Original Rare U.S. War Of 1812 Massachusetts Contract Model 1808 Musket with Civil War Confederate Percussion Conversion

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Every so often an antique firearm so steeped in historic significance comes to pass. This piece is just one of them! This is a scarce early Civil War Confederate Percussion Conversion made from a .69 Caliber, smoothbore Pattern 1808 Flintlock Musket.

This musket features a textbook Confederate conversion to a percussion ignition system. In the early days of the Civil War, the south scrambled to outfit large numbers of troops in short order. As many southern arsenals housed rather antiquated and obsolete arms, the south was at a clear disadvantage compared to the well-armed armies of the Union forces. Confederate arsenals, and many small contracted cottage-industry style gunshops were charged with updating many of these obsolete arms. The quality of the conversions ranged from crude to rather well done. Some unfortunate Confederate troops went into battle with obsolete flintlock muskets as late as 1862!

This particular conversion features a “drum” style cylindrical conversion bolster, and a North Carolina style arsenal-made percussion hammer. The hammer is unique, with its almost blacksmith-made appearance. The high profile, swept forward appearance is also an indicative feature. Upon removing the hammer from the musket, a very small roman numeral “I” is visible on the reverse of the hammer, another common trait with Confederate conversion musket components.

The Musket, however, is not only a 1808 Musket, but it is most likely one of 125 ordered by Quartermaster General Amasa Davis from the arms agency of J. Farnsworth & Co on September 13, 1813 for use during the War of 1812 by Massachusetts troops. Fabricated by arms maker Asher & Pliney Bartlett of Springfield, Massachusetts, the guns were delivered to Cambridge Arsenal just two days following the order. While the lock plate does have a U.S. surcharge marking, the barrel features the Massachusetts proof marks of P over IB and M (Massachusetts) over the date 1812. Most likely this arm was made using extant parts in the factory, explaining the dates of 1812 and the US surcharged lock plate. The lock plate is nicely marked with the aforementioned U.S. surcharge, Federal Eagle, and Bartlett. The date, 1812 is stamped on the lock plate tail. Inspector initials T.C. are located on the underside of the trigger housing.

The 1808 Contract muskets are essentially an exact copy of the Springfield Model 1795, which in turn was merely a copy of the French Model 1777 Charleville. With the 1795 being truly the first officially adopted, and manufactured service long arm, these are an incredibly historic and important piece of United States small arms history, and a true “must have” for one looking to assemble a collection highlighting the lineage of American small arms.

Condition is very good, considering the age, and extensive service life this musket had. The metal has achieved a rich patina over the years. Original Band springs are in place with the original spring retainers. The stock still exhibits some of the original reddish hue finish, which is quite pleasing. The stock, naturally, exhibits dings, and slight damage, as expected with a heavily used service arm. The only detraction is the musket has an incorrect length ramrod. However, it displays nicely with the musket. The sling swivels have been removed at some point, which is not uncommon for Confederate-used guns. For being 210 years old, this is in surprisingly good condition.

A fantastic collector's opportunity!


Year of Manufacture: 1812 - 1813
Caliber: .69"
Cartridge Type: Cap & Ball
Barrel Length: 44 1/2 Inches

Overall Length: 60 Inches
Action type: Side Action Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loaded

NOTE: International orders of antique firearms MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services (courier). USPS Priority Mail international will not accept these. International customers should always consult their country's antique gun laws prior to ordering.

  • This product is available for international shipping.
  • Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon


Cash For Collectibles