Better photos of my Bridesburg musket and a few questions.

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FrankN

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Hello,
I thought I'd try posting some better photos of the musket that I recently bought. I also had a few questions about a couple of markings and about maintenance/care. I want to leave this as is, but some advice for any cleaning I should do would be welcome.

Should I wipe the stock with a damp cloth or Murphy's oil soap or not wipe it at all?

Anything to iron/steel?

I will be ordering Renaissance Wax. But do I need to prep before I use it or just put a light coating on? As I understand the whole musket (wood, iron/steel) would be covered with a little of the wax.

I also included a pic of inside the bore and the surprise that I was able to pull out (a slotted brass jag with a large Piece of cotton that was stuck at the bottom). I don't know how long that was in there or when the last time this musket was fired.
I don't plan on shooting this but should I do anything with the bore (clean, oil, etc.)? There is decent rifling present.

Although I've read what some of you do with antique collectables, I still get a little confused. Maybe some muskets would need more or less? I like the well used look of it.

I really appreciate all the recent kind advice that I've got from this forum! Many photos and a few more questions to follow.

Big thanks,
Frank
 

FrankN

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Cartouches are faint but visible. Is the one underneath in front of the trigger guard an inspectors mark or a maker mark? Are the ones on the left side of lock plate the government approval markings?

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FrankN

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Bore picture and the jag and cotton that was stuck at the bottom. Could that be an antique slotted jag?!!

This is the last of the photos! Whew.......I hope I didn't go overboard with all the pics! Thanks for looking and any help or comments.


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It appears that the jag is an old shotgun jag. I would lightly oil the bore and the metal surfaces and put the wax on the stock. Do not try and refinish any of the gun. It is a good honest used war musket and should be preserved as is. That is an inspector's mark in front of the trigger guard. The P is to designate that it has been proofed. A great looking musket.:thumbsup:
 

rob63

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Love all of the photos!

FWIW, I would just leave it alone. Just a thought... how often do you run around putting oil or wax on your furniture or wood floors? Keep it clean and leave it be is my motto.

Regarding the Renaissance Wax, it is my understanding that if you use it you are supposed to disassemble the gun so that you can lightly heat the metal before applying the wax. That way you don't risk trapping any moisture under the wax that will cause rust. I have never actually tried it given the trouble involved.
 
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FrankN

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Thanks for the link to the book!



It appears that the jag is an old shotgun jag. I would lightly oil the bore and the metal surfaces and put the wax on the stock. Do not try and refinish any of the gun. It is a good honest used war musket and should be preserved as is. That is an inspector's mark in front of the trigger guard. The P is to designate that it has been proofed. A great looking musket.:thumbsup:
Thank you Bob! I only plan on preserving and not refinishing or shooting. I hope you don't mind a few more questions. I'm not sure if I Should try to remove the barrel from the stock before I would wax the wood (or to apply any oil to underside of barrel)? Any cleaning of the bore before a thin layer of oil? I understand that a lot of folks use the Ren wax on the metal as well? I have a couple WWII rifles that I shoot and maintain but I know this is different.


I'm a big fan of Kramer's Best, it is what I use at the museum and on my own. One bottle will last me a couple years and I use it a lot.

http://www.kramerize.com/

I'll check this out. It looks interesting.


Love all of the photos!

FWIW, I would just leave it alone. Just a thought... how often do you run around putting oil or wax on your furniture or wood floors? Keep it clean and leave it be is my motto.

Regarding the Renaissance Wax, it is my understanding that if you use it you are supposed to disassemble the gun so that you can lightly heat the metal before applying the wax. That way you don't risk trapping any moisture under the wax that will cause rust. I have never actually tried it given the trouble involved.

Thanks Rob. I've also wondered if I should leave it be.
 

ole

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Sounds like good advice, Frank. If you don't intend to use it, but just to preserve it, keep it clean with just enough oil to forestall rust. Hang it up and set a date for annual attention.
 
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Use a brass shotgun bore brush 20 gauge attached to a proper length of cleaning rods. Scrub the bore with a solvent and follow up with cleaning patches and a light coat of gun oil. I carefully disassemble the gun and wipe down with gun oil and oooo steel wool. Wipe every thing clean and then apply your wax. Wax the stock while disassembled. After that I would apply wax to the outside about every 6 months.
 
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Southron

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In the book, The U.S. Model 1861 Springfield Rifle-Musket by Hartzler, Yantz and Whisker a Bridesburg M1863 is illustrated on Page 52 with the following inspectors marks as described.

1. An "H.C." in block letters stamped on the vertical flat on the breech across from the lock. The "H.C". stands for H.B.Cooley who was a Finishing Inspector.

2. A "LD" stamped in script letters inside of a rectangular cartouche with rounded corners. This stamping is in the wood [on the opposite side from the lock] of the stock, just behind the rear lock plate screw. The letters stood for a Mr. L.Duston who was an Armory Sub-Inspector.

3. Another cartouche with rounded corners stamped an inch behind the "LD" cartouche. This cartouche has the script letters in it of: "C.G.C."That cartouche stands for Charles G. Curtis, another Armory Sub-Inspector.

Your stock might or might not have some of the same stampings
 

FrankN

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In the book, The U.S. Model 1861 Springfield Rifle-Musket by Hartzler, Yantz and Whisker a Bridesburg M1863 is illustrated on Page 52 with the following inspectors marks as described.

1. An "H.C." in block letters stamped on the vertical flat on the breech across from the lock. The "H.C". stands for H.B.Cooley who was a Finishing Inspector.

2. A "LD" stamped in script letters inside of a rectangular cartouche with rounded corners. This stamping is in the wood [on the opposite side from the lock] of the stock, just behind the rear lock plate screw. The letters stood for a Mr. L.Duston who was an Armory Sub-Inspector.

3. Another cartouche with rounded corners stamped an inch behind the "LD" cartouche. This cartouche has the script letters in it of: "C.G.C."That cartouche stands for Charles G. Curtis, another Armory Sub-Inspector.

Your stock might or might not have some of the same stampings

Thank you for this information. I can see the 2 rectangles with rounded corners but can't make out the lettering inside them. The letters in the circle underneath and in front of the trigger look like DC.
 

Southron

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In the back of the Dixie Gun Works Catalog is a listing of Armory Inspectors and Sub-Inspectors. Keep in mind these men were government employees and appointed to their posts in the gun factory to "Accept" or "Reject" any gun parts or completed guns for the government. Usually (but not all ways) the Inspector that was in charge of the Sub-Inspectors was an an active duty U.S. Army officer in the Ordnance Department.

Getting a government contract to manufacture arms for the government was literally a "two edged" sword for the company owners. Any gun parts the Inspectors rejected became so much "scrap metal" and with each rejected gun part, the company's profit shrank a little.

The initials in the oval on the BOTTOM of your stock is that of the "Stock Inspector." In the back of the Dixie Catalog the only "DC" I find is a Daniel Cotton who was working in 1798 as a lock maker-so unless he was a very old man working at the Bridesburg Armory inspecting stocks, then the "DC" has to be someone else.

One of the things you have to realize is that on the contractor made "Springfields" during the Civil War, many of those contractors purchased a lot of parts from companies that specialized in making things like rear sights, ramrods, bayonets, barrel blanks and even stocks.

If you want to read some fascinating accounts of just how haphazard and chaotic the awarding of arms contracts was at the beginning of the Civil War for the Yankees, I highly recommend Bill Edward's book: "Civil War Guns." At the beginning of the war, there was a temporary mass migration of individuals to Washington, D.C. seeking government contracts for everything from horses and mules to muskets. Included in this wave of humanity were: legitimate businessmen, patriotic individuals trying to aid the war effort, political operatives and a raft of con men and shady individuals of all types.
Although "Civil War Guns" was first published over 50 years ago, and republished several times since, it is a highly readable book that has become a "Classic."
 
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rob63

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I used to work for the US Navy as an engineer. It was not unusual to see somebody win a contract because they were the low bidder only to have their business destroyed because they did not realize that the standards that their work would be held to was much higher than what they were used to. It was frustrating for us because it only lengthened the process for us to get what we needed and it was a tragedy for them. The same was true for many of the Civil War contractors.
 
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