Original U.S. Civil War Prussian Potsdam M1809 Percussion Converted Musket by Saarn marked to Philadelphia City Guard - dated 1829

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an original German .72 caliber, "Potsdam" Model 1809 smoothbore, single-shot muzzleloader in very good condition. These were designed at the large Prussian Arsenal in Potsdam outside of Berlin, though they were also manufactured elsewhere. Musket measures a total length of 56 1/2" with a 41" long barrel, and has been converted to percussion configuration. There are only minor signs of powder burn on the new bolster, so it most likely saw light use after conversion. Right next to the bolster it is marked by the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:


This indicates that the rifle was certainly converted and sold for use in the United States. This type of marking indicates it was issued to the Philadelphia City Guard during the U.S. Civil War. "A. Wurfflein" was a gunsmith and inspector for the city, who stamped weapons confirmed to be serviceable. His stamp is also seen on percussion converted U.S. made muskets as well, so this is definitely not a German marking, just a German last name. During the conflict it was always possible that the Rebel forces might make it that far into Union territory. There was also the possibility of civilian incursions, so local guard units were deployed in many cities. Number 547 is stamped on the barrel nocks form, which may be the rack number for use in the city.

The lockplate surface has a lovely lightly oxidized patina, and has a curved tail that terminates into a small teat that differentiates it from the later 1839 model. Markings are standard with none found behind the hammer. Forward of the hammer, the markings are mostly clear and feature a Prussian Crown over FW monogram, for Prussian King Frederick William III, who reigned 1797 - 1840. The lock plate is also marked Saarn / T, and with a faint CROWN / S at the top under the hammer for the arsenal found in the Rhineland which had at one time been a Monastery.

The barrel nocks form also has a very faded FW monogram next to a date of 1829. The musket features a brass butt plate, which is regimentally marked 3 B / 30 L W R, for the 3rd Bataillon, 30th Landwehr Regiment. It is also marked with 547, matching the number on the barrel breech. The right side of the butt stock still retains a large CROWN / FW cartouche as well. The robust lock still functions correctly, holding at half cock and firing at full. All the brass fittings wear a mellow mustard patina. Finials of the trigger guard and the toe of the butt plate terminate in distinct three-pointed ends, correct for this model.

Black walnut stock with its recessed cheek piece is quite handsome, with a great color. It has the expected chips, dents, and small cracks that are seen on a musket that saw long service, however it really is a great example of this type. There is some cracking to the rear of the lock plate, but nothing structural. There are some wood graft repairs on the fore stock area along the cleaning rod channel between the nose cap and upper barrel band.

A fine Prussian "Potsdam" Pattern 1809 smoothbore percussion converted musket, issued to the Philadelphia City Guard during the Civil War. Many of these were imported from Germany just prior to the U.S. Civil War and issued mostly to the Confederacy. One confirmed to be issued in the North is definitely a rarity.

Ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1829 - Converted Later
Caliber: .72"
Ammunition Type:  Lead Ball & Powder
Barrel Length: 41 inches

Overall Length: 56 1/2 inches
Action: Side Action Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

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