ENFIELD P59 Long Rifle
|This Example Lock Plate Date:||1864|
The P59 was a weapon developed in response to the Indian mutiny of 1857. The British government (and EIG) had the conundrum of how to arm ‘native’ troops with better weaponry than an enemy but without giving them arms that were equal to European troops. The solution was simple - to provide them with a weapon that externally looked like a Pattern 53, but was smooth bored (.656 rather than the P53’s .577) and had a basic ‘V’ sight.
With an effective range of 2-300 yards the P59 could happily out gun a flintlock in both accuracy and range, but should the locals be so inclined to rebel again, then the British troops could out gun them in terms of effective fire (up to 950 yards) and accuracy with their rifled arms.
14,000 Pattern 59’s were built at (R.S.A.F.) Enfield in 1864 and were sent out to India. All the examples I have seen have been in good condition with a good proportion of their original bluing. All these Enfield’s will have an Enfield Roundel on the stock.
This Sepoy musket was made to the highest interchangeable standards of the day a good number of of Pattern 59’s in the UK are in very good condition and are fun to shoot, being one of the most accurate percussion muskets made over that period.
For a bit of background information an interesting, if not wordy, article on The Indian Mutiny of 1857 can be found on The Defence Journal’s web site and I have written a short piece on the mutiny here which in tern will lead you to the page on the Pattern 53 Mark 2 Enfield's.