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Old January 6, 2013, 12:25 AM   #2
tahunua001
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EDIT:
the pictures didn't work at first but now the links are working. I am not an expert in civil war era rifles in any way but the first appears to be a genuine springfield, the bayonet lugs are a feature that many of the reproductions failed to remember to add if I recall correctly.
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Old January 6, 2013, 12:27 AM   #3
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Sorry got the pics up as links, tried to embed them but it didn't work. hmm.
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Old January 6, 2013, 12:33 AM   #4
tahunua001
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the second also appears to be a springfield though obviously not as well kept. I can't make out the date clearly but it appears to say 1828, if so and I might just be a blathering idiot but it seems the bands were a week point of construction and some soldiers may have used the wire as a make shift repair on the move. there is another thread here of an 1853 enfield musket that also has wire wraps in place of barrel bands.
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Old January 6, 2013, 12:55 AM   #5
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Are these worth much? Is there any way to have these cleaned and serviced the point of being used again by a professional gun dealer?

Also, I was a bit worried about how to check and make sure there still wasn't a charge in there. I'm not brave enough to point a flashlight down the barrel and position my head over it. lol
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Old January 6, 2013, 01:09 AM   #6
tahunua001
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gunsmiths that are willing to work with 160 year old rifles are pretty hard to find. I would say the first rifle probably has a pretty good chance of being still fired while the second is one that I would personally leave as a mantle piece. the prices vary greatly depending on condition and the difference between firing and non firing are very great. an easy way to tell is to remove the ramrod and drop it down the barrel, place a piece of masking tape as close to the muzzle as you can and then remove the ramrod and hold it over the barrel with the tape sitting in it's respective location just in front of the muzzle. if there is a gap(probably an inch and a half to 2 inches depending on rifle) between the tip of the ram rod and the nipple(part the hammer strikes) then there is probably a bullet in the chamber that needs removed and the bore will need to be cleaned and inspected as black powder is extremely corrosive. if it sits just in front of the drum and nipple or directly touching then the bore is clear. and just needs inspected to ensure no significant rust is present.

EDIT: if you do intend to fire it after it has been deemed safe to do so, I would recommend foregoing the normal charge of 80 grains of black powder for a lighter charge of 50 or so and clean within a few hours of shooting with hot water and soap, do not use petroleum based solvents, oils and cleaners as this creates problems with black powder rifles. a product called 'bore butter' is a good investment as it acts as both a bullet lube and a metal protectant during long storage periods.
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Last edited by tahunua001; January 6, 2013 at 01:15 AM.
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Old January 6, 2013, 01:21 AM   #7
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The first one is an 1842 Springfield rifled musket. The second one is an 1816 smoothbore that was converted from flint and then bastardized later on. The stock has been cut down and the ramrod thimbles were added and the ramrod hole in the stock was enlarged for the wooden ramrod. The original was a small steel rod.
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Old January 6, 2013, 01:37 AM   #8
tahunua001
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interesting hawg haggen,
I was under the impression that by the 19th century all of our muskets were rifled. shows what I know...
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Old January 6, 2013, 08:44 AM   #9
Mike Irwin
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The last smoothbore musket accepted into US service was the Model 1842. It was also the last .69 caliber US firearm adopted.

The Minne ball was invented in France about the same time that it was adopted.
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Old January 6, 2013, 09:09 PM   #10
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Both guns are/were U.S. muskets, made at Springfield Armory. The 1842 (dated 1850) appears to be in fair shape, though there is something wrong where the bolster meets the lockplate; there should be a perfect fit there.

The Model 1816 (made in 1823?) is a basket case and I doubt it can be even repaired, let alone restored. It began as a flintlock and at sometime, possibly in the 1840's, it was converted to the percussion system by the bolster method. Most of that type of conversion done for the government by private contractors and there is some variation in the actual work. It could also have been converted at some point by a gunsmith or by a company that bought the guns when they were sold as surplus. It appears to have been converted to a shotgun, a fate all too common for those old muskets.

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Old January 7, 2013, 10:22 PM   #11
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Thx for the advice guys, I'll probably let the older one just sit on the wall but I might take the 1850 one to a gunsmith to see what we can do with it.

James, You mentioned something about the bolster and lock plate, I assume you mean the gap just above the eagle? Is that a big deal problem?
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Old January 7, 2013, 10:37 PM   #12
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Yes, the gap between the bolster (where the nipple is) and the lockplate. There should be no gap and the parts should meet evenly.

A big deal? Maybe not, but it could indicate something wrong like the barrel not seated properly, or the lockplate bent. I can't tell just what is wrong, but your gunsmith should be able to.

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Old January 8, 2013, 08:02 PM   #13
Mike Irwin
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The bolsters were screwed in to the barrel, weren't they? Could have been a case of it having been removed at some point and not reinstalled properly.

And you know, to me it looks as if the cutout in the stock for the lockplate is REALLY oversized...

Replacement stock with a poorly fitted lockplate?
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Old January 8, 2013, 08:05 PM   #14
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No, those bolsters were welded onto the barrel. Drums were normally screwed in.

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Old January 10, 2013, 09:04 PM   #15
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The 1842 Musket could have had Civil War usage. They were typically issued to militia units early in the war and some weren't phased out completely until near the end. I had one at one time that had a soldiers initials and unit carved into stock.

The standard load for them was a "buck and ball" load consisting of a musket ball and three buckshot on top of it. Being a smoothbore it wasn't worth a darn at any kind of range beyond 50 yards, but up close they were devastating.

The 1816 may have also been used in the war as a secondary arm, but I too, think the bolster looks a little off. While the US army did convert some of the earlier obsolete smoothbore muskets into foraging shotguns for troops to use on the frontier, I would bet money it was done after it left government service as the workmanship is just too crude.
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Old January 11, 2013, 01:33 PM   #16
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Many Model 1842's (and earlier muskets) were converted to rifles and the issue ammunition was a .69 caliber "Minnie" ball, not "buck and ball". The ammunition manufacturing records indicate that while "buck and ball" was preferred early in the war, the "elongated ball" (Minie ball) showed a clear preference as the war went on. For example, for the quarter ending 30 Sep 1861, Allegheny Arsenal made 4,591,000 .69 caliber B&B cartridges vs only 1,174,000 E.B. rounds.

But by the quarter ending 30 JUn 1862, the balance had shifted to 809,000 B&B vs 5,683,000 rounds of E.B. And that was the last production of B&B by Allegheny Arsenal.

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