Original U.S. Civil War Springfield M-1822 Musket Converted to Percussion - dated 1831
Original item: One Only. The US Springfield Arsenal Model 1822 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. One of the most noticeable differences in the Model 1822 is the attachment of the lower sling swivel. The forward part of the trigger bow was provided with an enlargement which was drilled to receive the sling swivel rivet. Previously, the sling swivel had been affixed to a stud in front of the trigger bow. All of these muskets were 58 inches long, with a barrel around 42 inches in length.
The outbreak of the Civil War in the United States created a large need for percussion muskets, as the number of modern firearms currently on hand was far short of what was needed. To fill this need, updating older design firearms was both faster and more cost effective, so many Model 1816 family muskets still in service were updated to percussion rifles. Also, many muskets converted to percussion in the 1840s-1850s were pressed back into service.
This example was originally manufactured at the Springfield Armory in 1831, as indicated by markings on the tail of the lock plate:
There is also an EAGLE over U.S. on the lock plate in front of the hammer, and the side of the barrel nocks form is marked S.M.O.. The musket's mounts are all of iron and the iron lock plate shows old rust pits. There is a large amount of powder burn around the cap nipple, which is a replacement. This would indicate extensive use as a percussion musket, most likely during the U.S. Civil war. This has unfortunately removed all of the proof marks that would be on the top and tang of the barrel. The remains of the brass flash pan can still be seen on the top of the lock plate. There are the remains of inspection cartouches on the left side of the stock near the lock screws.
The iron butt plate is also stamped U.S. and the overall condition of the musket rather suggests that this sat in a barn for some years before being cleaned to its now best light condition, considering its age and probable use in the U.S. Civil War. The lock functions, but is very stiff, and will fire if the trigger is pulled hard while at half cock.
In working condition this should not be fired, only displayed.
History of the Model 1822 Musket:
The War of 1812 had revealed many weaknesses in American muskets. The Model 1812 Musket was created in an attempt to improve both the design and manufacture of the musket. The Model 1816 made further improvements, and replaced the Model 1812. The Model 1812 had borrowed heavily from the design of the French Charleville model 1777 musket, and this design was retained for the Model 1816. The Model 1816 had a 42 inch long .69 caliber smoothbore barrel, similar to the Model 1812, but had a longer lock plate, a shorter trigger guard, and a longer bayonet than the Model 1812. The Model 1816 also had a more straight lined stock. The overall length of the weapon was 58 inches.
The Model 1816 musket was originally produced at the Harpers Ferry and Springfield Arsenals between 1816 and 1844. Around 675,000 were made, more than any other flintlock in U.S. history.
The Model 1816 was originally produced as a flintlock musket. Like many flintlock muskets, many of these were later converted to percussion cap, as the percussion cap system was much more reliable and weather resistant.
This model of Springfield musket was used by Texans during the Texas Revolution and by the US Army and militia during the Mexican-American War. During this conflict, the flintlock version of the Model 1816 was preferred by U.S. regular forces, due to percussion cap supply concerns.
It was also used during the early years of the American Civil War until around 1862.
Many improvements to the Model 1816 were made, producing the Model 1822, Model 1835, Model 1840, and Model 1842. U.S. Ordnance Department referred to these as different models, but in other U.S. government documents they are referred to as a continuation of the Model 1816. Modern histories are similarly inconsistent in the nomenclature of these weapons.
Year of Manufacture: 1831 - converted 1840s-50s
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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