Original Excellent U.S. Model 1822 Flintlock Contract Musket by N. Starr marked "State of Delaware" - Dated 1831
Original item: One Only. The U.S. Model 1822 Musket was a .69 caliber smoothbore flintlock, with a 42-inch barrel and an overall length of 58 inches. It replaced the previous model 1816 musket, and often is viewed as a further development of that design. One of the most noticeable differences in the Model 1822 is the attachment of the lower sling swivel. The forward part of the trigger bow was provided with an enlargement which was drilled to receive the sling swivel rivet. Previously, the sling swivel had been affixed to a stud in front of the trigger bow.
The Model 1822 was produced by the Springfield Armory, Harpers Ferry Armory, and numerous other contractors. It was eventually replaced by the Springfield Model 1835, which is also considered by many to be a continuation of the Model 1816. These were sometimes referred to as "Whitney Flintlocks" due to the large number made in New Haven, Connecticut by Eli Whitney. There were even some subdivisions within the model numbers, with the Model 1828 being the last iteration of the 1822 before the 1835. Most model 1822 muskets were produced during the National Armory Brown period (c1822-1832), and had the barrel and furniture finished with brown lacquer.
Original flintlock configuration Model 1822 muskets with period applied brown finish are extremely scarce, as most were altered to percussion during the 1840s-50s and were subsequently struck bright with the brown removed. This is however one such example, and it is probably the best we have ever seen, totally untouched and in the original issued configuration.
This example was contractor produced, as indicated by the markings on the lock plate under the hammer:
(Rising Star Logo)
And the markings on the lock plate tail:
Nathan Starr, Jr. of Middletown, Connecticut was the the son of Continental Army Major Nathan Starr, Sr., who forged and repaired weapons during the Revolutionary War, having been a maker of scythes previously. After the war, Starr Sr. became one of the earliest U.S. Military Contractors, making swords and muskets for the Government, as well as helping to make Connecticut a major center of arms production in the 19th century. Starr Jr. joined his father in business in 1812 when a factory was built by what is now Starr Mill pond. After his father passed in 1821., Starr Jr. continued the business until approximately 1845. Muskets produced by this manufacturer are highly desirable, especially in this wonderful condition with clear logos.
The musket's 42" smooth bore barrel still bears crisp inspection proofs of US / LS / "Sunken P" on the breech end, and there is also a clear 1831 date on the barrel tang. The lovely full length walnut stock bears a crisp LS Inspector's cartouche on left side of the stock above the trigger guard, which indicates final inspection by Luther Sage, who also inspected the barrel. He was specifically known for inspecting "R. Johnson, Waters, Whitney, Pomeroy and Starr Muskets", and this marking is totally correct. There is also a DT cartouche on the stock comb just in front of the butt plate, for inspector Lt. Daniel Taylor, U.S. Army, noted for inspecting "Starr Muskets 1831-1850". Even better is the STATE OF DELAWARE stamping on the right side of the butt stock. As it was a state issued rifle, that may explain how it was never converted to percussion, and was able to arrive to us in this fantastic untouched condition.
As per the pattern, the musket has all iron mounts, with the only brass component being the flash pan. It has the correct U.S. stamped on the butt plate tang, and retains the original cleaning rod. The lock is fully functional, and holds correctly at half-cock, firing at full cock. The metalwork has a really nice patina, and the wood stock is in great shape with a very nice color. Both sling swivels are still present, as is the original ramrod. We have not attempted any cleaning of this example, and do not recommend any be taken. It is perfect as it is, untouched by time, which would inevitably remove the original brown lacquer.
A truly magnificent untouched stepping stone in the evolution of the U.S. Musket, with fantastic research potential! Ready to display!
Year of Manufacture: 1831
Cartridge Type: Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 42 Inches
Overall Length: 58 Inches
Action type: Side Action Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loading
History of the Model 1822 Musket:
The War of 1812 had revealed many weaknesses in American muskets. The Model 1812 Musket was created in an attempt to improve both the design and manufacture of the musket. The Model 1816 made further improvements, and replaced the Model 1812. The Model 1812 had borrowed heavily from the design of the French Charleville model 1777 musket, and this design was retained for the Model 1816. The Model 1816 had a 42 inch long .69 caliber smoothbore barrel, similar to the Model 1812, but had a longer lock plate, a shorter trigger guard, and a longer bayonet than the Model 1812. The Model 1816 also had a more straight lined stock. The overall length of the weapon was 58 inches.
The Model 1816 musket was originally produced at the Harpers Ferry and Springfield Arsenals between 1816 and 1844. Around 675,000 were made, more than any other flintlock in U.S. history.
The Model 1816 was originally produced as a flintlock musket. Like many flintlock muskets, many of these were later converted to percussion cap, as the percussion cap system was much more reliable and weather resistant.
This model of Springfield musket was used by Texans during the Texas Revolution and by the US Army and militia during the Mexican-American War. During this conflict, the flintlock version of the Model 1816 was preferred by U.S. regular forces, due to percussion cap supply concerns. It was also used during the early years of the American Civil War until around 1862.
Many improvements to the Model 1816 were made, producing the Model 1822, Model 1835, Model 1840, and Model 1842. U.S. Ordnance Department referred to these as different models, but in other U.S. government documents they are referred to as a continuation of the Model 1816. Modern histories are similarly inconsistent in the nomenclature of these weapons.
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