Our Price: sold

Kerr Confederate Military Target Rifle. Caliber 451. This Kerr rifle is 53″ overall with a 37″ barrel with Kerr patented 6-groove rifling. Muzzle is countersunk to facilitate loading, not unlike patented Whitworth rifles that also came through the blockade to the South during the Civil War. On top of the barrel just behind the sight is serial number 781. The highest known serial number is 800. Marked on the breech on top of barrel “KERR’S PATENT”. To the left of the “Kerr’s Patent” markings are various London proofs and “LAC”, which stands for London Armory Company, and an oval mark which reads “Regis’d / 10 May 1861”. The various London proofs, registration marks and “LAC” are quite discernible, and the Kerr patent mark is deeply struck.. Barrel retains about 50% of original blue finish, mixed with a thin patina. Bore has bright Kerr rifling. Lock is marked with a crown over “VR”. Forward of hammer on lock is marked “1864 / L.A. Co”. Lockplate markings are excellent. Lock retains some case color and the pattern can be seen. Triggerguard and bands are smooth and brown with bands retaining some original finish. Buttplate is smooth and brown. Original rear sight appears to be standard 1853 Enfield sight but with more refined graduations and a serial number 652. There is also a tang sight. Stock is well made of seasoned and quality wood with excellent checkering and comes to within 1-1/4″ of muzzle and has no provision for bayonet. The correct ramrod has a removable brass tip.

Confederate purchasing agents acquired at least 20 of these rifles as indicated in a C.S. General Josiah Gorgas report dated February 3, 1863 and published in the official records by IV, Volume 2, page 382. Additional Kerr rifles were acquired by the Orphan Brigade of Kentucky. 11 special target rifles were given to Major General John Breckenridge by an English friend. The General presented them to his old command. The number of Kerr rifles made were small and therefore Confederate use of the Kerr rifle was quite limited.