M1842 info

Joined
Jun 18, 2021
Good evening everyone. This is the first forum I’ve ever joined, let alone posted in, so please forgive me if I’m not familiar with the workings and etiquette of posting. I’ve been a firearms enthusiast all my life, in fact I work in the firearms industry. I’ve just recently started collecting older firearms, with a particular interest in Civil War and Indian Wars period weapons. I would like some input on this one. I bought this 1842 on an estate auction this week. It appears to have been cleaned up a bit more than I would have liked, and the wood may have been sanded a bit? I don’t see a cartouche in what I believe would be the usual position, but there seems to be remnants of some oval marks on the right side of the stock (pictured). Could these be inspector marks? There is also a mark just forward of the trigger guard, but it doesn’t appear to be a typical “capture and reissue” mark. Any thoughts on that? Does the sling appear correct? The only mark I could find on it was what appears to be an “OW” or “MO”. The lock is dated 1848 and the tang is dated 1846… would this indicate that it’s pieced together?
I think I got a pretty good deal on it, and I’m happy with it, but would appreciate any thoughts from experts on the condition and anything else you see. Sorry for the long post, and thanks for taking a look!

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rob63

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Location
PA, but still a Hoosier
It's a nice musket overall. I can't answer your question regarding the sling, but you are correct that the stock has been sanded. It looks like one of the sideplate screws doesn't go in all of the way, not sure what is going on there. You are correct that the mismatched dates would indicate that something has been replaced. Maybe someone will have an idea on the marking forward of the trigger guard, but it's not unusual to see odd carvings in the stock and typically no one is sure what they mean or when they were put there. Too many years and different owners.
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
That cross is likely a mark put on by an individual user to allow him to select his "own" musket from a stack or rack. If I was careful to clean my musket, clear the nipple, and keep the lock oiled, I would not want to have some other solder grab "my" musket and leave a neglected one for me.
The other marks sure look like the borders of standard shaped cartouches - but it looks like they are on the side of butt stock, not a place where this arm was cartouched, to my knowledge.
 
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mrockwell

Private
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
12021 Birch Dr., Corning, NY
I don't think that I would really consider your musket one that is a parts musket. It is a fine looking piece and from what I could observe is that appears that the barrel and lock have been with each other for years as they both seem to have the same amount of pitting that is found on the bolster as on the lockplate. The breech plug is an addition and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it wasn't done in the 60's. Dixie Arms was selling original parts for muskets and for whatever the reason, whether someone snapped off the original or it might have been lost or removed for some reason, the plug could have been easily replaced with an original. Lodgewood and S&S also is selling original parts. The result is that you have a very nice example and representative Model 1842 musket that you should be proud to own. The sling is a fabrication of possibly a Model 1905 rifle sling.
 

LCYingling3rd

Private
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Welcome and enjoy! You will certainly get excellent commentary here. Your 1842 looks beautiful to my untrained eye. I just picked up a model 1863 type II Springfield dated 1864 a few months ago. She was certainly over-cleaned but I love her. And, I just picked up a model 1863 Sharps carbine at an auction yesterday. Oh my, this can be a dangerously expensive interest! However, this is what I worked hard for all those years and now I am enjoying my retirement (at least that what I tell myself! LOL).

I had ancestors that fought on both sides of the conflict and collecting original ACW artifacts has certainly helped me better understand their experiences and connect to them. I love reading the books, looking at the photographs, studying the battles, tramping the battlefields, and enjoying the museums, however, for some reason, owning, holding, feeling the weight of, and caring for actual artifacts that were present when the history occurred somehow makes a difference. And, being able to share these treasured items with my children, grandchildren, and others makes a big difference too. What can be dry, abstract words in a High School history book comes alive and becomes real and personal.

Good luck with your collecting! And enjoy the site.
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2021
Thank you all for the warm welcome and for the information! @LCYingling3rd, you put into words my feelings exactly with regard to collecting.

I’m going to try to take some magnified photos with various lighting to see if I can get any more detail on the marks that look somewhat like a cartouche on the side of the stock.

Do I dare ask what a musket like this is worth? The examples I see on the net seem to span a broad range of asking prices with, as far as I can tell, little difference in the weapons themselves.

Once again, thanks!
 

mrockwell

Private
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
12021 Birch Dr., Corning, NY
Thank you all for the warm welcome and for the information! @LCYingling3rd, you put into words my feelings exactly with regard to collecting.

I’m going to try to take some magnified photos with various lighting to see if I can get any more detail on the marks that look somewhat like a cartouche on the side of the stock.

Do I dare ask what a musket like this is worth? The examples I see on the net seem to span a broad range of asking prices with, as far as I can tell, little difference in the weapons themselves.

Once again, thanks!
Value is always determined by the buyer. When I am trying to determine value I tend to look at auctions. A price at auction is an actual price an item brings. One has to bear in mind if the item in strong demand by a number of buyers. That will tend to drive theprice up. In the case of the Model 1842 I have found that most collectors consider ita Mexican War period piece with prices on pieces made 1848 and prior bringing the higher price while later pieces don't fare nearly as well unless they are of the rifle variation. I usually see them range between 800 dollars and 1500 dollars with the average at about 1100 dollars. However if two buyers want it that price could change in a heartbeat. An example of this was just this weekend. At an auction a converted to percussion 1816 musket, which usually brings around 950 dollars, brought 1800 dollars.
For insurance always go for the highest reasonable price. Replacement can be difficult and when found it is always at a higher price than what you expect.
Establishing value is an emotional chore at best. I have a friend who places high prices on all his muskets. He tells his wife that he has bought these for resale and it is certainly not his fault they are not selling. He has a wonderful collection!
 

rebracer

Sergeant
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Location
Southern Louisiana
Not to knock this thread off center, but I always hear/read that the issued leather slings were bare leather as shown in the photos above. Did soldiers in the field really not oil these bare leather slings? I dont always see light colored slings in period photographs, that I can recall.

Your M1842 is very nice by the way. You should be very pleased with the condition. Every original firearm does not have to have a dark patina to be considered "worthy".
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
I think that mrockwell has given a reasonable range of values - I think you'll learn more if you participate in this website.
Are those markings on the flat opposite the lock, or on the buttstock?
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2021
Value is always determined by the buyer. When I am trying to determine value I tend to look at auctions. A price at auction is an actual price an item brings. One has to bear in mind if the item in strong demand by a number of buyers. That will tend to drive theprice up. In the case of the Model 1842 I have found that most collectors consider ita Mexican War period piece with prices on pieces made 1848 and prior bringing the higher price while later pieces don't fare nearly as well unless they are of the rifle variation. I usually see them range between 800 dollars and 1500 dollars with the average at about 1100 dollars. However if two buyers want it that price could change in a heartbeat. An example of this was just this weekend. At an auction a converted to percussion 1816 musket, which usually brings around 950 dollars, brought 1800 dollars.
For insurance always go for the highest reasonable price. Replacement can be difficult and when found it is always at a higher price than what you expect.
Establishing value is an emotional chore at best. I have a friend who places high prices on all his muskets. He tells his wife that he has bought these for resale and it is certainly not his fault they are not selling. He has a wonderful collection!
Thanks @mrockwell , this is very helpful. I gave $615 for this musket at auction, and based on what I’d seen online I was happy with the price. It was described as a Model 1848, which may have thrown off some potential bidders. Plus, it was in Nebraska, so…
 

Kyle Kalasnik

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Location
Potter County, PA
Thanks @mrockwell , this is very helpful. I gave $615 for this musket at auction, and based on what I’d seen online I was happy with the price. It was described as a Model 1848, which may have thrown off some potential bidders. Plus, it was in Nebraska, so…
You made out very well for $615.

Some people do get confused about the dates on the lock plate / tang and the actual model of the firearm.

Before I became interested in muzzleloading I knew of the difference between flintlocks and percussions, and that is it. But thanks to many people on this forum, I have learned a heck of alot.
 

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