Found amongst the wares of an auctioneer that burps up a batch of British guns every so often. There were two drop-block sporting rifles and a rare Wilson two-band capping breechloader, all skyrocketing well beyond my reach in short order. Then there was this Tower 1856 Enfield. The date and the faint WD broad arrow on the stock made me sit up... I'd just watched Charlie bag a musket of same vintage marked to the HEIC. Could lightning strike twice? Couldn't discern a surfing yeti. Also, from what I could see the gun clearly was not in "parts as issued" form. It seemed proper in basic proportion, though (not of whole Khyber manufacture,) and the bore was reported to be very good... so I waded in where others were probably too wise to swim, and so here she is:
From what I can see without taking it apart (yes, Charlie ,):
-The barrel bands are wrong for a second model, and someone welded those blued ears on to meet the front spring.
-The rear sight is forward of where it should be, and seems to have suffered abuse and maybe repair... it is slewed ever so slightly left on its axis and the sight notch favors left as well.
-The sling swivel on the trigger guard is not correct for a short rifle and should not be there at all for a three-bander in any event.
-The barrel proofs have, I believe, been monkeyed with... a commercial tube, half scrubbed and with spurious military marks added?
-The rod is a repro, and a short one at that.
What appears right-
-The stock, though rough, is the real deal. The WD looks genuine, and I can see the faint remains of crowned inspection marks behind the trigger guard. There's the batch hash in the rod channel, which has the 2nd model swell. I can see no other marks on the outside... no setter-up and no lock fitter.
-I believe the lock is correct, though the cypher engraving and the inspector mark have me wondering. The action is positive.
-The bore is very bright, though the rifling is quite shallow.
I imagine the number on the barrel indicates the gun spent some time on the sub-continent. So perhaps, as with similar weapons, she is a put-together?
"Always carry a firearm east of Aldgate, Watson."