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Posted: Aug 15, 2009 9:56:03 pm
Mike Roberts

I have a 3-band Model 1853 Enfield that I bought some years ago.  While re-examining the piece recently I discovered after a little research that it was an export model, lacking the "VR" under the crown or any other VR proofs on the barrel.  It was marked with barrel gauge of "24" indicating .58 caliber, instead of "25" like most Enfields in .577 caliber that were issued to British troops.  Another indication that it was an export model, possibly to the South, were two stamps on the wood of the stock on the side opposite the lock plate and on the top of the butt near the tip of the buttplate.  The stamp was "CH" over an "S", which is different from other Confederate Caleb Huse stamps - usually a "CH" over "I" for "Caleb Huse Inspected."  Anyone have any idea what the "S" stood for in this stamp?

Mike Roberts

Posted: May 04, 2010 9:59:13 am
Old Hickory

I don't know what the "S" stands for off the top of my head, but I do have several books on Enfields and will look.  Having the "24" gauge marking on the barrel instead of "25" sounds like a mid to late war import though.  A major complaint amoung the troops about early Enfields was the .577 bore being too small to readily accept .58 ammunition when fouled.  I'm guessing your Enfield is dated 1863 or later.

Posted: May 11, 2010 7:36:50 pm
Geoff Walden


As far as I have found, there is no actual period evidence that the "CH/I" or "CH/1" stamp actually indicated Caleb Huse. It is simply speculated by Confederate collectors that the "CH" stood for Huse. This may be a valid assumption, since there is almost NO period evidence that explains any of the markings that were applied to Enfields after manufacture (import marks). If so, your "CH/S" mark may indeed indicate Huse.

In my experience (over 350 period Enfields examined), the P53s with 24/24 gauge marks are usually earlier ones - dated 1861. There is a line of thought that says this was because the Federal purchasing agents wanted "true" .58 caliber bores, and they knew that 24 gauge was closer to .58 than 25 gauge. So, either the barrel makers had real 24 gauge barrels made, or they got the Proof House to mark them that way, to make the Federal purchasing agents happier. Of course, that's another of those lines of speculation. And there are always exceptions to every "rule."

Geoff Walden

Posted: May 11, 2010 9:26:43 pm
Tom in NJ

It must be remembered that the Patt. 53 was the AK47 of its day, being sold world wide by many sources. There was a huge war in China at the time, and many small wars in South America. The U.S. and Confederate forces were not the only customers for this weapon at the time.

Tom in NJ
Hazaah! for the Thirteenth New Jersey Volunteers!

Posted: Jan 17, 2011 10:29:15 am

hello Mike..... i think the "S" means "Sale" it as soon as you can :P .... hehehehehe

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