One day my buddy Steve Sullivan emails me and tells me he has hundreds of yards of fabric left over from his sutler business and if I come to Illinois to get it I can have it. Brian and I left before dawn, drove out to Northwest Illinois and had a way-too-short visit with Steve, saw his phenomenal collection of original items, talked at length about a myriad of Civil War topics, loaded up the truck
, and arrived back in Michigan well after dark. That would be the last time I would see Steve. A friend of few words, of a great depth of knowledge, a searing sarcastic wit, and depthless generosity.
Over the years I used all of Steve's fabrics in various projects. All except for a couple big bolts of dark blue and sky blue wool whose shade were just a little bit "off" to authentically use in uniforms. Finally after nearly ten years I landed upon the best use for the material: to line oilcloth rifle cases to house my growing collection. The process of the project actually spanned over a year, as the cut sleeves sat unfinished first on one surface, then another, and finally this summer I got off my duff and painted them. When I was done I had almost twenty, and believe me I didn't need that many! Likewise I also learned that they were just a bit too short to fit muskets...but short rifles have always been my favorite anyway so who cares?
Then I thought, I don't need this many sleeves, I'll never need this many sleeves, and this is the perfect opportunity to give back a little to the community that has given so much to me.
So I will be selling a handful of the oilcloth sleeves with all of the proceeds going to American Battlefield Trust's effort to buy "General Pickett's Buffet" at Gettysburg and expand the area over which the Bliss Farm and Pickett's Charge fights occurred. I think Steve would approve.
The Rifle Sleeves will comfortably fit your "repeater" or "breechloader" or "two-band" rifle. Each is lined in wool with an oilcloth outer covering and a tape tie. No the paint is not a "period recipe" but the clear coat is turpentine mixed with my own homemade boiled linseed oil (what I normally use on my gun stocks.)
In case you missed it No these sleeves will not fit your 1861 Springfield, P53 Enfield, and definitely not an 1842 Springfield musket.
I just have a few so if you want one grab it. I'll close the item in the shopping cart when they sell out.