Original Danish Model 1785/1807 Pillar Breech Jäger Rifle Converted to Percussion in Norway c. 1840 - Serial 994
Original Item. Only One Available. This is pretty unusual, starting life as the Danish Flintlock 18mm smooth bore Jäger Musket Model of 1785/1807, fitted with an early Doglock type safety on the hammer. The lock does have a true half-cock position, which may have been added when it was later to be converted to a Percussion rifle. This conversion most likely occurred in Norway, where it was fitted with a rifled barrel of 28 inches long, complete with new sights. This features a "pillar breech", intended to push out the bottom of the bullet to engage the rifling. The overall length is 43 inches, with all brass mounts on a Beech Wood stock.
The rifle comes complete with its VERY substantial iron ram rod assembly with a conical socket in the enlarged end. This is intended to hole the bullet in place while it is rammed into the "pillar" at the breech end of the barrel. It is marked with serial number 994 on the lock plate, rear sight, barrel tang, side of the barrel, and on the butt plate tang. There are additional marks on the lock and barrel, such as a CROWN / K, for Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk (Weapons Factory) in Norway, where it was converted. The left side of the barrel shows faded regimental markings from before the conversion.
Condition of the Rifle is very good, with the metalwork polished bright steel as originally issued. The wood stock is in good condition, though it does show some past wood worm damage on the butt stock, as well as some repairs near the lock plate. The rear sight still works great, and the cleaning rod is also in good shape. The patch box in the butt stock has a working wood cover, and the right side of the barrel is fitted with mounting hardware for what looks to be a very interesting bayonet.
A very interesting piece of European firearms history, ready to research and display!
Year of Manufacture: circa 1790 - converted circa 1840.
Caliber: about 18mm rifled
Cartridge Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 28 Inches
Overall Length: 43 Inches
Action type: Side action Lock with Dog Safety
Feed System: Muzzle Loading
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History of the Denmark Norway firearms connection:
Denmark basically ruled Norway until 1814 however having taken the side of Napoleon Bonaparte in the Napoleonic wars which came to a temporary close in 1813. In 1814 Denmark was forced to grant Norway independence in 1814. In 1815 Napoleon raised his head again and was finally beaten at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Had the French won at Waterloo who knows what Scandinavia would look like today.
Norway had tens of thousands of old Danish produced muskets by 1814 - most of these were already at the point becoming obsolete. While Sweden started a huge production of "new and modern" flintlock long-guns in the early 1800's, the Norwegian army kept the Danish muskets for years to come. As better technology came, these old long-guns were gradually converted and modernized into a variety of models. The muskets from between the M1746 and the M1807 were all fairly similar and most of them were converted to one of the following models.
Little work was needed to convert a flintlock to percussion which was done by removing the outer flintlock parts from the lock-plate, inserting a percussion bit on the barrel and a new hammer plus the dog catch. It was a very inexpensive exercise.
Converting from a musket to a pillar breech rifle involved a little more work. The musket to be converted had to be in excellent condition. The screw in the rear of the barrel was exchanged to one with a pillar, the barrel was rifled and new sights mounted. Still, very inexpensive compared to producing a rifle from scratch.
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