TOWER-MARKED BROWN-BESS, THIRD MODEL “INDIA PATTERN”, BRITISH MUSKET

$3,250.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 401-19

This original flintlock longarm is a British India Pattern infantry long arm known, more commonly referred to as the 3rd Model Brown Bess.

This lighter and shorter musket became the preferred musket of manufacture by the Board of Ordnance for the British Army in 1797. Prior to this, this pattern was developed and adopted by the armies of the East India Company, hence the name. Throughout the Napoleonic Wars nearly 3 million of these Brown Bess muskets were manufactured and distributed to Britain's infantry regiments. The main differences between the previous "Short Land" pattern and the “India” pattern were weight and length (1 pound lighter and 3” shorter). Other changes were aesthetic; no escutcheon (thumb) plate, three ramrod pipes instead of four, and less ornate brass butt plate and trigger guard.

This longarm is a single shot, smoothbore muzzleloader that retains all its parts in fair condition. Specimen measures a total of almost 55” long with a 39” long barrel secured to the stock with conventional cross pins. Top of barrel breech has three stampings that show the King’s proof mark and a viewer’s marks. Barrel breech tang is unmarked. Bayonet lug on barrel 2” back from the muzzle. Bore is dark and dirty. Barrel surface is moderately pitted but no surface rust. Typically heavier pitting around the touch hole. Much of the barrel wears a uniform deep brown color. However, at the breech there appears to be remnants of red oxide paint. It has been suggested that this could be from Native American usage during the War of 1812.  Longarm has its original steel ramrod with the button tip and threaded end.

The lockplate has a slightly curved face and measures 7” long. This style of lock features the two sear screws behind the cock. Cock, comb, cock screw, top jaw, lower jaw, pan and frizzen all original as well as the feather spring. Rounded (lower) portion of hammer features fine two-line tooling. The same two-line tooling is found around the edge of the lockplate itself. Lockplate is clearly marked “TOWER” behind the cock. Between the cock and the frizzen pan are found the King’s crown above the monarch’s initials “GR”. Lockplate is not dated. Mechanics need work; hammer goes to full cock, but will not come down past half cock. Frizzen and spring are sprong.

Opposite side from lock has the simple, rounded brass side plate with its two large stock screws. Other brass components are the nose cap, three ramrod tubes, trigger guard, and butt plate. The butt plate tang for this pattern is only about 3 ¾” long with simple features. Brass parts have a very dark patina. Both of the iron sling swivels remain.

The stock measures just over 50” long and is of dark walnut in good condition. Appears to be original color and finish. Stock exhibits a few small cracks; one emanating from the breech tang and several grouped along the bottom where the ramrod channel goes into the stock.

Here is a rare opportunity to acquire a complete Brown Bess musket.  [jet]

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire!

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