View Full Version : M1816 Springfield Musket

X - Man
April 1, 2008, 01:15 PM
Our family has a M1816 Springfield musket, dated 1837. It's in good condition but it's missing a part. It was converted to percussion cap, french method, it did not have the flash hole welded closed. Instead the hole is threaded, and at one time a screw plug must of been installed. The screw pug is missing and I'd like to find a replacement. It's threaded with an oddball screw pitch, perhaps 10-28. A photo I saw showed a pan headed screw plug. Any suggestions on finding a part, even if its a repro? Also is there a chance this musket could be fired again?, after an inspection by a smith, of course!

April 1, 2008, 06:51 PM
You might post a picture of the area in question to clarify, but I suspect it will be something that some gunsmith with machinist skills would have to make as a custom part if it is an odd thread, etc. I don't know about shooting it. I think there are replicas out there available if you wanted the sensation of shooting that type of musket, but I suppose it could be fired only if inspected carefully. I would think very few of those old muskets like that are in safe shootable condition, and if something breaks, there you go... They did not use modern methods to make those barrels back then and they are not nearly as strong and safe as a replica. I would not if it were mine. Now I suppose that if a modern barrel fit in place of the original, you could install it on the gun to try shooting it. Then put it back original. But even then, what if something in the lock breaks, or there is a weak point in the stock and recoil cracks it. Lot of good reasons not to do it. But it has been done in the past before there were alot of replicas being made, but then the guns were not as valuable or scarce then, maybe. The most experts on possibly shooting something like that might be contacted thru the National Muzzleloading Rifle Assoc. in southern Ind.

James K
April 1, 2008, 07:23 PM
I am not quite sure what you mean by the plug. In the so-called "French" style conversion, the flash hole was not welded shut, it was drilled out to a larger size and threaded to take a drum; the drum had a hole in the top into which a musket nipple was threaded. (In the "Belgian" conversion, the flash hole was plugged and/or welded shut and a new hole for the nipple drilled and threaded in the top of the barrel.)

So in a "French" conversion, the hole in the side of the barrel should not be closed with a screw, it should be closed off with the drum. I don't have a similar conversion to check, but the drum threads would be larger than 10x28, probably 5/16" or 3/8".

It sounds like you have a French conversion with the drum missing. One can be made fairly easily, or they are available from Dixie; the Dixie drums would be modern and would look odd. For further discussion, a picture would help, preferably a closeup of the lock area.

FWIW, conversions are not nearly as valuable as original flintlocks, and many "French" style conversions have been "restored" to flintlock. Most are fairly easy to spot if a seller is claiming the gun to be original, but I have seen a few nice restorations.