Muzzleldrs Colt Special Model Rifle Musket

Cannonman1

Private
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
I have a Colt Special Model .58 cal Rifle Musket that has a barrel date of 1862 and a lock date of 1864. It is pristine with a minty bore and I am perplexed as to why the difference in dates? I think with Colts the date designates the date of manufacture right? Why the difference?
My thoughts are that it was a wartime salvaged barrel put on a later issue lock and stock. or... it was a post war assembly of parts for commercial sale.. Any thoughts??
Looking forward to feedback.

Cheers
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
Interchangeable parts weapons made life easier for:
  • military armorers (North and South) who had to repair guns to keep them in service
  • Bannermans and other buyers of surplus guns and parts who put together complete guns
  • North South Skirmish Association shooters who might want to replace a rough bore barrel with a barrel with sharp rifling
  • Modern collectors who want to replace one ugly part on a good gun
Recent published info is that the confederate government marked the tens of thousands of muskets their facilities put together from partly damaged arms collected from the battlefields by stamping a single letter or number into the wood stock about an inch in front of the trigger guard. This was a mark put on by an inspector to show he had looked over the arm after it was repaired, and it looked good to him and ready to reissue.
 

Cannonman1

Private
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Absolutely.. Rifle came with a replacement ramrod that is not threaded (3/8 inch too long) but is a splendid old replacement as it is one solid piece it appears.. No evidence of tulip being attached. Barrel bands have some polished wear that seems just slightly out of place compared to other metal surfaces. My thinking is that this is a very old Bannerman (or other) assembly that used some pretty nice parts .. Barrel and bands and a new rammer.
Still a very very nice representative piece all in all.
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
Well, at least it is not so complicated as Johnny Cash's Cadillac which he put together from parts he smuggled out of his GM factory workplace over many years, as immortalized in his song lyric "one piece at a time" - he claimed he ended up with

"... a '49, '50, '51, '52, '53, '54, '55, '56
'57, '58' 59' automobile
It's a '60, '61, '62, '63, '64, '65, '66, '67
'68, '69, '70 automobile"


and when he went to get it titled,

."... to type it up it took the whole staff
And when they got through the title weighed sixty pounds"
 
Joined
May 1, 2015
Location
Upstate N.Y.
As stated, parts were replaced for many reasons. Back then there was not even a thought of a wonderful collectable item in the future. Enjoy and maybe you may find the correct dated part if you so choose.
 

ucvrelics

Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
We would love to see photos of your Colt musket.
 

Cannonman1

Private
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
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Cannonman1

Private
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Based on what the pics show, is there evidence that would suggest what trail this gun travelled??
 

bayonet

Corporal
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Every one of these Colt muskets I have encountered over the years at auction or trade shows etc. are in pristine or excellent condition. Long time ago someone with more knowledge than me stated it's because they never made it to the Battlefield but stayed in State Armories etc. Hard to believe since Colt produced about 75,000 of them for the Union.
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
Every one of these Colt muskets I have encountered over the years at auction or trade shows etc. are in pristine or excellent condition. Long time ago someone with more knowledge than me stated it's because they never made it to the Battlefield but stayed in State Armories etc. Hard to believe since Colt produced about 75,000 of them for the Union.
Many were issued out. I have issue evidence of them with both the 1st and 4th MN. They were used by the 1st at Gettysburg and 4th at Allatoona Pass. I’ve seen quite a few hard used ones including one with rock solid provenance to a member of the 1st MN who made the charge at Gettysburg. He called it his good luck charm because he made it through it.
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
A good many were bought by New Jersey, and reportedly New Jersey stored them away unissued until they were sold as surplus the the early 1900s. I know I've seen over the years more pristine, unused Colt Special Model rifle-muskets marked New Jersey than any other particular longarm
 

bayonet

Corporal
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
A good many were bought by New Jersey, and reportedly New Jersey stored them away unissued until they were sold as surplus the the early 1900s. I know I've seen over the years more pristine, unused Colt Special Model rifle-muskets marked New Jersey than any other particular longarm
Heard New Jersey also did the same with the several hundred Remington Pistols that are marked NJ. Stored them away in Arms Room in NJ and never saw action in CW. I had one once but when I heard that I traded it away.
 

bayonet

Corporal
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Many were issued out. I have issue evidence of them with both the 1st and 4th MN. They were used by the 1st at Gettysburg and 4th at Allatoona Pass. I’ve seen quite a few hard used ones including one with rock solid provenance to a member of the 1st MN who made the charge at Gettysburg. He called it his good luck charm because he made it through it.
That might of been the ones issued out in 1861, about 25,000 of them. The other issue dates were 1863 (12,500) & 64 (37,500). According to THE RIFLED MUSKET by Claud E. Fuller. Great book brought it like 50 years ago for $4.95. It's on Amazon used for $18-45. Some guy selling brand new for $919. Gosh dang anyone know how to polish a book and make it look new?
Also in the book it states the only parts interchangeable with the Colt were Muskets made by Amoskeag Manufacturing Company or Lamson, Goodnow & Yale. Don't know if that includes barrels but if it does that might account for your 1862 barrel fitting well on that 1864 stock & lock. Now that I think of it all the pristine Colt muskets I've seen were dated 1864.
 

bayonet

Corporal
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Wait I just looked over the pics again and I just made out the word STEEL on the barrel under the VP & Eagle. Well according to the book COLT marked the barrels with the word STEEL to include some initials. You got that so that must be a COLT barrel too!
 
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