Nineteenth Century Cased Target Rifle, Nelson Lewis, Troy, New York - Antique Associated At West Townsend

Nineteenth Century Cased Target Rifle, Nelson Lewis, Troy, New York

Owned by Otis Wright, Troy, NY Date/Period: Mid 1850’s

Nineteenth Century Cased Target Rifle, Nelson Lewis, Troy, New York

Full octagonal barrel with false muzzle and bullet starter. Patent breech. Upper left flat of breech is scalloped – a Nelson Lewis trademark. The patent breech has an engraved scene of a Stag lying in a field. There are 3 gold barrel bands on the breech. Barrel markings are engraved in script and read “Nelson Lewis Maker – Troy N.Y.”. The rocky mountain style rear sight has a fancy scalloped and pierced front finial. The front sight is hooded and has a pointer and barrel gradation marks for windage adjustment. The half stock is a beautiful, figured walnut featuring dark contrasting grain.

The trigger is single set; trigger guard has two extensions for fingers. The back-action lock, tang, trigger plate, trigger guard, toe plate, butt plate, rear rammer pipe, and lock plate screw escutcheon are all iron, and, except the escutcheon, are all finely engraved in the quality of L.D. Nimschke. The beautifully engraved patch box is of silver with an iron lid. The fore end cap is silver. The barrel key escutcheons are gold and engraved. There are three eight-pointed gold stars inlaid into the right side of the butt stock.

The raised cheek piece displays an inlaid gold leaf that is inscribed “Otis Wright Troy NY”. Otis Wright appears in the Troy New York directories from 1855 to 1857 with no occupation listed. He appears in 1857 and 1858 as the Superintendent of the Rensselaer Iron Works. Thereafter he is not listed in Troy. It is likely that the maker, Nelson Lewis purchased his iron from the Rensselaer Iron Works.

Within the outstanding original leather covered case featuring intricate tooled sunburst pattern ornamentation are all accessories The case retains its pair of original leather straps that remain supple.

Included is the original bullet swedge. Serious target shooters cast their own bullets then forced them into this steel chamber that was the EXACT size of their rifle bore. The precision swedge is machined from thick heavy steel. One end opens to receive the cast bullet; a steel dowel is forced in behind the bullet then hammered. The bullet now conforms to the exact shape of the swedge cavity [bore]. Finally, the small loose dowel on the other end is tapped releasing the precision finished bullet.

(These swedges were individually made for a specific gun and are not interchangeable with any other rifle.)

Item Date: Mid 1850s

Measurement: Overall length: 48"; barrel length: 32"; Case: 37.75" x 8" x 3"

Material: Best figured walnut, leather covered case, brass upholstery orbs

Item Condition: Fine original condition; gun and accessories are in wonderful condition, showing almost no wear.

Price: $19,750

SKU 308-646

For More Information, Please Contact David Hillier at 978-597-8084 or email

Please click on images to expand.