Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Model 1816 US Musket

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    46
    Region:
    None

    Model 1816 US Musket

    I recently purchased a US Musket, Model 1816 with the date of 1831 on the gun and the place, Phila. and the maker, Wickam. It is still in flint lock form and seems completely original, still sparks nicely and looks good. However I noticed something after I bought the gun, didn't notice it till I got home. It has a small rear sight inserted in the band nearest the lock. It's quite small, apparently a small notch was cut into the band and a simple sight brased onto it. I don't know if any of these came from the arsenal like this or it was added later. Anyone know anything about this or would you care to conjecture on its origin? I don't think it was some post Civil War "SPORTERIZED" job as no wood has been removed and it still has a 12 lb trigger pull and weighs over 10 lbs and came fitted with what appears to be an original bayonet surcharged US. tHANKS

  2. #2
    John Holland is offline Moderator
    Team:
    44th NY Volunteer Infantry
    Member
    00973V
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,573
    Region:
    Northeast- New York
    The rear sight modification you have described is a "post-war" modification done sometime after the arm left service as a U.S. issued arm. It is not an uncommon type civilian modification seen on arms from the M-1795's through the M-1842's.

    JDH
    Chairman, N-SSA Small Arms Committee

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    46
    Region:
    None

    US Musket

    When you say left US service might this have been done for service with the Confederacy? I know flintlock 1816 muskets were used by the Confederates at Shiloh and I wonder if any of them are known to have had rear sights put on prior to then. It just struck me as curious that no other changes appear to have been made, especially to reduce the weight of the the thing, except for the rear sight. In addition to the usual proof marks the letters LA are stamped on the gun if that makes any difference.

  4. #4
    John Holland is offline Moderator
    Team:
    44th NY Volunteer Infantry
    Member
    00973V
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,573
    Region:
    Northeast- New York
    I'm surprised you think your 1816 is heavy! You have to remember that those young men who carried them worked at physical labor from sun up to sun down. Their natural upper body strength puts us to shame today. Today, if you tell an employee they have to move a 40# box of computer paper they act like you asked them carry a hod of bricks up a 40 foot ladder! We're too soft today.

    OK, off the soap box....and back to your rear sight. It is extremely unlikely that the rear sight was added by the Confederacy. If they were going to take the time to add a rear sight it would be on a rifled arm, not a smoothbore. A rear sight would be nearly useless because the ammunition of the day was an unpatched .65 caliber round ball fired out of a .69 caliber barrel, which gave a loose fit and poor accuracy. The reason your rear sight is way forward on the barrel band, instead of the normal placement on the barrel, is because it was done by an individual who couldn't see a rear sight in the normal location.

    A better hypothisis is that it is a civilian added sight. The reason? Because sighted smoothbore Kentucky Rifles are not uncommon. Today they are known as "Smooth Rifles", because they are built just like a rifle with front and rear sights but were not rifled. A sighted smoothbore with a tight patched round ball will give very acceptable accuracy to 100 yards. I'm sure your musket was sighted to be used with a patched round ball.

    JDH

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Vandalia, Ohio
    Posts
    1,054
    Region:
    Midwest - Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana
    Not to mention that one sure would not need a rear sight when using buck and ball ammunition calibre .69, when firing at a mass of infantry within 100 yards, advancing through the smoke filled, noisy closeness that defined the majority of Civil War combat !

    Phil
    Regards,


    Phil Spaugy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    46
    Region:
    None

    Smile US Musket Model 1816

    Well, I guess what you guys said makes sense but I prefer to establish a different provenance for this particular gun. I think it was sent in 1831 from its place of manufacture, Phila. to General Gaines troops stationed on the Louisiana Texas border where in 1836 it was traded by a US infantryman for strong drink to a volunteer headed for Houston's Army where it was used at the battle of San Jacinto. Later when this now Texian joined General Taylor's volunteers in the Mexican War it was used at the Battle of Monterrey. When he was discharged he returned to Texas where he sold the musket to a Louisiana volunteer who took it home to Baton Rouge and used it for hunting. He added the rear sight in 1850. When Louisiana seceded in 1861 it appealed to citizens for surplus arms for the provisional Confederate Army so he donated it to the state, which is when the LA was stamped on the barrel. It was assigned to a volunteer fighting under Bishop/General Leonidas Polk and in April of 1862 it was employed at Shiloh where its owner was killed while assaulting the Hornet's Nest. After the fighting ended it was picked up by a local farmer who put it up over his fireplace where it resided in his family for 150 years until I purchased it. Right now I am working diligently on the paper work that will document all that I have just stated and as soon as the ink dries on the aged parchment I will sell it for a gazillion dollars to someone more gullible than me.

  7. #7
    John Holland is offline Moderator
    Team:
    44th NY Volunteer Infantry
    Member
    00973V
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,573
    Region:
    Northeast- New York
    kevikens....If you would just flesh that out a bit more you would have a great book! I'm glad we see eye to eye, enjoy!

    JDH

  8. #8
    Jim Brady Knap's Battery is offline
    Team:
    Knap's Battery, Pennsylvania Artillery
    Member
    2249v
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Gettysburg, Pa.
    Posts
    490
    Region:
    Allegheny - Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia
    Hey guys,

    In regards to the mystery rear sight. EVERYONE knows that anything on a complete C/W arm that does not belong there as per model HAS to be the Infamous Rare Confederate Variation.



    Jim Brady
    2249V
    Knap's Battery
    CUM CATAPULTAE PROSCRIBEANTUR TUM SOLI PROSCRIPTI CATAPULTAS HABEANT

  9. #9
    John Holland is offline Moderator
    Team:
    44th NY Volunteer Infantry
    Member
    00973V
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,573
    Region:
    Northeast- New York
    Jim - Thankyouthankyouverymuch!

    You been listening to Lefty again?

    John

  10. #10
    Southron Sr. is offline
    Team:
    24th Georgia Volunteer Infantry
    Member
    3002
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Gorgia
    Posts
    1,057
    Region:
    Carolina - North Carolina and South Carolina

    Lost History

    Following the Battle of Mexico City, the Musket was issued to Sergeant Edwin Bisrelooweski who was assigned to the newly established American G.I. Cat House as a Guard/Bouncer.

    One night the Sergeant spied a shadowy figure trying to sneak by the cat house. He fired, wounding General Santa Anna.

    The Sergeant was awarded a 1st Class Marksmanship Metal for his feat.

    It is truly a historic Musket!

Similar Threads

  1. 1816 Contract Musket Nipple Size
    By mb3 in forum Civil War Small Arms
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-06-2014, 07:24 PM
  2. FS: 1816 Springfield Musket Converted to Percussion .69 cal
    By gradoon in forum Wanted/For Sale Items
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-22-2012, 09:17 PM
  3. WTS Pedersoli US Model 1816
    By Buck in forum Wanted/For Sale Items
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-03-2010, 03:11 PM
  4. Wanted: Harpers Ferry Model 1816 Conversion
    By Jim Leinicke 7368V in forum Wanted/For Sale Items
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-17-2009, 01:59 PM
  5. 1816 Musket conversion by Remington - questions
    By R. Wichman in forum Civil War Small Arms
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-05-2008, 01:18 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •