New acquisition, Springfield conversion


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captaindrew

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#22
@Jobe Holiday , after looking at the bore more closely it has been rifled, I didn't even catch it at first not till I but a light in it. Could the end of the muzzle been cut off in the rifling process? I saw a photo of another one of these rifles cut off in exactly the same fashion. Can't think of any other reason why just an inch or so would be cut off. Paging James Brenner , this piece may be of interest to you and maybe you could tell me more about it.
20190318_083809.jpg
 

Jobe Holiday

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#23
That is really interesting, and puts your musket into a different collectible category! The ram rod has also been altered for a rifled musket by having the head counterbored for the point of a Minnie Ball, somperhapsmit has been with it since the ACW. Being marked as having been Ohio property makes it a very strong possibility that your musket could have been rifled by Greenwood of Cincinnati. The authority on the Greenwood subject is Mr. Jim Brenner, who is also a member of this forum. Perhaps he will see this and comment on it. I only know enough about it to say that Greenwood altered thousands upon thousands of muskets, both domestic and foreign, and that some of them can be quite difficult to identify as his work! You have done very well, indeed!
J.
 

captaindrew

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#24
That is really interesting, and puts your musket into a different collectible category! The ram rod has also been altered for a rifled musket by having the head counterbored for the point of a Minnie Ball, somperhapsmit has been with it since the ACW. Being marked as having been Ohio property makes it a very strong possibility that your musket could have been rifled by Greenwood of Cincinnati. The authority on the Greenwood subject is Mr. Jim Brenner, who is also a member of this forum. Perhaps he will see this and comment on it. I only know enough about it to say that Greenwood altered thousands upon thousands of muskets, both domestic and foreign, and that some of them can be quite difficult to identify as his work! You have done very well, indeed!
J.
Thank you again very much Jobe for your input on this here and the PM you sent. I saw Mr. Brenner discussing the Greenwod alterations on another thread and looked it up. The Greenwood alterations included a rear sight similar to an Enfield sight and there's no evidence of there ever being a rear sight on the barrel so I don't know about that one. Hopefully he'll see this and comment on it. If for nothing else the piece has already been a good learning experience, I know very little about these conversions and am finding it very interesting doing some research on it and it will be a nice conversation piece for a small investment.
 

captaindrew

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#26
Actually, the vast majority of muskets that Greenwood altered never had rear sights. The ones he altered and added rear sights to are highly sought after!
J.
Thank you once again, that's good to know. The rifling does look very similar to the photos of the Greenwood rifles I found although it's faint and hard to see.
 

James N.

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#27
I will add that to my understanding the main (only?) difference between the 1816 and 1822 is the sling swivel: both those pictured are M.1822's with the swivel attached directly to the trigger guard instead of being on a separate lug.
 
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#29
It sure looks like it's a Greenwood, but, to the best of my knowledge, there's no good way to know for sure. Here's what we're up against trying to identify an unsighted Greenwood. There was apparently no written contract/agreement between G and Ohio that spells out what the state expected G to do and when to do it. Because there's no documentation, we also don't know what G. agreed to do: delivery dates, rifling (progressive vs. straight), placement of front sights, or cupping rammers. Even more surprising is that G. did not seem to have any way to account for what he had done; no sort of inventory control with which he could prove that a rifled musket was his and that he had fulfilled his part of the (likely verbal) agreement/contract. The state sent John Neereamer, former sup't of the state arsenal, to inspect the muskets prior to and after rifling and reject any that he felt were unserviceable. He apparently only looked to see if the finished muskets were complete and functional. He was reprimanded because of his failure to ensure proper crating, causing damage to the muskets. He was only in place for about a month, though. Not sure if anyone replaced him.

Some things to look for in a G. is a replaced, high blade front sight located on the upper strap of the front band. But not always. Another thing is that in late October 1861, G. had problems with hammers and ended up having to fabricate some. The checkering on the thumb piece is very coarse. But not all Greenwoods have these hammers. The rammer is also no indication. In a subsequent (unsuccessful) contract with Indiana, G. specifically mentioned cupping rammers, suggesting he had forgotten to do that with the Ohio muskets. I mentioned rifling earlier. Newspaper accounts indicate that G. had the "latest improvements" with his rifling machine, which would suggest progressive rifling. I had three Greenwoods slugged and mic'ed at the breech and muzzle to see what the rifling was like. Unfortunately, the breeches weren't in good enough shape. About all I can say about rifling is that it should have three lands and grooves with a right hand twist, about 1 turn in 72 inches.

A couple of other things, I have a sighted G. musket that is also cut back by about an inch. Interestingly, upon removing the front barrel band, the mortice for the keeper had also been altered to account for the shortened barrel. It was professionally done. I suspect that the reason the barrel was cut back on both of our muskets was because, aside from some damage to the muzzle, the musket was perfectly functional. Also, the OHIO. (note period) mark is no indication, either. Greenwood rifled muskets for Ohio between July and December 1861. The state started marking its property in late 1863. Finally, lock plate dates are also of no help. Ordnance Department regulations classified muskets based upon date of manufacture and Ohio supposedly adhered to them. Anything before 1823 (IIRC) was not to be "modernized". I have a sighted G dated 1820.

Anyway, I hope this helps a bit.
 

captaindrew

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#30
It sure looks like it's a Greenwood, but, to the best of my knowledge, there's no good way to know for sure. Here's what we're up against trying to identify an unsighted Greenwood. There was apparently no written contract/agreement between G and Ohio that spells out what the state expected G to do and when to do it. Because there's no documentation, we also don't know what G. agreed to do: delivery dates, rifling (progressive vs. straight), placement of front sights, or cupping rammers. Even more surprising is that G. did not seem to have any way to account for what he had done; no sort of inventory control with which he could prove that a rifled musket was his and that he had fulfilled his part of the (likely verbal) agreement/contract. The state sent John Neereamer, former sup't of the state arsenal, to inspect the muskets prior to and after rifling and reject any that he felt were unserviceable. He apparently only looked to see if the finished muskets were complete and functional. He was reprimanded because of his failure to ensure proper crating, causing damage to the muskets. He was only in place for about a month, though. Not sure if anyone replaced him.

Some things to look for in a G. is a replaced, high blade front sight located on the upper strap of the front band. But not always. Another thing is that in late October 1861, G. had problems with hammers and ended up having to fabricate some. The checkering on the thumb piece is very coarse. But not all Greenwoods have these hammers. The rammer is also no indication. In a subsequent (unsuccessful) contract with Indiana, G. specifically mentioned cupping rammers, suggesting he had forgotten to do that with the Ohio muskets. I mentioned rifling earlier. Newspaper accounts indicate that G. had the "latest improvements" with his rifling machine, which would suggest progressive rifling. I had three Greenwoods slugged and mic'ed at the breech and muzzle to see what the rifling was like. Unfortunately, the breeches weren't in good enough shape. About all I can say about rifling is that it should have three lands and grooves with a right hand twist, about 1 turn in 72 inches.

A couple of other things, I have a sighted G. musket that is also cut back by about an inch. Interestingly, upon removing the front barrel band, the mortice for the keeper had also been altered to account for the shortened barrel. It was professionally done. I suspect that the reason the barrel was cut back on both of our muskets was because, aside from some damage to the muzzle, the musket was perfectly functional. Also, the OHIO. (note period) mark is no indication, either. Greenwood rifled muskets for Ohio between July and December 1861. The state started marking its property in late 1863. Finally, lock plate dates are also of no help. Ordnance Department regulations classified muskets based upon date of manufacture and Ohio supposedly adhered to them. Anything before 1823 (IIRC) was not to be "modernized". I have a sighted G dated 1820.

Anyway, I hope this helps a bit.
Thank you so much Mr. Brenner, that's some great info. Do you suppose that there was damage to the muzzle during the rifling process? Being we both had one cut the same and I also saw one online cut back exactly like that there must have been a common problem. The hammer checking on mine is worn pretty smooth. Looks like it was very heavily used by someone during it's life, most likely whoever's initials that are carved on the stock. The only putting on the gun is around the cone area. There is indeed 3 rifling grooves and must not be much of a turn, it looks nearly straight at the muzzle. There is quite a bit of dust and a little surface rust in the bore and I don't have a bore light so it's hard to see. Thinking of giving it a very light cleaning to get a better look. The front sight is on the lower strap of the front band. Thanks again for checking this out. This has been a very interesting research project and am learning a lot.
 
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#31
You're welcome. One other thing to consider about the muzzle - and this may have some bearing on the rifling - is that if the rifling is the same depth throughout the bore, the muzzle may have cracked necessitating its removal. In other words, the barrel walls of the M1816/22s were thinner than the later M1842s. If the rifling is as deep at the muzzle as at the breech, the muzzle could very well have been damaged through firing. I've seen muskets with that sort of damage and it makes me wonder.
 

captaindrew

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#32
You're welcome. One other thing to consider about the muzzle - and this may have some bearing on the rifling - is that if the rifling is the same depth throughout the bore, the muzzle may have cracked necessitating its removal. In other words, the barrel walls of the M1816/22s were thinner than the later M1842s. If the rifling is as deep at the muzzle as at the breech, the muzzle could very well have been damaged through firing. I've seen muskets with that sort of damage and it makes me wonder.
Thanks again, I wish it could talk. Must have been something that was a somewhat common issue being in just some brief research knowing of a few examples of the exact same fix. One other question. There is some concern this may have been a parts gun. When the modifications on these were done were the original barrels, locks, and stocks kept together or did they go into parts bins and get jumbled up explaining the not so tight fit in places? In reality becoming parts guns at the time of the conversions?
 
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#33
I wish they could talk, too. There is always the possibility that a musket could be a parts guns, and that may not be a bad thing. I'm fairly certain, for example, that, for many reasons, rammers are not always original to the musket they're with. In the case of Greenwoods, by the time Ohio got the 18/22s and 42s, they were already used, abused, and obsolete. The original cones, springs, sling swivels, and anything else that was broken or missing had been replaced from muskets declared unserviceable. And who knows when that happened. As for Greenwood's operations, unless the musket had interchangeable parts, the weapons were kept together. A breech plug from one M1816 may/not fit the barrel of another M1816. From what I infer, Greenwood did not take the entire musket apart. He only took the barrel from the stock and removed the breech plug.
 

captaindrew

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#34
I wish they could talk, too. There is always the possibility that a musket could be a parts guns, and that may not be a bad thing. I'm fairly certain, for example, that, for many reasons, rammers are not always original to the musket they're with. In the case of Greenwoods, by the time Ohio got the 18/22s and 42s, they were already used, abused, and obsolete. The original cones, springs, sling swivels, and anything else that was broken or missing had been replaced from muskets declared unserviceable. And who knows when that happened. As for Greenwood's operations, unless the musket had interchangeable parts, the weapons were kept together. A breech plug from one M1816 may/not fit the barrel of another M1816. From what I infer, Greenwood did not take the entire musket apart. He only took the barrel from the stock and removed the breech plug.
Thanks once again, I really appreciate your help with this. Would the original stocks, locks (fitted with a percussion hammer), and barrels all be kept together or would they have gotten mixed up? Or was there no ability to interchange any of it? Obviously the rammer is not from the original configuration, a cupped M42 rammer maybe placed with it at the time of it's conversion?
 
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#35
I don't really know the answer to that. It wasn't unusual for a stock, barrel, and breech to be marked with the same alphanumeric (H7, for example) at the time of manufacture; just because of the interchangeability issue. But not all of them were so marked. By the time Greenwood received the muskets, they had already been converted to percussion so there would be no need to take then apart any more than was necessary. My guess is that Greenwood's workers only partially disassembled the musket. Also, in 1863, at Governor Dennison's insistence, the USG transferred several thousand 2d and 3rd class muskets (foreign-made or obsolete) for the use of Ohio's militia/NG. At the state arsenal, they underwent inspection repair and/or rejection and I'm certain many parts were either fabricated or cannibalized.
 

captaindrew

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#36
I don't really know the answer to that. It wasn't unusual for a stock, barrel, and breech to be marked with the same alphanumeric (H7, for example) at the time of manufacture; just because of the interchangeability issue. But not all of them were so marked. By the time Greenwood received the muskets, they had already been converted to percussion so there would be no need to take then apart any more than was necessary. My guess is that Greenwood's workers only partially disassembled the musket. Also, in 1863, at Governor Dennison's insistence, the USG transferred several thousand 2d and 3rd class muskets (foreign-made or obsolete) for the use of Ohio's militia/NG. At the state arsenal, they underwent inspection repair and/or rejection and I'm certain many parts were either fabricated or cannibalized.
Thanks, ok I understand now, Greenwood would have only done the rifling and the percussion conversion was done somewhere else. I guess there's no way to even guess where or when that happened. Thanks once again for all the info, very interesting stuff. When I have a little time I'm going to carefully try and take it apart and give everything a light cleaning and see if there's any hidden clues anywhere.
 

captaindrew

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#38
I apologize that I wasn't clear. The conversion to percussion began at the government arsenals around 1842/43; right after adoption of the M1842.
Would there possibly be any marks hidden anywhere to look for say like on the inside of the lock or under the barrel to give a clue as to where the conversion was done?
 

captaindrew

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#40
I'm not sure. I'll have to look in Peter Schmidt's and Kent Johns' books to see if they mention say where and when. I do know, though, that at the time of the conversion, a separate alphanumeric was applied to aid in reassembly.
I took the barrel and lockplate off and underneath the barrel and lock there are several marks. There is the same S.T. mark that is on the trigger guard. There is a U, 3, either a 13 or I3 and a square depressed stamp that's illegible. On the inside of the brass flash plug (if that's the right term) there is a U, T, and either a 1 or I with a very faint possibly a 3 with it. On the inside of the lock there is a H T, N, P, and a script M. Every part of the lock is stamped with a crescent moon. The inside of the hammer is also marked with a U and possibly a bad attempt at the crescent moon or could be just a ding. Both the barrel and lock are stamped 1826. There are several car-touches on the stock but only the Ohio stamps are legible. While doing some searches last night I stumbled on a discussion on Greenwood rifles on another forum. A guy who said he was citing Schmidt's book claimed that the rifles Greenwood worked on came from the Watervliet Arsenal in NY. I found a few examples of of Pomeroy conversions that are said to have been in the Watervliet Arsenal. One of them also had an inch cut off the barrel, another example of that fix, and one was sporterized cut way back and a M40 conversion. Some of the Pomeroys were clearly stamped on the lock but some later examples have a depressed P stamped on top of the barrel. Now on mine the only location of pitting is on top of the barrel at the breach surrounding the cone right where it would be. Looking very closely in that area I can make out a very faint 59 and remnants of two stamps that look like pieces of letters. Could they have been a P? Maybe but there's no telling. Anyway I think that's about all the clues this piece is going to give up.
 



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