Original Rare U.S. M1812 Style Virginia Manufactory 2nd Model .75" Flintlock Musket - dated 1814
Original Item: Only One Available. The Springfield Model 1812 Musket was a .69 caliber, flintlock musket designed and manufactured by the Springfield Armory. In the years after the War of 1812, due to deficiencies perceived in the model 1795, the U.S. wanted them quickly replaced, and so also contracted out various orders to gun manufacturers of the time. Individual states also had their own contracts for their militias, and this is one such musket.
This is one of only 1500 muskets produced for the state militia of Virginia, who contracted out the work, as indicated on the lock plate, which is marked with VIRGINIA / Manufactory under the pan, and RICHMOND / 1814 on the lock plate tail. There is also the number 22 stamped on almost all of the fittings, so this may represent the 11th of these made in 1814.
This configuration is considered the "2nd Model" of this musket, which replaced the earlier model of 1797. The design is based heavily on the U.S. Springfield Model 1812 musket, and did not include any of the model 1816 improvements, such as the lower sling swivel being attached directly to the trigger guard, as opposed to having a separate mounting piece.
As only approximately 1,500 of these were made in total, any example can be considered very rare after 200 years. The ring neck cock has had a flint correctly installed in its jaws. We checked the functionality, and the lock still holds correctly at half cock, firing at full. The barrel length on this example is slightly shorter than usually seen, at 39 inches, with an overall length of 54 inches, 3 inches shorter than normal. It still has the bayonet button on the barrel at the front, so it looks to have been made at this length originally.
Most interestingly, this example is definitely in .75 caliber, not the usual .69 seen in U.S. muskets of the time. We do not have any explanation for this, and leave it as a curiosity or excellent research opportunity. We previously had another example, and it was also in .75 caliber.
A fine example of an early Southern Martial musket of this then new Country. In great condition, ready to research and display!
Year of Manufacture: 1820
Cartridge Type: Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 42 Inches
Overall Length: 57 Inches
Action type: Side Action Flintlock
Feed System: Muzzle Loading
History of the Model 1812 Musket:
The War of 1812 revealed many weaknesses in the earlier Model 1795 Musket. The Model 1812 was an attempt to improve both the design and manufacturing process of the musket. The design borrowed heavily from the French Charleville model 1777 musket. The Springfield Model 1812 musket arrived too late to be of use in the War of 1812 but would later become standard issue to regular infantry and militia units.
The Model 1812 was a .69 caliber smoothbore musket, with a 42-inch (107 cm) barrel and a 54-inch (137 cm) stock, and a total length of 57-inch (145 cm). The Model 1812 was produced only at Springfield: the M1795 would continue in production at Harpers Ferry into 1818.
The Model 1812 was produced in a quantity of almost 30,000 between the years 1814 and 1816. It was replaced by the Model 1816 Musket. However, the Model 1812 remained in service for many years, and was even used in the American Civil War, mostly by the Confederate forces. By the start of the Civil war, the weapon was considered to be old and obsolete but was needed to fill arms shortages.
Some Model 1812 muskets were later converted to percussion lock firing mechanisms. The percussion cap system was much more reliable and weatherproof than the flintlock system used on the Model 1812 in its original configuration.
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