Muzzleldrs Henry Leman M1816 Conversion

d-12-20

Cadet
Joined
Jun 3, 2021
Hello, excited to be a new member. I recently came into possession of a 1838 Harpers Ferry M1816 conversion done by Henry Leman. I've done some research and found some interesting information which always leads to more questions. Hope I can get some help finding more answers. What I have found is that in 1862, Henry Leman converted 1600 muskets from the Schuykill Arsenal to percussion. They were requisitioned by General Lane of the Kansas Free State Army (Jayhawkers, Red Legs ). Other sources say these muskets were utilized by the Army of the Potomac. I'm not sure where to go from here and any help would be appreciated.
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Does the 12 with the + above have any significance?

Thanks, Mike
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
Texas
Leman altered a total of 7,993 longarms for the Federal government and an additional 17,574 muskets and 3,826 rifles for the State of Pennsylvania.
The "1600 muskets" you mention were actually Indian trade rifles that had been in storage at the Schuylkill Arsenal. Leman was forwarded 1,657 rifles for alteration, though there were a total of 2,500 in storage. These Trade rifles are among the rarest of Leman's alterations.

Leman was quite prolific with his alterations, so they are, as a whole, not particularly rare. However, he altered a huge variety of types of arms, some of which are quite scarce, and that makes them a very interesting area of study. Leman alterations show up on 1795 type muskets, some 1808ish contract muskets, M1816s, M1822s, M1828s, M1840s, Virginia Manufactory Muskets, M1803 Rifles, M1814 Rifles, M1817 Rifles, Indian Trade Rifles, M1819 Pistols, and M1836 Pistols.


Here are some photos of one of the altered Trade Rifles:


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d-12-20

Cadet
Joined
Jun 3, 2021
Thanks for the replies. The information I had was very incomplete and this gives me a better idea of the number of conversions done by Leman. The 12 being a rack # is a good possibility. Still curious what the + or Maltese cross is for.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Location
Canad-istan
Leman altered a total of 7,993 longarms for the Federal government and an additional 17,574 muskets and 3,826 rifles for the State of Pennsylvania.
The "1600 muskets" you mention were actually Indian trade rifles that had been in storage at the Schuylkill Arsenal. Leman was forwarded 1,657 rifles for alteration, though there were a total of 2,500 in storage. These Trade rifles are among the rarest of Leman's alterations.

Leman was quite prolific with his alterations, so they are, as a whole, not particularly rare. However, he altered a huge variety of types of arms, some of which are quite scarce, and that makes them a very interesting area of study. Leman alterations show up on 1795 type muskets, some 1808ish contract muskets, M1816s, M1822s, M1828s, M1840s, Virginia Manufactory Muskets, M1803 Rifles, M1814 Rifles, M1817 Rifles, Indian Trade Rifles, M1819 Pistols, and M1836 Pistols.


Here are some photos of one of the altered Trade Rifles:


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...and he altered 1841 Mississippi rifles for the State of Pennsylvania.


The State of Pennsylvania contracted with H. E. Leman in 1861 to alter 2,352 Model 1841 Rifles to accept bayonets.
Tryon (a Philadelphia manufacturer) manufactured the majority of these rifles. I own a Leman altered 1841 Mississippi manufactured at Harpers Ferry.

The rifles were bored and rifled to .58 caliber; the muzzles were turned, a lug was brazed on the bottom of the barrel to accept a socket bayonet, and the front sight was moved further back on the barrel to provide clearance for the bayonet socket. Assembly numbers were stamped on major parts of the rifle during the alteration process.
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Last edited:

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
A maltese cross on the bottom of a barrel means that the inspector of that barrel used a maltese cross stamp to show he had inspected that barrel, and same with that mark on the wood - you can't read more into it than that!
 
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