Original U.S. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Model 1797 Flintlock Musket with Socket Bayonet - c. 1797
Original item: One of a Kind. Now this is something we do not see every day! This is a very early American Flintlock Musket, produced for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The states were responsible for maintaining their own stocks of arms for their militias, so at the very end of the 18th Century, Pennsylvania started to have these rifles produced, often with parts supplied by the National Armories.
Much like the Springfield Model of 1795, the PA Model 1797 is based heavily on the Charleville musket, Model 1763/66, which had been imported in large numbers from the French during the American Revolution. In the years following the war in the 1790s, French muskets comprised the largest number of muskets in U.S. arsenals at about 20,000 muskets.
The M1797 is somewhat different, in that it has a .75" bore barrel, not the smaller .69" used by the Springfield Model 1795. It is also a few inches longer, while the stock is a bit shorter, so the end of the barrel sticks out more. It still uses the standard socket bayonet, which attaches to the small lug on the front of the barrel. The brass front sight is attached directly to the front barrel band, as with the French and Springfield designs.
The musket is in very good condition, especially considering the age, and has a great look. It is marked C P across the lock plate tail, indicating ownership by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The breech end of the barrel is marked with the "Liberty Cap" over P, the National Armory proof mark used until 1799, when the familiar "Eagle's Head" over P came into use. The rest of the musket is unmarked, except for the initials I B scratched into the right butt stock.
The musket's mounts are all of iron and the iron lock plate shows old rust speckling, which actually is not bad at all. There is some powder burn and surface oxidation near the touch hole, as expected for any musket that saw service. The ramrod is still present, and definitely looks to be original. The lock functions correctly, holding at half cock, and firing at full.
The stock does show some cracking around the lock and breech area, and there is a glued and pinned repair to the rear right of the barrel tang. There is also a crack on the under side of the butt stock about half way down the trigger guard tang. The wood color is a lovely dark brown with some reddish streaks, and has a lovely polished finish.
The included socket bayonet is of a simple design, without any locking ring. It is unmarked, and fits well onto the front of the barrel. It shows oxidation and rust specking, and does have a crack in the socket near the end of the channel.
A very nice example of a very early American State Issued military musket, complete with bayonet. Ready to research and display!
Year of Manufacture: circa 1797
Cartridge Type: Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 44 1/2 Inches
Overall Length: 60 Inches
Action type: Side Action Flintlock
Feed System: Muzzle Loading
Blade Length: 14 1/2"
Blade Style: Triangular Socket
Overall length: 17 1/5“
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