Original U.S. Civil War Era Springfield Model 1842 Percussion Musket by Springfield Armory dated 1845

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 SPRING / FIELD / 1845. Many of these muskets were produced under contract, however this example was made at Springfield Armory itself. 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 is very faint, and looks to be 1849. We do not know whether the musket was assembled this way, or whether it was sent back to arsenal for repair, and had parts replaced.

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 swivel bands present, one on the middle barrel band and one on the front of the trigger guard. There is light powder burn near the cap bolster, though it has not caused any serious erosion. The cap nipple cone looks to have been replaced post war, and 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 dark brown oxidized patina, and does not look to have had any major restoration work done. The stock also shows no signs of restoration, and still has an inspection cartouche on the left side rear of the lock screws. There is a crack running from the rear lock screw to the barrel breech, and one at the tail of the lock plate, both very common places to see the wood split along the grain. These have been left unrepaired, as they are part of the history of the musket.

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


Year of Manufacture: 1845 & 1849
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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