US Springfield 1860

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by kiayker, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. kiayker

    kiayker New Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    I work with a girl who was asking me about cleaning up her boyfriends Civil War era Springfield for his birthday so he can display it. Apparently the rifle is a family heirloom and is in "good" condition. I have not yet seen the rifle, but have been told that it is marked "U.S. Springfield 1860" on the lock. I realize that this is a pretty common weapon of the Civil War and that quite a few exist. My question is, is it OK to clean and polish this antique without detracting from it's value as a collector? Is there anything in particular I should be looking for which could distinguish this rifle as something special? And if you would like to toss out a ball park value, that might be a nice thing to know as well.

    Thanks so much :)

  2. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

    Jan 10, 2003
    You should do nothing that will in any way affect the antique patina this weapon has acquired over the years. This includes steel, wood, and brass parts. About all you should do is clean and oil it. Collectors want the aged appearance left alone.

  3. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Feb 23, 2001
    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    I most heartily concur with WW.

    Make sure it's unloaded, clean out the bore with Hoppe's #9, dry it with patches, and give the bore a light coat of a good gun oil (again, I like Hoppe's), but I've heard good things about RemOil too.. Put a little oil on an old tee shirt, and lightly coat the metal parts, put a little oil in the lock parts.....and leave it alone.

    As for the rifle being something special....well, there were a lot of 1860's made. Some variations and later modifications being fairly valuable......far too many to list here.....

    I'd suggest that you go to your local library and take out a copy of "Flayderman's Guide To Antique American Firearms And Their Values", which is sort of the Bible on the subject.

    Or, if you're enough of a GunNut to want to buy a copy (a good reference book to have), here you go:

    Amazon's running a good deal on it right now, $24.12.

    Barnes & Noble also has it for a bit more:
  4. Mark

    Mark New Member

    Jul 1, 2006
    There is an attitude that must be taken in these cases.

    You are not cleaning up an old gun, you are handling an artifact.

  5. swabjocky

    swabjocky New Member

    Oct 21, 2006
    maybe a light coat of oil to the external metal parts and a dry soft cloth to remove dust from the stocks.
  6. Ross95966

    Ross95966 New Member

    May 12, 2002
    Darkest California
    I just recently purchased a new book, -331 Essential Tips and Tricks: A how-to Guide for the Gun Collector_.
    I've spent many worrisome hours trying to keep friends from shining up their old gun to make it glitter like new. Many gunsmiths make a living doing just that.
    This little $36.ºº paperback book really helps make the case for honorable stewardship of a national treasure. Any gun from the War of Northern Aggression is certainly worth the price of a book or two to the possessor.
    If you can't afford to buy one, borrow one. Interlibrary loan is a little used resource.
    Regards from Darkest California,
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