Original U.S. Civil War Harper's Ferry Model 1842 Percussion Rifle Musket with Socket Bayonet - 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 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. 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 Model 1842 Muskets were made at the Springfield Arsenal and the Harper's Ferry Arsenal of John Brown fame. This model is marked on the lock plate with:


There is also an EAGLE over U.S. on the lock plate in front of the hammer.  The barrel has V / P / Eagle markings on the breech end, and the barrel tang is marked 1852. 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.

All of the Springfield muskets were themselves evolutions of the model 1816, and many Model 1835, 1840, and 1842 muskets were later rifled, as this one has been. In particular, the Model 1840 and Model 1842 were produced with an intentionally thicker barrel than necessary, with the assumption that they would likely be rifled later, so they required less work. As the designers anticipated, many of the Model 1842 muskets had their barrels rifled later so that they could fire the newly developed Minié ball. When the barrels were rifled, graduated rear sights were added to take advantage of the improved accuracy. We checked this rifle, and the rifling can still be felt at the muzzle.

Overall the rifled musket is in outstanding condition, with a great appearance and lovely stock. The rear of the barrel shows little of the the effect of powder burn around the nipple, which is clear. The metal finish is a nice gray patina, which is just lovely.  The Musket comes with its original Socket Bayonet stamped U.S. on the blade.

A fine example that could have been on site for the John Brown raid and very probably saw action during the Civil War. Ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1852
Caliber: .69"
Cartridge Type: Minie 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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