some debate regarding how many of these rifles were imported for use, the general consensus is that the US Government purchased around 6,000. The guns seem to be referred to as “Belgian rifles of Enfield pattern” or "Rifles, Liège, saber bayonet, caliber .577" in various period records of purchases. The likely source for most of these guns appears to be the firm of C.K. Garrison, who had a contract to deliver 5,800 "Minié Rifles of Liège pattern with saber bayonets". The origin of the name "Brazilian Light Minié Rifle" is unclear and is almost certainly a collectors term and not one from the period. The story has always been that these Belgian made guns were part of a contract destined for the Brazilian military, but ended up being sold to US buyers instead.Sadly the documentation for the story is somewhat lacking and while the guns will probably be known by this name forever, the appellation is probably nothing more than “gun show lore”