Springfield Musket

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by hosman321, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. hosman321

    hosman321 New Member

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    Hello everyone! New to the forum and have a few questions about our musket. I'm trying to determine two things. First, we would like to know if it does appear to be authentic and not a reproduction. Also, we can't figure out what these metal "bands" are. There are two. They are stapled onto the weapon and are obviously not original. However, they are also very old and the previous owner said they had been there for his entire life, at least 45 years. They have some pieces of very brittle, faded paper on them. I could barely make out a triangle. When I sat and thought about civil war era triangles for a few minutes I realized it was an elongated triangle for Arkansas. It also has the "ARK" on the inside of the triangle. Has anbody ever seen stapled bands on a weapon with paper on them? Was this done for some reason during the civil war? Someone on my antiques forum suggested they may have been added during an anniversary ceremony or reenactment. Any ideas? Sorry I couldn't get a decent full length picture, I can if it is needed. Thank you for any info! -Jessica
    Oh, and we do realize it's missin a piece or two. :)
    Weight is 9 pounds.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  2. hosman321

    hosman321 New Member

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    One more.

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  3. hosman321

    hosman321 New Member

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    Nearly 60 views and no replies?
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  4. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i dont know much about that era or type of firearms but i will venture to say it is an original and not a reproduction. the paper band i have no real idea. maybe some type of arsenal identification tags is the only thing i can think of.

    by the way, welcome to the forum.
  5. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

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    Was it repaired by a very early gunsmith or some sort of in the field repair on the lock mech.? I have never seen a band like that and I have held/fired some real deal springfields from this era.
  6. hosman321

    hosman321 New Member

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    Thank you very much for the replies guys. I guess the only logical reason for them would be a repair. They have obviously caused a good amount of damage over time, the wood is splitting bad. I don't mind the damage if it's possible it was actually done during war time, it's just a bit of added character in that case. With the Arkansas on it, I'm only assuming the repair was done during the Civil War. The paper material is pretty grimey and fragile. I've attached a few more pics if they help at all. To the untrained and inexperienced eye of mine, I can't see what the repair was for. Could the barrel have been coming loose from the wood? Nobody I've talked to sees the purpose for them. But I'm fairly sure a person doing a memorial ceremony or reenactment wouldn't staple metal bands to the weapon and put Arkansas on it. But I guess stranger things have happened. :)
    Oh, and one last question. Were these weapons numbered with serial numbers? There isn't a number anywhere visible and I was wondering if the number, if it exists, would be underneath that top band. I can't remove the band, it's on there really good and I think it's steel.

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    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  7. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

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    I really doubt you'd find any identification under those bands. The lock looks like it is a very early modification from flint to percussion cap lock. I agree that I've never seen any field repair like this, and it is too crude to have been an arsenal repair. I'd suspect that this is a civil war veteran's bring back, and that those bands were added in the late 1860's as a home repair job.

    Again, if I had to guess, not knowing the true history of that rifle - I'd say that those bands were added becase the barrel began to loosen in the stock with age/use. Just a guess. Nice piece of American history.

    Finally, there would be no serial number anywhere on that musket. They didn't use them back then.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  8. bentonville

    bentonville New Member

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    We need pics of the entire weapon, and a description of markings on the other parts (stock,etc.) Thanks
  9. flintlock

    flintlock Well-Known Member

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    The lock definitely was converted from a flintlock to percussion. The bands, maybe replacements for the original barrel bands, added at a later date when the originals had been lost. Notice the retaining spring in the stock ahead of the second band. The lock is dated 1848, but with the remnants of the barss pan still visible, I'd guess it may have been from an 1816 model of the Springfield musket originally. And, I may be completely wrong, happens sometimes!
  10. Gabob

    Gabob Well-Known Member

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    I agree. That bronze flintlock pan looks like the 1816 Flintlock pan
  11. hosman321

    hosman321 New Member

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    Thank you very much for the info guys. I'll get better pictures up later today. One of the original bands is there and one is missing. Thanks again!
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  12. Esteban

    Esteban New Member

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    Those bands may just be a very thin metal that was used as a " field repair." The overlapping ends have " pricks ", [ rows of punch marks] that hold the metal in place. I used to be a sheet metal worker & made many reproductions of early American items & I used the pricks , at times. If it truely is paper, I would think that it was used for the same thing using tree sap as a glue. No " duct tape " back then.
  13. Palmetto

    Palmetto New Member

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    It looks like a Civil War musket that someone tried to repair without using a gunsmith. The crude staples look home made vs. any gunsmith.
  14. grcsat

    grcsat Active Member

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    Hi, I have only seen one other example of this configuration.
    It was not all that uncommon once apon a time(1880) to turn old or obsolet muskets into parade rifles.
    You will notice in the pic that there is no flash hole or a place for a drum and nipple. To my understanding this was done to prevent acedental loading and discharge.

    If the bore is 69 cal and there is a US stamp on the but plate I would regaurd this as a cofederate rifle given the location and date and mods.( desprit times and desprit actions)
    However the lock does raise a lot of questions. It just doen't seem right.

    If the bore is 72 cal I would consider this a parts gun.

    If I am wrong then please correct me.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  15. Palmetto

    Palmetto New Member

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    Confederates usually carried Enfields 400,000+ and the majority of Springfields in Confederate hands were captured or found on the battlefields.

    The 1855 Springfields were rare and the 1861's were mainly a Federal weapon. Many weren't issued until 1862.

    After the war, most of the surrendered Confederate arms were sold to Mexico and other countries in South America. So it is very rare to find Confederate firearms of any kind. One of the best collections is in the history museum of Greensboro North Carolina.

    If this is a converted flintlock Confederate weapon, you have quite a find!
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
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