Original British East India Company Model E - F Percussion Carbine with British Proof Marks c. 1845
Original Item: One of a Kind. Well this is definitely quite interesting! Here we have a very nice East India Company Percussion carbine, which is in the E / F configuration. All of the other model E’s and F's that were found in Nepal were full length muskets. It features a smooth bore 21 1 / 2” inch barrel, and is 37 1/2" in overall length. As there is no bayonet catch on a carbine, it is impossible to tell if it was made as an E or an F.
This example, unlike many we see, was not made overseas, but instead was definitely manufactured in Britain. The shape of the Post-1808 EIC Leaping Lion, as well as the quality of the engraving, is definitely British. The barrel also faintly bears the London CROWN / CP black powder proof for barrels and the CROWN / V viewed marks. There are most likely copious markings under the barrel, where most of the makers would leave the lion's share of their markings and proofs.
The carbine features a single steel ramrod pipe, and has a sling swivel added to the butt stock, having been removed from the trigger guard. The ramrod itself is the "captured" swivel type, which cannot be dropped. Fully cleaned and ready to display. The lock functions correctly, holding at half cock and firing at full. Please see the pictures for condition details.
One of the few EIC Model E/Fs that we have ever encountered in this Carbine configuration. RARE! Ready to research and display!
More on the EIC Model E & F Percussion Musket:
Official records tell us that the British East India Company procured or made no Flintlock Muskets after the late 1820s and it appears they were very swift to take advantage of the newest in firearms technology- the percussion ignition system. In 1840 the HEIC began producing the world's very first massed produced percussion muskets one of which later became known as the EIC Model "E".
A brief history of how this model came to being- The shortened 39" barrel Brown Bess musket was first developed and adopted by the EIC in 1771. This was a full 25 years before the Board of Ordnance in London followed suit with a 39" Brown Bess Musket dubbed the "India Pattern" in 1796. This is a testament that private enterprise has seemingly always got things done long before government bureaucrats. In 1839 the British Government officially adopted a converted to percussion Brown Bess musket (P-1796/39) but in the Great Fire of the Tower of London of 1841 over 400,000 of these converted Muskets were destroyed leaving the British Government very short handed. The result, once again, was to copy the current EIC Percussion Musket, the Model "F" and designate it the "Lovell's Pattern of 1842". By that time, the EIC had already developed and refined the .75 bore Percussion musket through six models- A to F.
Models A and B were EIC flintlock muskets converted to percussion. However, the Model E was purpose built percussion issue. This Pattern dispensed with the screw on breech (needed because of the unreliability of the brazed on nipple lumps) as improved technology now permitted the welding of the nipple lump directly to the side of the breech. The nipple lump changes shape to fit what was then called the "new style lock". The lock was of the new percussion type with the mainspring no longer screwed in at its small end but secured under a lip inside the lock plate. The trigger is hung in a box, part of the trigger plate, instead of on a pin in the wood, and the side plate disappeared in favor of the later side nail cups with new Pattern E "Hanovarian" bayonet catch. These were built or "set up" between 1843 and 1845.
The differences between the various EIC Models are generally minor; Model A and B were Brown Bess flintlock conversions, Model C and D were purpose built percussion muskets but had the "Old Series" side locks with differing trigger guard styles, while the Model E and F both had the "new series" side locks and had either the Hanoverian Catch on the Model E or the EIC bayonet catch on the Model F.
Please See David Harding's stellar work "Smallarms of the East India Company 1600-1856" published in four volumes by Foresight Books in 1997. Specifically, please see Volume 2, pages 97-124 for a mass of information concerning the vary EIC Model muskets.
Year of Manufacture: circa 1845
Cartridge Type: Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 21 1/2 Inches
Overall Length: 37 1/2 Inches
Action type: Side Action Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loading
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