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 Active 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 Active 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 Active 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 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
  16. Palmetto

    Palmetto New Member

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    According to Charles L. Foster an expert on Confederate troops and arms. Confederate soldiers could have carried any of these guns below.

    Any U.S. Model 1816 Musket altered to percussion
    Any U.S. Model 1842 Musket
    Any Model of a Continental Import
    Any U.S. Rifle-Musket of .58 caliber
    Any Pattern of 1853 “Enfield” Rifle Musket
    An Austrian Lorenz Rifle-Musket
    A Sharps Carbine
    A Spencer Carbine
  17. grcsat

    grcsat Member

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    Do you think this is possible a Bess convertion?? lots of $$$$
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  18. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Could also be a "Hollywood" gun.
    There's been a guy that occasionally shows up at out local gunshows with a table full of "prop" guns from some movie studio. They were cobbled together from a variety of parts, both original and modern castings. The main idea was to have something that looked more or less period correct from a distance. (Think about scenes where a mass of troops are marching in the distance. It would not be cost effective to have a real or reproduction musket for each one of the "extras".)
    My favorite one was what was left of a 1873 Trapdoor with a crudely cast brass (painted black) "flintlock" stuck on the side.
  19. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The lockplate appears to be of a Model 1840; later lockplates are different. The date looks like 1848 but that cannot be correct since by that time Springfield was in full production of the Model 1842. I think the date is 1843, not 1848, which would be the last year of production for the Model 1840. The conversion is the so-called "Belgian style" with the nipple screwed directly into the top of the barrel. The hammer is correct for that conversion. (See Flayderman 9A-258 and 9A-264.)

    One discrepancy I see, and which lends support to the "frankengun" idea, is that the lockplate is made for a drum, but the hammer is not appropriate to that type of conversion. Perhaps Hosman can let us know if there is a hole in the top of the barrel for a nipple.

    Civil War use would be speculative, but highly likely. It would not have been the latest type, but might still have seen front line service. Unlike the later Model 1842, few, if any, were rifled.

    It is pretty safe to say that the bands were not put on by any military armorer, north or south. More likely after the gun came into civilian hands, the bands were lost and someone improvised those "tin can" bands.

    The gun certainly is interesting, but its dollar value is in the realm of guesswork. An original Model 1840, flintlock and never converted, in nice shape would bring in the $7000 range. Even a conversion would be around $800-1000. But that gun would probably bring only $300 or so. If the stock has not been cut (pics don't show the front end) and the nose cap is still there, the gun could be a good candidate for restoral, but the cost could well be more than the gun could possibly be worth.

    Jim
  20. grcsat

    grcsat Member

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    Jim, Thank you for your clarification about the lock. I thought there was something out of place but coudn't put my finger on it. Your explination dose make things more clear.However if the lock is correct then isn't that the wrong barrel? If the niple is on top of the barrel , how can you see the rear sight?
    Any thoughts about the rear sight in the pics ? Kinnda looks out of place for military use.

    I hope I'm not being an ass but since I've never worked on this style of musket ,I surely do want to expand my knowlege from someone who knows more than I.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
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