Va. Manufactory lock re conversion

Discussion in 'Smoothbore' started by Rusty Musket, Jul 31, 2019.

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  1. Jul 31, 2019 #1

    Rusty Musket

    Rusty Musket

    Rusty Musket

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    Hello,

    First time poster. Picked up a Va. Manufactory musket lock plate dated 1803 about 30 years ago and am interested in having it converted back to flint.

    Could anyone recommend a good gunsmith who could do this ?

    Thanks,
     
  2. Jul 31, 2019 #2

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

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    Welcome aboard Scott !

    How was it converted to percussion or rather which one of these three common ways?

    1. Plugged the vent hole, mounted the percussion cone (nipple) on top of the barrel and forged the hammer longer and bent to hit the cone.

    2. Made a "drum" and cone that screwed into the old vent hole. This is the easiest to re-convert, BTW.

    3. Replaced the breech with a percussion bolster breech. Honestly, I personally would not try this one.

    Gus
     
  3. Aug 1, 2019 #3

    Smokey Plainsman

    Smokey Plainsman

    Smokey Plainsman

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    Always glad to help someone convert a gun back to God's choice, the flint.
     
  4. Aug 1, 2019 #4

    Rusty Musket

    Rusty Musket

    Rusty Musket

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    Gus,

    I'm honestly not sure. I'll bring it by your table to check out at one of the Richmond shows. You've done a few things on some of my M1's in the past.
     
  5. Aug 1, 2019 #5

    Rusty Musket

    Rusty Musket

    Rusty Musket

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    Thank you, I'll definitely be in contact with you when the time comes.
     
  6. Aug 1, 2019 #6

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

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    Would love to see a Virginia Manufactory of Arms musket, as it's been quite a while since I've handled one! We can identify the type of conversion that was done and see if it can be realistically and/or economically feasible to convert it back to flint.

    Gus
     
  7. Aug 1, 2019 #7

    hawkeye2

    hawkeye2

    hawkeye2

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    Unless I'm mistaken he has only a lock plate, not a complete gun, that he's interested in returning to flint. I would enjoy seeing photos of an early Va. lock.
     
    Artificer likes this.
  8. Aug 1, 2019 #8

    Artificer

    Artificer

    Artificer

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    Ooops, that's a "DUH" on my part. Sorry Scott.

    Is your lock plate for a musket, rifle or pistol? Don't worry if you are not sure and if not, then what is the length and width (distance from top to bottom of the lock)?

    Gus
     
  9. Aug 1, 2019 #9

    Artificer

    Artificer

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    Scott,

    Some lock dimensions taken from the book, "The Virginia Manufactory of Arms," by Cromwell.

    Musket: Approximately 6 3/8" long x 1 1/4" wide.
    Rifle: Approximately 5 1/2" long by 1" wide.
    Pistol: Not made until 1804, so we can rule that out.


    Here is what a flintlock musket lock dated 1803 should look like, if yours is the musket lock plate;
    https://www.bidsquare.com/online-au...actory-1797-contract-musket-first-model-72652

    A different one:
    https://www.cowanauctions.com/lot/virginia-manufactory-of-arms-richmond-1804-flintlock-plate-120071

    Here is one type of musket conversion to percussion:
    http://www.nramuseum.org/guns/the-g...f-arms-model-1795-1808-percussion-musket.aspx

    Hope this helps.

    Gus
     
  10. Aug 2, 2019 #10

    rich pierce

    rich pierce

    rich pierce

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    Choose carefully and be prepared to pay $200 for a good reconversion.
     
  11. Aug 2, 2019 #11

    Artificer

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    I agree with Rich, except if all one has is a lock plate, then it will cost much more than that.

    Gus
     
  12. Aug 2, 2019 #12

    Zonie

    Zonie

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    For those interested in a bit of history, I think this might be interesting.
    It is from the book, "CONFEDERATE HANDGUNS" © MCMLXIII by George Shumway and written by William A. Albaugh, III, Hugh Benet, Jr. and Edward N. Simons.

    "In 1798 the Virginia Assembly authorized the establishment of an armory at Richmond and two arsenals elsewhere in the state. Work began on the armory shortly thereafter and by June 15, 1799, a contract for the foundation had been let to Moses Bathis. By September 5, 1800, the walls of the two wings were ready to be roofed. The structure was completed in 1802 and this is the date that appears on the first arms to be turned out." (pp 205, 206)
     
  13. Aug 2, 2019 #13

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    The question that keeps coming to me is this, does the OP just have a lock plate or does he have a Virginia Manufactory musket (with) an 1803 dated (percussion) lock plate?.

    A picture of all the parts would help.
     
  14. Aug 2, 2019 #14

    Artificer

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    Scott,

    I may have been too succinct in my earlier reply, since I have found examples of on the internet erroneously calling the next model of Virginia Manufactory Musket AFTER your lock plate as supposedly "the first Model or Type I Musket." IOW they are calling a later Model Lock as being earlier than what it was.

    Pardon me if I hop on my soap box for a minute against some in the collector field: but this has long been a problem from SLOPPY research for British Brown Bess Muskets, French Charleville/St. Etienne Muskets and our own Springfield Armory/Harpers Ferry Muskets. Today we have some very good books on these muskets that show the differences by Pattern or Model Dates. I wanted to bring this up because it gets confusing and I don't want to see you waste your money on an incorrect re-conversion.

    If your 1803 dated Lock is a Musket Lock Plate, the Cock or what some folks call the Flint Hammer is a Gooseneck Style as shown in the following two links. (It should NOT be the "double throat style," as that didn't come out until the 1808/09 Musket at the Virginia Manufactory.) It is not going to be easy to find a reproduction, let alone an original Cock of this "Goose Neck" style, from what I've been able to find. BTW, the Virginia Manufactory also used this Gooseneck Style Cock on their rifles of the time, though of course they were scaled down a bit for the smaller Rifle Lock Plate.

    Here is what a flintlock musket lock dated 1803 should look like, if yours is the musket lock plate;
    https://www.bidsquare.com/online-au...actory-1797-contract-musket-first-model-72652

    A different one:
    https://www.cowanauctions.com/lot/virginia-manufactory-of-arms-richmond-1804-flintlock-plate-120071

    The next link is what they are erroneously/incorrectly calling a "Rare First Model Virginia Manufactory Flintlock Musket," but that is NOT what is correct for your 1803 dated Lock Plate. This is in fact the Model 1808/09 Musket and Lock at the earliest. This is the incorrect/wrong "double throat" Cock I mentioned above and I thought it might be a good idea for you to see a photo of what is not correct for your Lock Plate:
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/ammo...ry-flintlock-musket-with-bayonet/325626109712

    Gus
     
  15. Aug 2, 2019 #15

    Artificer

    Artificer

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    Not sure how often Scott can check this thread, but it is very important if it is just a lock plate to see what size it is, so it can be determined if he has a Musket or Rifle lock plate. Again, these are the dimensions of each for Scott to use, even if he cannot post photo's.

    Musket Lock Plate: Approximately 6 3/8" long x 1 1/4" wide.
    Rifle Lock Plate: Approximately 5 1/2" long by 1" wide.

    Gus
     

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