Fisherman discovers cache of 19th century rifles in remarkably good condition

A fishing trawler off the coast of Canada discovered a crate full of 19th century muskets that have spent the last century and a half under water.

No one knows how the cache ended up on the bottom of the Atlantic ocean about 200 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.

The 600 lb safe covered in sea-life was transferred to Memorial University’s archaeology department in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Now researchers are working to restore the twenty 1853 Enfield rifled muskets back to their original glory.

While the iron barrels and lock plates were almost completely destroyed by salt water, the wood stocks and brass plates were in remarkable condition given there situation. Inspectors’ marks and serial numbers were still visible. This information may help uncover the mysterious origin of the rifles.

Experts believe the .577 caliber weapons were meant for either Civil War troops in the US or British troops in Canada. Fired from a 29 inch rifled barrel, these muskets were capable of making accurate shots up to 500 yards away in the hands of a skilled marksman.

Click here to see what happens when you fire 400-year-old musket balls from a modern shotgun.