Re: Militaryheritage firearms

Discussion in 'Smoothbore' started by -, Feb 28, 2004.

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  1. Mar 5, 2004 #21

    Guest

    I can find no reference to your musket for US as in military use or issue. This is strange as the US designates it as being a contract gun. Due to it's longer pinned barrel, 44" as opposed to most contract and Harpers Ferry as well as Springfield guns having bands, I wonder if the lock might be a replacement for a gun surviving the recolutionary war. By this time, 1810, all military US guns I can find pictures of, have bands and 42 to 42 1/2" barrels of .69 cal.
    : On the other hand, there were a number of Mexican Bess's, but were normally marked with the Mexican Coat of Arms. These were pinned but had round holes in the cock's throat. I have one picture of 5 US model contract arms, from 1808 to 1840 marked 1842 - all being Flintlock and having bands as well as double throated cocks with round holes. This includes one Harpers Ferry musket of 1795 pattern, but dated 1809 as well as an Eli Whitney marked "EXETER" on the lock of M1812 & a M1816 made at Harper's Ferry yet even the 1795 had bands instead of pins. All of these were .69's, yet the issue ball in ctg. wa .64 in calibre(at Lewis and Clarks time) this windage was reduced slightly later on to improve accuracy. The standard ctg. charge for the .69's was 167gr., (10approx)of which was sprinked into the pan for priming. Later on as powder quality improved, this charge was reduced to[url] 130gr.in[/url] the ctg.
    : Very strange musket you have there and a treasure for certain.
     
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  2. Mar 6, 2004 #22

    musketman

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    Maybe the hammer (cock) was changed for whatever reason, thus removing the round hole and hammer and replacing it with the heart shaped hole one...

    Scavenging parts was somewhat easier than making them, they were recycling... :winking:
     
  3. Mar 6, 2004 #23

    Deadeye

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    Thanks for all the info. The R&C. Leonard on the lock below the eagle and U.S., would that be the lock makers?
    And what of the CANTON? Any ideas? There's also a sling attachment on the front of triggerguard but none on the stock, would probably have been on a band but no evidence of a band having ever been there, but the cartouche on the stock would only be there if it were military. There's a NJ scratched in one side of the butt which I thought might be New Jersey and
    IBI carved in the other side which are probably initials.
    Bore is good except for one spot of pitting, lock is excellent and doesn't appear to be replaced. ::
     
  4. Mar 6, 2004 #24

    Guest

    Yeah - it's a puzzler- could be a gun made from parts gathered - the pinned stock goes against it being a regular contract military musket. The sling attachment at the T.G,. is standard military but there should be a swivel up front. The heart-shaped, double throated cock sounds like a Hawken cock (DursEgg- whatever).
    ; I'm certain this type of 'building' was very common as many rifle and smoothbores in collections have a variety of different 'area' parts on them. I can certainly see an armorer at a post building from parts - especially when guns were put out of use so often and replacements were few and far between. This would be especialy common with the Indians or settlers for that matter. Many foreign arms were bought by entrepreneurs, then changed, rearranged and converted to something that could be sold over here - by the thousands according to Garavaglia & Worman in their books.
    Daryl
     
  5. Mar 7, 2004 #25

    musketman

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    Many thanks to DEADEYE...
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Mar 7, 2004 #26

    Deadeye

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    Daryl, I looked on Butterfields auction site and they had an 1808 contract musket by Thomas French that has the right barrel length, breach markings, cartouche markings, caliber,
    everything except this one has R&C Leonard instead of T. French. R&C Leonard must have also been contract makers.
    Also looking closer at the stock I can just barely see where the spring clip that held the ist band has been filled in. Someone did such a good job, that and a 100 yrs or 2 made it look original.
    Many thanks to you and Musketman for your help.
     
  7. Mar 7, 2004 #27

    Guest

    Is this the picture of the musket in question? I see a band.
    : I see Deadeye's mentoned the spring-clip and cover-up. That might make sense for someone, later-on wanting to 'sporterize' the gun.
    : I also substanciates it being a possible 'contract' musket.- Cool! Still not sure about the heart-shped piercing in the cock, tho. I can't see in the picture if this is a French musket, aka, Charleville or not. If the cock matches or closely matches that in the above picture of this 1777 mustket- then, well, there's the answer - perhaps.
    Daryl
     
  8. Mar 8, 2004 #28

    Deadeye

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    No, this is the picture of the one for sale at Butterfields.
    It's described as being an 1808 contract musket by Thomas French and list all the lock, barrel, cartouche markings
    exactly the same as on the one I have except for where that one is marked T. French this one is marked R&C Leonard and the letters in the stock cartouche are different, inspectors initials, I would think. Their lock is also marked CANTON 1810 but am still looking to find out if that's Canton, Ohio or what. On closer inspection I can see that all 3 spring clips for the bands have been filled in and brass ramrod thimbles have been added but it must have been 100 yrs. ago.
     
  9. Mar 8, 2004 #29

    musketman

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    I think this was done by a private owner, if it was asigned to an armory, it would have been converted to percussion around 1849ish...

    My .69 caliber musket (1838) was converted in 1849 and used in the Civil War, it too had the double throated hammer at one time...
     
  10. Mar 8, 2004 #30

    Guest

    Musketman- did they rifle it too? My big book on the American firearms states quite emphatically, the .69's were much more accurate than the .58 or .54 minnies. Some did have a recoil problem with the factory cartridges. One of the .69 muskets that was rifled weighed only 6 1/2 pounds or so. Geribaldi, I think they called it - Austrian too.
    Daryl
     
  11. Mar 8, 2004 #31

    musketman

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    Yes they did, two wide bands (Brunswick style, Springfield had three grooves), it has a 1-70+ inch twist...

    I think it may even be 1-90 inch twist, it was converted at Harpers Ferry...

    Mine is a full length, three band, American made musket...
     
  12. Mar 8, 2004 #32

    Guest

    That's COOL!!!- Is it shootable?? Have you shot it??
    : BTW - check out the Heritge site again. They have the 1777 Cavalry Carbine now - NEW!
    : It is absolutely beutiful.
    : There are a couple Charleville Replicas around here,(B.C.) or at least there used to be - I don't know wht make they were, but the main complaint - the only real one or two, is that there isn't enough drop in the stock and the stock has a very short pull length. The ones on this site appear to have plenty of drop and are supposed to be about perfect in duplication. As well, for whatever reason, the French guns appear to be better made than the English pattern ones. That might only be the picture quality, though and that's likely the situation.
    : The NEW carbine appears to be a PERFECT hunting gun as well. They list the 1777 Charleville Musket as a .66- might be a typo. The Carbine should be the same .69 as the full length gun, I do believe.
    I also believe that carbine is the one I'll be buying - DAMN - probably not until June, IF I can wait that long, that is. Perhaps I can get someone interested in one of my gopher guns up here. I wouldn't mind selling the CZ or the Ruger#1 r the .450 Alaskan Model 70.- HA! this BP stuff is rather infectious - strange, how some of us go through these stages, isn't it?
    ; Also, re-reading the book on American firearms 1803-1865 - came across the notation that in the early years, the service charge was 165gr. for the .69's, Model 1777(French) called the 1795 when produced in America at Harpers Ferry and Springfield armoury. It was later reduced to 130gr. as powder quality improved. Also, the ctgs. were loaded with .64 cal balls - rather innacurate, for sure. They really do shoot a LOT better with proper sized balls and cloth patch. My bro shot his first Muzzleloading Moose with a repro Bess, about 15 years ago, bck n the 80's, d--m- that's 20 years ago. - WOW! It was a 90 yd. shot with a 100gr. 2F & .735 ball (620gr.) The ball hit right on the bayonete lug-sight and stopped on the far side, expanded to 1 1/4" in dia. Just a big disk. The moose walked down into the ditch and fell over, about 10' from where it had been hit. There was a 5" diameter hole through the lungs. That shock wave sure makes a big permanent hole.
    Daryl
     
  13. Mar 8, 2004 #33

    musketman

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    Just like them mooses, anything over 1000 pounds by law, is required to go to the lowest point on the planet and expire there...

    I have shot the .69 a few times (it wes 135 years old then, using very mild loads too), I retired it once I got my Brown Bess somewhere around 12 years ago...

    It's .69 is 166 years old now...
     
  14. Mar 9, 2004 #34

    Guest

    Thanks for responding. Did you check out the new 1777 Carbine at[url] MilitaryHeritage.com[/url]? That's a very good looking carbine - looks to have a barrel over 30". Guess I'm going to have to call them to find out.
    Daryl [​IMG]
     
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  15. Mar 9, 2004 #35

    Deadeye

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    I kept looking and in Riley's papers he lists R&C Leonard as
    one of the contract musket makers and Canton as Canton, Mass. From somewhere I remember reading that an 1808 was a 2nd model 1795, does that sound right?
     
  16. Mar 9, 2004 #36

    musketman

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    Look what I found, I think we have a winner... ::
    [​IMG]
    Massachusetts Made Fowling Gun or Musket. Made in Canton, Mass. Stamped on the lock is "R. & C. Leonard" above eagle over U.S. cartouche. At rear of lock stamped "Canton, 1811." Barrel with proofing marks, including large "U.S., V," and oval incuse with eagle head and "C.T." On the stock also a tri-lobed mark, "V/CW". Nicely refurbished and in full working order. Appears complete. A small split in the stock at the frizzen spring and some minor losses here and there; overall a very displayable piece of U.S. history. Overall length 59
     
  17. Mar 9, 2004 #37

    Guest

    Looks like you've got a ringer, Musketman- very confusing, being Canton's on both continents, but these mustkets you've found certainly do appear to be of the same mfgr. & markings almost identical.
    : Way to go! That US stamp really had me wondering, but then, if you read the records of guns on hand from various makers, and see numbers like 12,000 in stores at Springfield, 4,500 in stores at HrpersFerry & in all, 45,000 in stores "in all states of conditon", makes you wonder how many different maker's guns are there. The fact that the bands and springs had been replaced shows the musket was converted into a fowling piece after being sold to a citizen, which thousands and thousands were.
    : Purchases from Europe didn't just come from the military either, as many of the larger distribution centres ordered directly, re-conditioning & re-stamping to something they thought would sell to the government of civilians, pricing in the $0.30 to $5.00 depending on conditon- refurbished for $1,35 ea.- that sort of thing. Along with poor record keeping, well, makes things difficult unless a similar 'piece' can be found in a collection somewhere as you've found. Congratulations.
    Daryl
     
  18. Mar 10, 2004 #38

    Deadeye

    Deadeye

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    Thanks Musketman, that's it in the 1st picture, or would be before the front end was sporterized. Interesting thing is
    the owner originally brought 2 muskets, that he had inherited, and the other one is almost exactly like the 2nd picture, or at least as I recall, I don't have the 2nd musket here now. I was surprised, when looking thru Rileys list, that there were so many contract makers of these muskets.
     
  19. Mar 11, 2004 #39

    musketman

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    As you can see in the second picture, the front of the stock and the thimbles are as you said...

    Both muzzleloaders were made at the same time frame, and at the same place...

    I suspect that maybe R. & C. Leonard grabbed a stock destin for the second style to finish off a musket, there could have been a first style stock shortage then...
     
  20. Mar 12, 2004 #40

    Guest

    In line with what has been found out, this should be of interest. It's a quote from "Firearms of The American West 1803-1865)"
    : In December 1795, Secretary of War, Timothy Pickering wrote," besides two thousand rifles which have been purchsed, contracts have been made, and are executing, for seven thousand muskets, to be manufactured in the United States....Such muskets as are manufactured are after the model of the French arms, which compose, by far, the greatest part of those in our magazines."
    : While the barrel was nominally 44 1/2" long, with a .69 caliber bore, variations of half inch or so in length and two or three thousanths of an inch in bore size were the rule rather than the exception.
    : It is also stated that the variations in the model 1795 was not limited to dimensions alone. Some of the contractees, liking the Modlel 1777 better than the supposedly copied 1763, copied certain features of the later musket, among which was the forward facing brass pan. As a result, the muskets made by Whitney more closely resembled the later US MOdel 1816 about as much as they did other 1795's.
    : What an excellent book this is - and a necessity of those wishing to expand their knowledge of their American heritage.(& written by a Canuk- HA! I love this stuff - why oh why didn't I pay more attention to History in school?Daryl
     

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