Original U.S. Civil War Era Springfield Model 1842 Percussion Musket by Harpers Ferry Armory - dated 1852

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 / 1852. 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, though the barrel tang date has worn away due to powder burn.

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. It still has the trigger guard sling swivel present, however the one on the middle barrel band looks to have been ground away. There is powder burn near the cap bolster, which has eroded away the stock a bit near that area, and the metalwork shows deterioration in that area as well. The cap nipple cone looks to be original, and is worn and powder burned from service. 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. There is some fouling and oxidation, as is expected.

The metalwork overall has a lovely brown aged patina from decades of slow oxidation, without any major cleaning or restoration, just how we like to see them. The stock is in good condition, though it does have some damage and cracking along the woodline on both sides the forestock. The wood has also been reshaped a bit, giving the profile a bit of a "scalloped" look, with wood removed between the barrel bands, possibly to reduce weight or improve the appearance. It has a lovely red brown color, only achieved through decades of careful cleaning the original oiled finish.

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!


Year of Manufacture: 1852
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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