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Original U.S. Civil War Era Springfield Model 1822 Musket Converted to Percussion - dated 1833

Item Description

Original item: One Only. The US Springfield Arsenal Model 1822 Musket was a .69 caliber musket manufactured and used in the United States during the 19th Century. It is a continuation of the Model 1816 line of muskets but is generally referred to as its own model number rather than just a variant of the Model 1816. One of the most noticeable differences in the Model 1822 is the attachment of the lower sling swivel. The forward part of the trigger bow was provided with an enlargement which was drilled to receive the sling swivel rivet. Previously, the sling swivel had been affixed to a stud in front of the trigger bow. All of these muskets were 58 inches long, with a barrel around 42 inches in length.

The outbreak of the Civil War in the United States created a large need for percussion muskets, as the number of modern firearms currently on hand was far short of what was needed. To fill this need, updating older design firearms was both faster and more cost effective, so many Model 1816 family muskets still in service were updated to percussion rifles. Also, many muskets converted to percussion in the 1840s-1850s were pressed back into service.

This lovely example was originally manufactured at the Springfield Armory in 1833, as indicated by markings on the tail of the lock plate:


There is also an EAGLE over U.S. on the lock plate in front of the hammer, the standard marking seen on these locks. The side of the barrel nocks form is marked P / Eagle's Head / V, the standard Springfield Armory proof mark in the 1830s and later, and the barrel tang is dated 1833. There are also two cartouches stamped into the stock on the left side behind the lower lock screw. These look to be "EP" and "JW", but we cannot quite make them out. There are also some number markings stamped on various parts of the musket.

The musket's mounts are all of iron and have a lovely lightly oxidized patina over most parts. There is only minor powder burn around the original cap nipple on the barrel, so this musket did not see large amounts of use once converted to percussion. The remains of the brass flash pan can still be seen on the top of the lock plate. The lock functions correctly, holding at half cock and firing at full. It is however a bit stiff, and requires a very strong trigger pull.

The iron butt plate is also stamped U.S. and the overall condition of the musket is just lovely. The stock has a lovely glow, with the expected scratches and dents from long service. There is a wood repair on the butt stock on the right side by the butt plate, which was probably done at arsenal when it was being updated to percussion. There are also various areas which look to have wood filler in them.

A fantastic looking percussion converted U.S. Percussion musket. Like most, we too wish that maybe it could have avoided the conversion, as it is a truly lovely example. Ready to cherish and display!

History of the Model 1822 Musket:

The War of 1812 had revealed many weaknesses in American muskets. The Model 1812 Musket was created in an attempt to improve both the design and manufacture of the musket. The Model 1816 made further improvements, and replaced the Model 1812. The Model 1812 had borrowed heavily from the design of the French Charleville model 1777 musket, and this design was retained for the Model 1816. The Model 1816 had a 42 inch long .69 caliber smoothbore barrel, similar to the Model 1812, but had a longer lock plate, a shorter trigger guard, and a longer bayonet than the Model 1812. The Model 1816 also had a more straight lined stock. The overall length of the weapon was 58 inches.

The Model 1816 musket was originally produced at the Harpers Ferry and Springfield Arsenals between 1816 and 1844. Around 675,000 were made, more than any other flintlock in U.S. history.

The Model 1816 was originally produced as a flintlock musket. Like many flintlock muskets, many of these were later converted to percussion cap, as the percussion cap system was much more reliable and weather resistant.

This model of Springfield musket was used by Texans during the Texas Revolution and by the US Army and militia during the Mexican-American War. During this conflict, the flintlock version of the Model 1816 was preferred by U.S. regular forces, due to percussion cap supply concerns.

It was also used during the early years of the American Civil War until around 1862.

Many improvements to the Model 1816 were made, producing the Model 1822, Model 1835, Model 1840, and Model 1842. U.S. Ordnance Department referred to these as different models, but in other U.S. government documents they are referred to as a continuation of the Model 1816. Modern histories are similarly inconsistent in the nomenclature of these weapons.


Year of Manufacture: 1833 - converted 1840s-50s
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

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