A Much Modified Michigan Musket

May 12, 2018
I thought I’d share this story of a musket I helped identified in Michigan for an antique dealer while on vacation in July. I happened across it in his small shop and, even though it was definitely outside of my price range he kindly allowed me to examine it.


It was, seemingly, a two band musket marked “Remington”... a “Zouave” Model, I thought? But on closer inspection that was definitely not the case! For Maynard lock was a pre-war feature and...

It had clearly been crudely cut down (you can still see the sawmarks on barrel where the forestock was cut down with a hack saw). So what was it?

Additional researc finally solved the riddle: https://collegehillarsenal.com/remington-maynard-1816-22-alteration-musket

The gun started out life as a flintlock musket, probably one of the penultimate models... then it was chosen for modernization, with the latest Maynard primer system and cone-in-barrel rifling. Sights were added as were added too, to take advantage of the newly rifles guns accuracy and range. The conversion was done by Remington, on contract for the Government, and the weapons produced were almost different guns entirely! Then, some years after the war, the gun was bought by some Michigan farmer, probably cheaply from the state militia getting rid of obsolete guns. The gun was crudely cut down: the sights were discarded and replaced with far simpler versions, the front barrel band discarded and the ramrod lost. The gun was used hard, possibly for the first time in its life, and put away wet, probably in some old barn. Eventually, it became a relic, it’s story forgotten until it was rediscovered. If only old guns could talk, eh? The stories they’d tell!