Original U.S. Civil War Era Springfield Model 1842 Percussion Musket by Harpers Ferry Armory - dated 1851

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, however this example is still in the original smoothbore configuration. It is marked with an "American Eagle" over US, and the lock plate tail is clearly marked HARPERS / FERRY / 1851. Many of these muskets were produced under contract, however this example was made at the United States Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry in what was then Virginia. 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, however the barrel tang date has worn away. There is also what looks to be a faint P B / P proof on the barrel near the other proof marks. There are also some faded stock cartouches near the lock screws.

With all iron mounts this .69 caliber musket is in very good condition, with the original ramrod present, along with both barrel bands and the nose cap. The butt plate is correctly U.S. marked. It still has both sling swivels present, one on the middle barrel band and one on the front of the trigger guard. There is some light powder burn near the cap bolster, and the metalwork shows some deterioration in that area. The cap nipple cone looks to be a period replacement, and shows only light wear from oxidation and cleaning. The lock still functions correctly, holding correctly at half cock and firing at full. We checked the bore, and it is still smoothbore, and was not rifled later, as many were. The metalwork overall has a lovely polished patina from years of cleaning, with a bit of light oxidations in places. The stock has a lovely brown color, showing the expected denting and wear from light service.

A great example of the last smoothbore percussion musket that the United States fielded, still in the original configuration. Ready to cherish and display!


Year of Manufacture: 1851
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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