GDG- Jim's Guns

Andy Mills amills at
Mon Jan 30 12:11:49 CST 2012

I am not sure if Civil War guns / preservation is on-topic or off-topic and offer apologies if this is off-topic. 

How do you take care of a Civil War era gun?  

I have an 1861 Springfield purchased by my father as a Christmas present one year (I know, pretty cool of him).  This gun has become one of the most important items I have in my house (apart from family).  My father knows nothing of the Civil War except that I love going to Gettysburg as much as my schedule allows and wanted to find a gun that "could" have been used in the battle.  It was either the '61 Springfield or '59 Enfield and he decided on the Springfield.  Now that I find his cancer has progressed to the point that it can no longer be treated, I find the attachment to this gun has grown exponentially (sorry for the background information, but wanted to explain how important this gun, from more than just the possible Gettysburg connection).  

Due to the attachment this gun has with my father, I want to make sure it is preserved as best as I can.  I know some things such as: climate controlled environments, air-tight enclosures and limiting UV exposure, but not all of them I think are easily obtained for a private individual.  I have the gun displayed in my office, so it does have a constant temperature (as best as you can with a heat-pump) with limited amount of humidity.  For other reasons, I do have blinds in my office that block out most of the light, so the gun has rarely seen the sun since it has been in my possession.  I have a custom built case in which the gun is displayed on my wall and the front is a glass door in which you can open it and get at the gun, so it isn't air tight and moisture proof.  

But how would I ensure that the gun remains in good condition, as I think it is in great shape now.  I am not sure I can go the route of having a custom built case with UV protected glass and keep it in a humidity controlled environment and limit its exposure to the outside air, but apart from that, is there something that should be done on a regular basis?  At some point, perhaps this will be possible, but I am not sure I want to limit all access to handling the gun as there are times you just have to handle it or allow visitors the opportunity to handle it.


-----Original Message-----
From: gettysburg-bounces at [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at] On Behalf Of Dennis Lawrence
Sent: Monday, January 30, 2012 12:48 PM
Subject: GDG- Jim's Guns

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:

>CW muskets didn't have serial numbers.  About the only shoulder arms 
>that did were cavalry carbines, or rifles based on carbine actions, 
>such as the Spencer or the Sharps.  But even there, the surviving 
>records are extremely limited.  I only know who carried my Gettysburg 
>guns because the soldiers were kind enough to carve their names into 
>the stocks.
>Jim Cameron

Nominated for coolest posting of the day.

You can find a pix of  Jim's guns at

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