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Need help with European musket nipple

Discussion in 'Civil War Weapons and Ammunition' started by Dr.Mike, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. Dr.Mike

    Dr.Mike Cadet

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    I recently picked up a European musket with tack decoration on the buttstock identifying it to William Dow of the 64th Illinois. The item was described by the seller as a Liege musket; it appears to be a copy of the French model 1822 musket, converted to percussion by German gunsmiths in Baden or Wurttemburg. The cone/nipple has been pounded flat and I would like to replace it. Does anyone know the size of this nipple, and a source for an original replacement? Does a period Springfield, Enfield, or French nipple have the same threads? Thanks for any help! Dow Liege musket nipple_s.jpg
     

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  3. originalrebelyell

    originalrebelyell Private

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    Nice looking musket.
     
  4. ucvrelics.com

    ucvrelics.com First Sergeant Forum Host

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    I really don't have a clue as to the size. Great looking piece. I would just leave it like it was found. A replaced nipple is going to stick out like a sore thumb and IMHO it really wouldn't look right.
     
  5. originalrebelyell

    originalrebelyell Private

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    Get a little oil on it to stop the rust.
     
  6. Southern Articifer

    Southern Articifer Private

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    I've removed many ruined nipples/cones. The one on your musket,by the images, looks like it's not going to come out easily. The few I've removed with success from European military guns have their own thread size. On yours, it may have to be drilled out and re-threaded, so thread size will no longer be an issue. Once remove and if there is enough material left, it could be drilled out to be tapped for a 1/4th x 28 or 24 thread to accept a modern cone. The new cone could then be patined to match the condition of the surrounding barrels appearance. Most often, I have had to heat the bolster or drum to remove rusted in cones. I see a braze line on yours running between the bolster/drum and the side wall of the barrel. In a case like this, some heat can be applied but not to the point of loosening the braze joint. In all, it's delicate work. If your not going to fire it, even for re-enacting, I'd leave it as is. Yes, its a bit unsightly, but over all it doesn't disrupt the guns over all appearance. Final note: in cases were I've been able to remove cones with ruined top ends (the section were the cap is placed), I've bored out the threaded body section of the cone and turned a new tube section that is sleeved into the original threaded lower half. In this way, the original odd threads are saved but a new tube section is in place were a cap can now be put on. Hope that helps.
     
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  7. Don Dixon

    Don Dixon Private

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    Lets talk about measurements in 1861.

    The gun makers in Liege, Belgium, used the metric system. So, the threads on the screws in your musket will probably be metric. If the musket was converted in Liege, it should also have metric threads on the nipple.

    If it was converted in the "Germanies," you have another problem. The German speaking world used used Schritt (pace) based measurements until the 1870s, at which time the Germans and Austro-Hungarians converted to metric. An Austro-Hungarian Schritt was 29.5 inches long. The Prussian Schritt was a bit different, and there may have been other differences in the other kingdoms, duchies, free cities etc, of the "Germanies." With the exception of nipples for the Muster 1851 Swiss Feldstutzer, I know of no one who now manufactures Schritt based nipples.

    Since the U.S. Army copied the Model 1777 French musket when it began manufacturing standard U.S. Army muskets, threads on parts for Springfield weapons were metric until the advent of the 30-40 Krag, at which time Springfield went to inch measurement.

    The British operated on the inch system, so nipples for Enfields were threaded in inches.

    My experience with Austro-Hungarian Army weapons: The threads on the screws of Muster 1842 muskets, Muster 1844 Extra Corps carbines, and Muster 1844 and 1849 Kammerbüchsen ("Garibaldi" rifles), are neither inch nor metric, ergo they are in Schritt. I don't have a Schritt gage, and know of no one who now makes one. Most of them were converted from tubelock to percussion in Liege before shipment to America for use in the Civil War. In those instances where I've been able to pull the nipples, they have been metric threaded. However, the diameter of the nipple depended on the individual Liege arms house doing the conversion.

    The only way to know for sure for your musket is to pull the nipple intact, measure the threads, and then try to find something that works.

    This is one reason why logistics in the Civil War was a nightmare.

    Good luck!

    Don Dixon
     
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  8. JOHN42768

    JOHN42768 First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    Another vote to oil and leave as is. Welcome, enjoy
     
  9. originalrebelyell

    originalrebelyell Private

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    A IDed musket I would leave it as is.
     
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  10. Craig L Barry

    Craig L Barry First Sergeant

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    It would have to be literally drilled out. It appears to be fused to the bolster.
     
  11. Jobe Holiday

    Jobe Holiday First Sergeant

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    Originalrebelyell is absolutely correct for an ID'd arm, leave it as it is!
    J.
     

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