Original U.S. Civil War Era Springfield M1842 Percussion Musket by Harpers Ferry with Rifled Barrel & Bayonet - dated 1854 & 1855

Item Description

Original item: One Only. The US Model 1842 Musket was a .69 caliber musket manufactured and used in the United States during the 19th Century. It was a continuation of the Model 1816 line of muskets but is generally referred to by its own model number rather than just a variant of the Model 1816. All of these muskets were 58 inches long, with a barrel around 42 inches in length.

The Model 1842 was the last U.S. smoothbore musket produced. Many features that had been retrofitted into the Model 1840 were standard on the Model 1842. The Model 1842 was the first U.S. musket to be produced with a percussion lock, though most of the Model 1840 flintlocks ended up being converted to percussion locks before reaching the field. The percussion cap system was vastly superior to the flintlock, being much more reliable and much more resistant to weather.

The Models 1840 & 1842 were made with thicker barrel walls, with the intention that they could be rifled later, and that is exactly what was done to this rifle. We checked the bore, and it still has strong three groove rifling, though there is powder fouling and oxidation, as to be expected from a rifle that saw long service. It also still has the correct rear ladder sight installed on these muskets when they were rifled, which allowed the straighter bullet trajectory to be taken advantage of.

It is marked with an "American Eagle" over US, and the lock plate tail is clearly marked HARPERS / FERRY / 1855. Many of these muskets were produced under contract, however this example was made at the United States Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry. The rifle side plate is thin and not bulged, as typical of the Model 1842 Musket. Previous iterations had had a more pronounced side plate with a bulge in the middle. The barrel nocks form still has V / P / Eagle's Head proof marks visible, with a visible date of 1854 on the barrel tang.

With all iron mounts this .69 caliber musket is in very good service used condition, with the original ramrod present, along with both barrel bands and the nose cap. The butt plate is correctly U.S. marked, and both sling swivels are still intact and functional. There is powder burn near the cap bolster, and the metalwork shows deterioration in that area. The cap nipple cone looks to be original, and is worn and powder burned from service. It looks like it was partially unscrewed at some point long ago, though we do not know why. The lock still functions correctly, holding correctly at half cock and firing at full.

The metalwork has an overall bright polished patina from years of cleaning. This has removed or ground out any light pitting and peppering that was present. The stock is in very good condition, with no major cracks or other issues we can see. It has a lovely red brown color, only achieved through decades of careful cleaning the original oiled finish. There is the "ghost" of an inspection cartouche on the left side by the lock screws.

The included bayonet is very nice, correctly stamped US on the ricasso, and has a lovely aged patina. It locks onto the front of the musket well, and while it has a bit of light pitting, is really a good example. Almost all were melted down or sleeved to fit later versions of the Springfield Rifle.

Almost certainly this musket saw service in the U.S. Civil War, very possibly for the Confederacy after Harpers Ferry Armory was captured. Ready to cherish and display!

Specifications (Musket):-

Year of Manufacture: 1854 &1855
Caliber: .69"
Cartridge Type: Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 42 Inches

Overall Length: 58 Inches
Action type: Side Action Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loading

Specifications (Bayonet):-

Blade Length: 17.5"
Blade Style: Triangular
Socket Length: 2 5/8"
Overall length: 20 3/4“

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