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  1. #1
    ejn Guest

    SN & WTC Rifle Information Wanted

    Samuel Norris and William T. Clement of Springfield, Mass. produced contract rifles during 1863 and 1864. The lockplate has the marking “S.N. & W.T.C. FOR MASSACHUSETTS” on it. I am looking for information for an article I hope will appear in The Gun Report. Interested in any primary and secondary documents, rifle markings, inspector cartouches, and any other information that you can share about the rifle or its production. I can be reached at:norris.ed@comcast.net.

    Ed

  2. #2
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    Re: SN & WTC Rifle Information Wanted

    I used to own one with identical lock markings dated 1864. It also had no stock cartouches. It also appeared to have been used very little. It was my opinion that it never left the custody of the state of Massachusetts. It has been quite a while ago and I don't recall how I reached that opinion.
    Jim Mayo
    Portsmouth Rifles, Company G, 9th Va. Inf.

    CW Show and Tell Site
    http://www.angelfire.com/ma4/j_mayo/index.html

  3. #3
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    Re: SN & WTC Rifle Information Wanted

    My father owns one, w/ the excption of the "u" on the barell bands, an "N" on the side of the sight the "US" on the butt plate and the standard markings on the lockplate their are no proofs on the rifle. This rifle has marks that only come w/ heavy use. THe rifle shoots like a dream, however, it does have a very tight trigger pulls and the position of the half cock is a little closer to the nipple than would make it easy to put the cap on.

    The overall workmanship is outstanding.

    If you would like photos let me know via E-mail as I will be visiting my father again for a family reunion in a couple weeks.
    Johan Steele aka Shane Christen C Co, 3rd MN VI
    SUVCW Camp 48
    American Legion Post 352
    http://civilwartalk.com

  4. #4
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    Re: SN & WTC Rifle Information Wanted

    Hallo Kameraden!

    "Ideally," one should be hard-pressed to find federal inspector and proof stampings on the Norris & Clement M1861's and M1863's as they were produced under specified contract for the state of MASS during 1863 (2,000) and 1864 (1,000). (Fuller, 204)

    That does not "jive" with the surviving numbers of them, which may be explained by the Massachusett's Master of Ordnance Report in 1864 that said:
    "11,000 Springfield Rifle Muskets & Appendages" as having been purchased for which MASS paid $206,112.50 or $18.75 per stand. (Riley, 84)

    There are also "artillery rifles" (shortened rifle-muskets) cut down to barrel lengths of 31 inches. I have seen one such, an M1863, and it carried no federal markings just as the "standard" M1861/M1863 rifle-muskets did not. I have never came across any accounts or documentation regarding
    their being ordered or in what numbers. I would guess, baring the reported absence of federal markings, that the N & C artillery-rifles were also for MASS
    artillery unit use.

    Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    -Hard and sharp as flint...secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.
    -Haplogroup R1b M343 (Subclade R1b1a2 M269)
    -Pointless Folksy Wisdom Mess, Oblio Lodge #1
    -Vastly Ignorant

  5. #5
    ejn Guest

    Re: SN & WTC Rifle Information Wanted

    I've seen a few SN & WTC rifles with cartouches. Attached is an example from a rifle I own.



    Ed
    Last edited by ejn; 05-31-2004 at 08:27 PM.

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    Re: SN & WTC Rifle Information Wanted

    Hallo Herr Ed!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Those are the first I have seen, although my experience is limited to only 4 or 5 specimens in hand.

    I have always been intrigued by double cartouches, with my thoughts being that the weapon somehow went "in and out" and then back "into" federal service (much like the M1822's and M1842's that were rifled, or rifled and sighted).

    Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    -Hard and sharp as flint...secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.
    -Haplogroup R1b M343 (Subclade R1b1a2 M269)
    -Pointless Folksy Wisdom Mess, Oblio Lodge #1
    -Vastly Ignorant

  7. #7
    billywebb Guest

    Question Re: SN & WTC Rifle Information Wanted

    Posted by Jimmayo: It was my opinion that it never left the custody of the state of Massachusetts.

    Did any Massachusetts contract 1863 Springfields with lockplates marked "S.N. & W.T.C. FOR MASSACHUSETTS" ever make it into the theatre (out of Mass.)?

  8. #8
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    Re: SN & WTC Rifle Information Wanted

    Hallo Kameraden!

    Short answer, yes. Where ever Massachusetts units issued them happened to serve.

    Seriously, but in brief, this was a state contract- however, ordnance records generally do not differentiate weapons by contract- just "type" and often just by "calibre" for ammo purposes.

    I do not have any information on non-Massachusetts units armed with or issued Norris & Clement contract M1861/M1863 type weapons.

    Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    -Hard and sharp as flint...secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.
    -Haplogroup R1b M343 (Subclade R1b1a2 M269)
    -Pointless Folksy Wisdom Mess, Oblio Lodge #1
    -Vastly Ignorant

  9. #9
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    Re: SN & WTC Rifle Information Wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
    Hallo Kameraden!

    Short answer, yes. Where ever Massachusetts units issued them happened to serve.

    Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
    Curt-Heinrich,

    How did the system for issuing state owned weapons work? The large majority of weapons were issued by the Federal Government's Ordnance Department, but a number of states, such as Massachusetts and New Jersey issued weapons to their own State Troops. Did the States get some type of credit or allowance from the Federal Government for the weapons they issued?

    Second question,

    Were the SN & WTC rifles made in both the 1861 and 1863 models?
    Bill Rodman, King of Prussia, PA

  10. #10
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    Re: SN & WTC Rifle Information Wanted

    Hallo Herr Bill!

    "Did the States get some type of credit or allowance from the Federal Government for the weapons they issued?"

    I am drawing a mental blank this afternoon, and will have to check on that one (six hours ahead on German Time). There is a link to this, in the mix somewhere, as we find individual states both receiving arms, clothing, and equipage as well as contracting for it on their own.
    It is clear from the records that the states paid the contractors, but I cannot recall the references as to where or how the money flowed (meaning the states paid it out of their budgets, but was it flowing in or being reimbursed from the feds.
    I will have to dig some some references and report back, unless another pard quicker on the draw and suffering less from jet-lag and time zone problems can chime in... :-)
    An excellent question.

    "Second question, Were the SN & WTC rifles made in both the 1861 and 1863 models?"

    An easier one. Yes, Norris and Clement made both M1861 and M1863 model arms.
    While the M1863 was largely produced by Springfield, a very small number of contractors made them such as Norris & Clement, as well as Jenks & Son, William Mason, Remington & Son, and Savage.
    The experts are not clear on this, as there appears to be NO contracts known/found for M1863's, it appears that these few makers had had contracts for M1861 pattern arms and simply "switched" over in mid-stream to conform to the changes for the M1863 produced at Springfield (and I am not remembering, at the moment, any orders, circulars, bulletins, etc asking for or requiring the change (as other M1861 contractors continued on with the M1861 model).

    Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    -Hard and sharp as flint...secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.
    -Haplogroup R1b M343 (Subclade R1b1a2 M269)
    -Pointless Folksy Wisdom Mess, Oblio Lodge #1
    -Vastly Ignorant

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