Musket barrel & lock markings

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by EVC, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. EVC

    EVC New Member

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    I recently acquired a flintlock musket and I'm trying to better identify what I've got. I'm also trying to restore it with correct period parts. It is a French Charleville style. The barrel is 41 1/4 inches in length, smooth bore .72 cal, dated 1837 with a D, 227, and what looks to be a crown over initials I can't quite make out. The lock has floral like makings but no maker name on the outside. I have not attempted to remove the lock yet to look at the interior. Anyway, please look at the attached photo's and information/speculation will be appreciated. Thanks, Bud
     

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  2. EVC

    EVC New Member

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    Posting a few more pics to give a better idea of what I've got. I took off the lock and it is marked on the inside with what looks like W KETLAND & C. I did a little research and it looks as though his firm made looks 1802 to 1831. Still wondering about the barrel markings. Obviously, I need correct middle and rear barrel bands. I'm learning original flintlock parts can be very pricey and typically require some hand fitting. The stock wood is really solid. Note that the frizzen has been "resoled". I believe the trigger guard is a french style though someone from another site thought "Brown Bess". Again, any information, speculation, and thoughts will be appreciated. Thanks, Bud
     

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  3. Grayrock Volunteer

    Grayrock Volunteer Member

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    This gun probably started life as a New England militia musket. The lock is a commercial English made lock that was commonly available from the late 18th century to roughly 1820. The stock is American made, and post Revolutionary War based on the lock screw escutcheons. I would estimate the stock as being contemporary with the lock.

    The barrel is from a Prussian Model 1809 Musket. When it was built into the gun is indeterminable, but you can be sure that it was post-American Civil War. The barrel had been percussion converted before it arrived in the US and when put on your musket the lock was converted to percussion as well. Some time later, the gun was reconverted.

    The barrel bands are all probably later additions that were supplied when the gun was reconverted to flintlock. The rear band appears to be from a M1855 or M1861 Rifle-Musket. The middle band has the look of belonging to a M1863 Rifle-Musket. The upper band is from a Prussian Model 1809 musket like the barrel.
     
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  4. EVC

    EVC New Member

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    Thanks "Grayrock". Very interesting and informative. I agree that the lock and stock seem contemporary as I see no evidence of inletting alteration of the wood when the lock is off the stock. Since I'm new to the "flintlock" field, I have a few of questions. How can you tell the barrel and upper band are from a Prussian Model 1809 ? How did you conclude that the barrel is post-American Civil War ? And, how do you tell that the lock and barrel were altered to percussion and then reconverted to flintlock ? Just trying to learn as much as I can. Thanks again, Bud
     
  5. Grayrock Volunteer

    Grayrock Volunteer Member

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    My primary interest in antique arms is Civil War era longarms, and I collect European imports among other areas in that field. The Prussian Model 1809 is well known by Civil War collectors, as nearly 165,000 Prussian muskets were purchased by Federal agents during the war.
    Those purchases are where the overwhelming majority of Model 1809 Muskets in the US come from. They had all been altered to percussion by the Prussians in the late 1830s through early 1850s. An original flintlock example of the Model 1809 is very rare here in the US and quite difficult to find in Europe as well.
    Prussia did not sell off muskets to the United States prior to 1861, and all foreign gun contracts were suspended during the summer of 1863 as domestic production of Model 1861 and Model 1863 Rifle-Muskets caught up to demand. It isn't perfectly exact, but we can be pretty well assured that the Prussian donor gun wasn't imported before the war, so the earliest this gun could have been assembled would be 1865/66 when mustering out soldiers were permitted to buy their arms. More likely the 1809 was a surplus gun sold later in the 19th century.
    The patina around the vent is different from the rest of the barrel, which is a good indicator of reconversion. The tang is not original to the barrel.

    Aside from the general look of the barrel, the proofs definitively show the gun to be Prussian. From the breech forward we have a "D" stamp which indicates the barrel was made or at least percussion altered at the Danzig Arsenal. Above that is a FW over crown stamp of Frederick Wilhelm III and is the official Prussian government ownership stamp. In front of that is 1837, the date of manufacture. The other number on the barrel, 227, is a rack number which would have been repeated on the buttplate tang, which would have also probably had the gun's regimental issue information stamped on it as well.

    On the lock front, after further examination, it may not have been fully reconverted. The pan appears to be an integral iron one, and the wear and patina on it looks pretty good. The cock is undoubtedly a replacement and is probably a reproduction. The top jaw and jaw screw are definitely reproductions. The mainspring is a replacement and I believe the frizzen spring is as well.
     
  6. EVC

    EVC New Member

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    Thanks, I really appreciate your expertise and sharing of information. I agree with your further assessment of the lock and the integral pan. I'll continue trying to find period correct parts. I enjoy that part of collecting, as well as, getting accouterments like bayonets and such. So that leads to another question, I've looked at photo's of M1809's and wonder how the bayonet was attached ? It seems there is a stud or such protruding from the bottom front of the stock under the barrel. Would this have originally been attached to the barrel or the front tip of the stock ? Also, how can you tell the tang is not original to the barrel ? Thanks again, Bud
     
  7. Grayrock Volunteer

    Grayrock Volunteer Member

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    The Prussian M1809 had a block type rear sight mortised onto the barrel's tang. There is a difference in the patina between the barrel and the tang, and I don't see any sign of the rear sight having been removed.

    The M1809's bayonet was secured by an under-mounted spade shaped clasp. The clasp is attached to the barrel. There is a small stud on the underside of the barrel under the stock that the iron clasp is pinned to. The barrel channel is mortised out at the end to accommodate the clasp.

    You should be able to get proper parts to restore the lock from Track of the Wolf or The Rifle Shoppe. You'd be looking for Ketland commercial lock parts. It might be tricky getting a correct barrel for it if you wanted to fully restore it since the channel in the stock may not be a great match. The Rifle Shoppe sells a number of smoothbore barrels that would be appropriate. Originally your musket may have mounted a surplus French or early American military musket barrel, or even a commercially produced fowler barrel.
     
  8. EVC

    EVC New Member

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    Thanks, my compliments to your knowledge. I have a small US martial arms collection and I love researching what I've got. I’ve tried to get a long gun representative of each of our major conflicts but, didn’t have a flintlock. Even though it’s mismatched, I like it. I think it has “character” ! And, who knows some of it “may have been there”...