Author Topic: Springfield Musket parts, looking for information for a friend  (Read 688 times)

Offline Curtis

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There have been a couple of informative posts concerning Springfield muskets recently, so perhaps some of you guys can help me out with the below photos.  A friend of mine found these parts inside a piece of antique furniture some years back, he found them to be quite interesting so he took them to the shopkeeper and purchased them.  He is looking for information on what musket in particular they may belong to.  The lock was converted to percussion at sometime in it's service life. 

You can write what I know about muskets on a BB with a large magic marker, so any help is appreciated!  :D  Now for the photos:















































Thanks, Curtis
Curtis Allinson

NMLRA Gunsmithing Seminar and Workshop at WKU~ http://www.nmlragunsmithingseminar.org/
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Sometimes, late at night when I am alone in the inner sanctum of my workshop and no one else can see, I sand things using only my fingers for backing

Offline WESTbury

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Re: Springfield Musket parts, looking for information for a friend
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2020, 02:54:40 PM »
Curtis--The percussion altered lock is from a late Springfield Armory (obviously) 1812 Standard Pattern Flintlock Musket. The three musket barrel bands are 1812 pattern bands. If they are from the same musket as the lock, they should have a Roman Numeral assembly number on one edge and the lock would have the same R Numeral on the lower leaf of the main spring. Sometimes, they are very difficult to see. The assembly number on the front band is usually on the edge where the end of the stock would be. See photos for an original flint 1817 dated Springfield and another percussion altered like your friend's. Any more questions will be welcome.

For more info see my article in Man at Arms Magazine, Vol 40 No 4 August 2018.






« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 02:58:19 PM by WESTbury »
"We are not about to send American Boys 9 to 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian Boys ought to be doing for themselves."
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Offline Curtis

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Re: Springfield Musket parts, looking for information for a friend
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2020, 07:11:48 AM »
Thanks for the info Westbury, I will see that it gets passed along.  Any thoughts on the extremely heavy brass buttplate?

Curtis
Curtis Allinson

NMLRA Gunsmithing Seminar and Workshop at WKU~ http://www.nmlragunsmithingseminar.org/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sometimes, late at night when I am alone in the inner sanctum of my workshop and no one else can see, I sand things using only my fingers for backing

Offline WESTbury

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Re: Springfield Musket parts, looking for information for a friend
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2020, 04:53:39 PM »
No idea on the brass buttplate, as it is not a Springfield component.

The initials "LD" on the inside of the lockplate, near where the flashpan would have been, are those of Levi Dart, at one time, Foreman of the Lower Watershops.
"We are not about to send American Boys 9 to 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian Boys ought to be doing for themselves."
President Lyndon B. Johnson October 21, 1964

Offline Curtis

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Re: Springfield Musket parts, looking for information for a friend
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2020, 06:49:03 AM »
My buddy was doing some research online and came across a listing for a "Sea Fencible Conversion Musket" - to me it looks like it could be the type of musket the parts are from.  Here is a quote from the text: "The defining “features’ of the Sea Fencible is the massive brass butt plate and the thinned down butt stock that has been altered to accept it."

The link:
https://collegehillarsenal.com/sea-fencible-conversion-musket-rare

What do y'all think?

Curtis
Curtis Allinson

NMLRA Gunsmithing Seminar and Workshop at WKU~ http://www.nmlragunsmithingseminar.org/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sometimes, late at night when I am alone in the inner sanctum of my workshop and no one else can see, I sand things using only my fingers for backing

Offline WESTbury

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Re: Springfield Musket parts, looking for information for a friend
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2020, 02:29:13 PM »
Curtis--It very could be from one of the muskets known as a Massachsetts Sea Fencible musket. I've never examined one and do not recall seeing one "on the loose". As Tim Prince points out in his description of the musket he had for sale at one time, there is a lot of speculation as to why muskets with these brass buttplates were altered by Whitney in the 1850's for Mass. None were altered by Springfield.

George Moller covers these Whitney alterations in chapter five of his book Massachsetts Military Shoulder Arms and in his Vol 2 of American Military Shoulder Arms on pages 233-236.

Too bad your buddy does not have the rest of the musket. They are definitely collectable, but sometimes need a lot of explanation to sell one as is evident by Tim's dissertation in his write-up of the musket he sold.

I cover Springfield Armory percussion alterations in Part Six of my book which Dennis posted in the Recent Books section of this forum.

Pictures below are courtesy of my Shameless Marketing Division.




"We are not about to send American Boys 9 to 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian Boys ought to be doing for themselves."
President Lyndon B. Johnson October 21, 1964

Offline JV Puleo

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Re: Springfield Musket parts, looking for information for a friend
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2020, 12:29:08 AM »
That is clearly one of the mystery Massachusetts butt plates. Just what the guns were for is still a mystery. As George Moller correctly points out, the Massachusetts Sea Fencibles did not exist in anything like the right period...that was a very old guess by someone (I forget who) that has become "lore" only because a better answer has not appeared. I'll add that the butt plate is seen on pinned barrel "Massachusetts Militia Muskets" with definite Massachusetts proof marks. There is no uniformity at all to the guns themselves except that they are (or were) all flintlocks. They are a sort of hodge-podge of 2nd hand guns. Another theory is that they were used by the guards at the Massachusetts prison and the odd butt plate was made so they could be locked into a special rack...that you couldn't get them out without either unlocking them or breaking the stocks. The "new" prison opened in Charlestown in 1805 so it was quite near Boston. The guns show up (or did in the past) in the New England area with a fair amount of regularity. I've probably seen a dozen or more in the past 40 years.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 12:34:02 AM by JV Puleo »

Offline Bill Paton

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Re: Springfield Musket parts, looking for information for a friend
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2020, 02:01:42 AM »
Interesting suggestion about prison and butt plates. From hints on the butt plate images shown, I’ll bet a side view would give a good indication of how a row of those butt stocks could be easily locked securely from being lifted out of a rack.

Bill Paton
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wapaton.sr@gmail.com

Offline WESTbury

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Re: Springfield Musket parts, looking for information for a friend
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2020, 02:55:38 AM »
That is clearly one of the mystery Massachusetts butt plates. Just what the guns were for is still a mystery. As George Moller correctly points out, the Massachusetts Sea Fencibles did not exist in anything like the right period...that was a very old guess by someone (I forget who) that has become "lore" only because a better answer has not appeared.

Here is a copy of a US House of Representatives bill concerning ordnance going to the State Fencibles of Philadelphia. Note the date, April 20, 1872. Not an exact parallel, but may support Moller's point about dating these Fencible organizations. I think that these Fencibles may have been veterans units along the lines of the GAR.

« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 04:20:21 AM by WESTbury »
"We are not about to send American Boys 9 to 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian Boys ought to be doing for themselves."
President Lyndon B. Johnson October 21, 1964

Offline Curtis

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Re: Springfield Musket parts, looking for information for a friend
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2020, 07:33:01 AM »
Lots of interesting info guys, thanks!

Curtis
Curtis Allinson

NMLRA Gunsmithing Seminar and Workshop at WKU~ http://www.nmlragunsmithingseminar.org/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sometimes, late at night when I am alone in the inner sanctum of my workshop and no one else can see, I sand things using only my fingers for backing