Just bought Musket

RSMorris

Corporal
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
She’s an 1816 the side plate ids her. The 1838 is likely 1836. She looks very nice. The blonde wood though with those crisp car touches is curious. I would apply a couple coats of Kramer’s Best. If she doesn’t start to darken up I would ask someone who knows wood to take a hard look. Then I might start asking questions of the seller. Unless the price was real good that is.

Thanks, I will take more pics tomorrow once it arrives, unless FEDEX is wrong again. So what would be the problem/issue if the wood is a lighter color?
 

rob63

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Location
PA, but still a Hoosier
Thank you. Should be getting this tomorrow. Will look for other markings. Just curious why a M1816 Musket built by Pomeroy would be listed as a 1838 if Poemeroy quit building in 1836. Not that it matters just like to know these things.
You have to keep in mind that research into these things is an ongoing affair, and almost anything can change from one reference source to another. Even something that seems as straight forward as the model names seems to go through constant evolution.

We have all used the term Model 1816 because that is what is most commonly used, however, there are sources that differentiate between Models of 1816 and 1822. You can also get into Springfield patterns versus Harper's Ferry patterns. The reason for all of this is that improvements were constantly being adopted and incorporated into production, but not necessarily formally recognized as a new model by the Ordnance department. Collectors have been trying to make sense of all of the variations ever since.

I'm just telling you all of this as a way of explaining why you shouldn't get too worked up about what you might find in any particular reference work, everything is subject to change as additional research is done.

I looked up what I could find on the Pomeroy contracts in Peter Schmidt's "US Military Flintlock Muskets and their Bayonets, the Later Years, 1816 through the Civil War." Pomeroy had a contract to deliver what Schmidt refers to as the Model 1822/28 (essentially a Model 1816 with some refinements). He documents deliveries of this pattern from 1829 through 1839. He further documents that one of the inspectors in 1838 was named Joseph Hannis, which appears to me to be the initials in the cartouche on your musket.
 

RSMorris

Corporal
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
Thank you very much, I'm not getting worked up as in mad. I'm finding all this fascinating. If the seller had it listed as the wrong year of manufacture, I don't care. What drew me to this particular one was the well-used look to it. I am just trying to find out details of what I have so when I am doing some of my presentations, I don't give out any wrong info. I appreciate everyone's responses here. And thank you very much for yours. I am looking up to see what I can find on the 1822/28.
 

rob63

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Location
PA, but still a Hoosier
Thank you very much, I'm not getting worked up as in mad. I'm finding all this fascinating. If the seller had it listed as the wrong year of manufacture, I don't care. What drew me to this particular one was the well-used look to it. I am just trying to find out details of what I have so when I am doing some of my presentations, I don't give out any wrong info. I appreciate everyone's responses here. And thank you very much for yours. I am looking up to see what I can find on the 1822/28.
I will try to add some additional information to help you make sense of all of the different model numbers that have been thrown at you. It is a confusing topic, and not all collectors agree, nor does the Ordnance Department correspondence always remain consistent.

The production of Muskets had not yet achieved interchangeability, thus a musket made at Springfield would not necessarily match a musket made at Harper's Ferry. The way that contracts were done was through models supplied to the contractor. In this case, the term model refers to an actual physical musket that was provided to the contractor by one of the armories.

The contract would read like this: "The Muskets to be manufactured, shall in all their parts, conform in model, size, and form, to the pattern or model Musket, furnished by the Ordnance Department, and shall be equal in workmanship and quality, in every respect, to the Arms made at the National Armories during the same period."

Notice that the contract does not actually specify what the Model name is supposed to be. In the case of the Musket you are getting, it was manufactured under a contract issued on Jan. 26th, 1829 for 8,750 Muskets and bayonets to be delivered over five years to Watervleit Arsenal in New York.

Thus, you would not be incorrect to call it a Pomeroy Model 1829. Most collectors, however, would call it a Model 1816. Some would call it a Model 1816, Type III. Schmidt calls it an 1822/28. The Ordnance Department referred to it as a Model 1816, but differentiated between Muskets made before or after 1822. They later issued manuals that referred to the Model 1822, even though they didn't seem to call them that at the time they were being made. In other words, it's all pretty muddled.

Just my opinion, but for your presentation, I would refer to it as a Model 1816, made under a contract issued in 1829. Hope that helps.
 
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RSMorris

Corporal
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
I will try to add some additional information to help you make sense of all of the different model numbers that have been thrown at you. It is a confusing topic, and not all collectors agree, nor does the Ordnance Department correspondence always remain consistent.

The production of Muskets had not yet achieved interchangeability, thus a musket made at Springfield would not necessarily match a musket made at Harper's Ferry. The way that contracts were done was through models supplied to the contractor. In this case, the term model refers to an actual physical musket that was provided to the contractor by one of the armories.

The contract would read like this: "The Muskets to be manufactured, shall in all their parts, conform in model, size, and form, to the pattern or model Musket, furnished by the Ordnance Department, and shall be equal in workmanship and quality, in every respect, to the Arms made at the National Armories during the same period."

Notice that the contract does not actually specify what the Model name is supposed to be. In the case of the Musket you are getting, it was manufactured under a contract issued on Jan. 26th, 1829 for 8,750 Muskets and bayonets to be delivered over five years to Watervleit Arsenal in New York.

Thus, you would not be incorrect to call it a Pomeroy Model 1829. Most collectors, however, would call it a Model 1816. Some would call it a Model 1816, Type III. Schmidt calls it an 1822/28. The Ordnance Department referred to it as a Model 1816, but differentiated between Muskets made before or after 1822. They later issued manuals that referred to the Model 1822, even though they didn't seem to call them that at the time they were being made. In other words, it's all pretty muddled.

Just my opinion, but for your presentation, I would refer to it as a Model 1816, made under a contract issued in 1829. Hope that helps.
Certainly did clear things up. Thank you very much. I just received it today and am getting ready to post pics.
 

RSMorris

Corporal
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
Received the Musket today. I was able to snap a few pics before I had to leave again. The wood is not the light color it appeared in the first photos. Seems normal to me based on others I have seen through pics. The date is definitely 1838 but I think the post above and others cleared up the issue. It's a nice-looking gun but with a lot of wear, certainly not a wallflower in its past life. Has quite a bit of erosion around the nipple. Will never fire again, not with this barrel. I would never change it anyway.

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johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
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Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
Thanks, I will take more pics tomorrow once it arrives, unless FEDEX is wrong again. So what would be the problem/issue if the wood is a lighter color?
The light color of a stock just looks wrong to me. That combined with the crispness of the car touches seems off enough to make my nasty suspicious nature wonder.
 

RSMorris

Corporal
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
What are your suspicious natures wondering about? The cartouches to me don't seem that crisp. Looking at them through eyes you can barely see them. I had to use the flash to get what I got. Also, the finish is quite dark when seen nartually. You can tell by the pic leaning against the wall
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
Texas
Your musket is indeed a M1816 type III, more properly called a M1822/28. Pomeroy delivered his last M1822/28s in 1839, so if you are reading the date as 1838 that could very well be correct. In all, Pomeroy delivered 36,940 M1816 series muskets, of which 16,940 were of the M1822/28 variety. Those muskets were the products of 1 contract and 5 assignments between January 26, 1829 and 1839.
Your musket would have been percussion altered sometime between 1849 and 1854 as it is a standard National Armory "Belgian" or "cone-in-barrel" style alteration.

The US Model 1816 Musket was developed at the Springfield Armory in 1815. The first pattern gun was completed in August of 1816 and approved for use on November 27, 1816. Production would not commence until 1818 at Springfield and 1819 at Harpers Ferry. Three contractors began delivering the new muskets in 1817.
Significant enough changes to the musket were adopted in 1822 that the Ordnance Department commissioned new pattern guns for future contracts. In addition to improvements in the standardization of parts and screws, the major changes consisted of the relocation of the rear sling swivel to a protrusion forward of the trigger guard, as well as the browning of the muskets' barrels. At least by 1841 Ordnance Department books show the M1822 as a distinct musket category.
Further changes were made by 1828 including the discontinuing of the browning of barrels and a second relocation of the rear swivel location, this time to the center of the forward bow of the trigger guard.
 

RSMorris

Corporal
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
Your musket is indeed a M1816 type III, more properly called a M1822/28. Pomeroy delivered his last M1822/28s in 1839, so if you are reading the date as 1838 that could very well be correct. In all, Pomeroy delivered 36,940 M1816 series muskets, of which 16,940 were of the M1822/28 variety. Those muskets were the products of 1 contract and 5 assignments between January 26, 1829 and 1839.
Your musket would have been percussion altered sometime between 1849 and 1854 as it is a standard National Armory "Belgian" or "cone-in-barrel" style alteration.

The US Model 1816 Musket was developed at the Springfield Armory in 1815. The first pattern gun was completed in August of 1816 and approved for use on November 27, 1816. Production would not commence until 1818 at Springfield and 1819 at Harpers Ferry. Three contractors began delivering the new muskets in 1817.
Significant enough changes to the musket were adopted in 1822 that the Ordnance Department commissioned new pattern guns for future contracts. In addition to improvements in the standardization of parts and screws, the major changes consisted of the relocation of the rear sling swivel to a protrusion forward of the trigger guard, as well as the browning of the muskets' barrels. At least by 1841 Ordnance Department books show the M1822 as a distinct musket category.
Further changes were made by 1828 including the discontinuing of the browning of barrels and a second relocation of the rear swivel location, this time to the center of the forward bow of the trigger guard.

Thank you very much. With yours and some others here I think I can write a very accurate report on the musket for use in presentations around my town.
 

RSMorris

Corporal
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
Will be glad when the middle band arrives. THink it will help the looks of it quite a bit. You would think that the middle band was made of gold for what an original cost compared to a repop. But I wanted to with the real thang.
 

ucvrelics

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Will be glad when the middle band arrives. THink it will help the looks of it quite a bit. You would think that the middle band was made of gold for what an original cost compared to a repop. But I wanted to with the real thang.
Hopefully the patina will match the other ones.
 

RSMorris

Corporal
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
What are your suspicious natures wondering about? The cartouches to me don't seem that crisp. Looking at them through eyes you can barely see them. I had to use the flash to get what I got. Also, the finish is quite dark when seen nartually. You can tell by the pic leaning against the wall
Are there any other pics I could take that would confirm or deny what your suspicions are?

Hopefully the patina will match the other ones.

This is the one I found. The front and rear bands were easy, not so much this one..

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RSMorris

Corporal
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
I have a question about the erosion around the nipple. I have not seen any for sale with this kind of erosion. Would this be normal for a musket used in a war, training perhaps? Are the caps corrosive enough to cause this kind of erosion? I actually bought this one for the roughness of it so I won't change a thing other than adding the missing middle band. Just trying to understand it better.

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rob63

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Location
PA, but still a Hoosier
I cannot recall ever seeing a musket with that much erosion in over 30 years of collecting. I don't remember seeing one with even half that much. I do think it was caused by the percussion caps simply because of the wear pattern. However, I doubt that military service is the sole explanation, more likely that it was used for hunting post-war. Nothing wrong with that, it is another part of the history of the piece.
 

RSMorris

Corporal
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
I cannot recall ever seeing a musket with that much erosion in over 30 years of collecting. I don't remember seeing one with even half that much. I do think it was caused by the percussion caps simply because of the wear pattern. However, I doubt that military service is the sole explanation, more likely that it was used for hunting post-war. Nothing wrong with that, it is another part of the history of the piece.

Thanks, just getting some opinions. This is actually the first musket I recall ever seeing in my life period. I did look at literally hundreds though in pictures and never saw one this eroded. Even the dealer I got it from was astounded by it.
 

RobertH

Private
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
First off, you've got a nice one. I would be happy to hang that on my wall - Congrats.

I have some thoughts on the color of the wood and the area around the nipple. I'm an old wood guy, been restoring antiques for a long time now. The stock is lighter then it should be, I'm fairly confident your rifle stock has been cleaned - possibly with bleach. It has that look about it. If you look around the lock and other metal parts that are cut in, you'll see shades of dark wood. That is most likely the previous color of the stock before somebody cleaned it. When cleaning wood, it's difficult to clean those areas because it's deeper in the grain. Especially where there is an end grain. Still a nice looking gun though. You might rub in some good wood stock oil and it may darken it up a bit.

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In regards to the erosion around the nipple, it just a theory, but the same person that bleached the wood may have used acid on the barrel to clean corrosion around the nipple. But that is some really deep pitting. Again, just a theory, but if they didn't dilute the acid and let it sit too long it could do that kind of damage.
 

RSMorris

Corporal
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
I see the dark spots. Thanks for your opinion on what the erosion could be. I'm not going to do anything to this musket except add the middle band that is missing. I finally found an original and it is on the way. I like it the way it is......
 

RSMorris

Corporal
Joined
Jul 3, 2020
I have found out though there may be a cartridge in the barrel. There is definitely paper, about 2 inches of something in there.
 
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