SCARCE 1799 DATED SPRINGFIELD 1795 TYPE-II MUSKET

$6,500.00

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Item Code: 1052-68

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Springfield was designated one of two US armories for the manufacture of arms in 1794 and production of the “US muskets, Charleville pattern” (designated the Model 1795 by collectors for convenience) started there the next year. Following the general lines of the French M1766, as modified in 1770, Springfield produced some 3,180 through 1798, and 4,586 like this in 1799, a notable increase. Changes were introduced throughout production of the “Model 1795,” running into 1815, which resulted in a number of variations that are divided up into four major types by collectors. This conforms to the first type, produced into 1806, and shows some of the traits that were just beginning to become standard in 1799, the major one being the actual date of production, or assembly, being engraved on the buttplate tang, and even this was changed the next year to a date stamp, as well as a marked lockplate: this one being stamped “Springfield” in vertical arc behind the hammer, along with a small script “US” under an eagle forward of the hammer. Those markings changed as well, but were an improvement upon earlier unmarked examples. Other elements such as the shape of the lockplate, triggerguard, bands, etc., all conform to the Type-I as well.

The buttplate is good, with a good fit and the 1799 is legible though rubbed. The flat, bevel-edged lockplate with rear point is correct, with the “SPRINGFIELD” very good and the small script “US” rubbed but visible, though the eagle is obscured by fine pitting that extends to the hammer, pan, frizzen and spring. The frizzen is a bit loose. The mechanics are good. The French-style triggerguard is the correct configuration, pierced for the sling swivel lug, which is place and the trigger shows the high supporting metal web at it rear. The barrel shows deep pitting at the breech and the touch hole shows it was crudely bushed at some point to compensate for burnout. We see no barrel proofs. Pitting may obscure them, but Moller (2.34) remarks that proof for US muskets was only established in 1797 and notes that Springfield barrels may not show up proofed for a year or two after that. (This may have something to do with barrels being occasionally supplied directly or indirectly by contractors.) The metal evens out to more fine age pitting from the forward breech to the muzzle, however, matching the bands, and shows as a uniform brown, the triggerguard tang only showing some gray peeking through. The bayonet lug is in place on top of the muzzle. The bore is dark and dirty, and like the exterior shows pitting.

The wood has good color and good fit to the buttplate, lock, sideplate, triggerguard etc. The buttstock does show some hairlines extending from the buttplate and there is a narrow, slightly deeper, gouge or crack on top about two inches from the buttplate tang, which extends some short hairlines down the sides. Whether this is damage or a fault in the wood is tough to tell. (Stocks, like barrels, occasionally came from contractors and may not have been tightly controlled.) In any case, the wood is stable, presents uniform brown color and has edges with just expected rounding around the lock and sideflat, and some wear along the barrel from handling. The sideflat has number of scratches, and the letter “F” lightly carved into it just above the triggerguard. All in all though, the musket has a pleasing uniform look that is not at all bad for 220-odd years.

This is very good example from the early Republic, at a point when matters of national defense and international relations were coming to be taken seriously. It would also make a great addition to a display concentrating on early westward expansion as well as the War of 1812.  [sr] [ph:L]

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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