Original U.S. Civil War Era Springfield Model 1847 Rifled Percussion Cavalry Musketoon by Springfield Armory - dated 1848

Item Description

Original item: Only One Available. The Springfield Model 1847 was a percussion lock musketoon / carbine produced by the Springfield Armory in the mid-19th century. Muskets were designed for a dual purpose on the battlefield, and could be used as a both a and a pike for short range fighting. Because they were used in a manner similar to a pike, muskets had to be long and heavy, which made them impractical for other uses. Because of this, many muskets were produced in a shorter version, often called a carbine or a musketoon. These shorter weapons were often used by naval forces and cavalry.

The Model 1847 was produced in three variants, the Cavalry, Artillery, and Sappers (engineers) Musketoon or Carbine, all at Springfield armory between 1847 and 1859. The total production of all three models is estimated at approximately 10,000 carbines. Like the Model 1840 & 1842 Muskets, it was produced with a thicker wall barrel, with the intention that they could be rifled later.

This example was rifled, and at the same time fitted with a three leaf sight, as smoothbore carbines did not have a rear sight installed. After that it looks to have seen much service, probably still in use during the U.S. Civil War. It is marked with an "American Eagle" over US, and the lock plate tail is clearly marked SPRING / FIELD / 1848. Many of these muskets were produced under contract, however this example was made at the United States Armory and Arsenal at Springfield itself. As is correct for the cavalry version of the musketoon, it has an area on the side plate where a ring fitting was originally installed, now removed. The rifle side plate is thin and not bulged, just like the Model 1842 Musket. Due to wear, unfortunately the markings on the barrel breech are no longer legible.

With the correct carbine all brass fittings, this .69 caliber musketoon is in very good condition, with the original ramrod present, along with both barrel bands and the nose cap. There are no sling swivels, as is correct, however the original swivel link for the cleaning rod is unfortunately missing, though we can see a bit of the dovetail where it was once installed. It looks to have been ground off level to the barrel. The butt plate is correctly U.S. marked.

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 original, and shows wear from oxidation and use. The lock still functions correctly, holding correctly at half cock and firing at full. We checked the bore, an we can still clearly see the three groove rifling, though there is definitely fouling and wear. The metalwork overall has a speckled brown patina from years of cleaning, with some areas of more advanced oxidation. There are some faded cartouches on the left side of the stock by the lock screws, but we cannot read them. There is a chunk of wood missing to the rear of the lock plate, which is relatively common.

A very nice example of a hard to find U.S. Percussion Carbine, ready to add to your collection!


Year of Manufacture: 1848
Caliber: .69"
Cartridge Type: Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 26 Inches

Overall Length: 41 Inches
Action type: Side Action Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loading

More on the Model 1847 Musketoon:
The Model 1847, like the Model 1842 musket that it was based on, had a .69 caliber barrel, and was fired using a percussion lock system. The barrel was much shorter, only 26 inches in length compared to the Model 1842's 42 inch barrel. The Model 1842 had been produced as a smoothbore musket, but many were later rifled. The Model 1847 carbines were also produced as a smoothbore weapon, and a small number of these also were later rifled. Smoothbore carbines were not sighted. The carbines that were rifled were also fitted with sights.

Like the Model 1842 musket, the Model 1847 carbine used barrel bands to attach the barrel to the stock. The carbine, being much shorter, only required two barrel bands, instead of the three required for the longer Model 1842 musket. The Model 1847 carbine featured a small lock and chain or metal bale for attaching the ramrod which was especially useful while reloading on horseback. The total weight of the carbine was approximately 7.4 lbs, and its overall length was 41 inches.

The cavalry model was not highly regarded by those mounted troops to whom they were issued. Inspector General Joseph K. Mansfield conducted a tour of the Western outposts in 1853 and reported that the troops made many derogatory comments about their carbines. Dragoons told him that when the weapon was carried by a mounted trooper, the ball would simply roll out of the weapon's barrel. His report also stated that "There is no probable certainty of hitting the object aimed at, and the recoil is too great to be fired with ease." Mansfield concluded that the gun was essentially "a worthless arm," having "no advocates that I am aware of."

The Model 1847 musketoon's inadequacies were largely responsible for Steptoe's loss at the Battle of Pine Creek (along with other poor equipment selections).

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