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Original U.S. War of 1812 Era Springfield 1795 Shortened Musket Converted to Percussion - dated 1811

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind. This just came out of the attic after a hundred years of storage, together with a couple of hundred other guns. This was once a VERY desirable Model 1795 Flintlock musket dated 1811, which may very well have seen active service in the War of 1812. Sadly the musket has been shortened by about 11 inches, which also means the absence of the top barrel band, with only two remaining. It was also converted from the original flintlock configuration to percussion at this time.

The Model 1795 was the first musket to be produced in the United States by Springfield and Harper's Ferry Arsenals, as well as contractor Eli Whitney. It was based heavily on the Charleville musket, Model 1763/66, which had been imported in large numbers from the French during the American Revolution, and which at the time comprised the largest number of muskets in U.S. arsenals at about 20,000 muskets. The Model 1795 was used in the War of 1812, after which shortcomings in both the design and manufacturing process of the Model 1795 led to the development of the Model 1812 Musket at Springfield only, and eventually the Model 1816 Musket muskets at both armories.

Here we offer a nice shortened and percussion converted U.S. M-1795 .69 Caliber Flintlock Infantry Musket. It is marked SPRINGFIELD on the Lock Plate in an arc under U.S. over the Federal Eagle. There is some wear to the lock plate, but the markings are clear and it is actually dated 1811 on the lock plate tail. There are also proof marks of P over an Eagle's Head over V on the left side of the barrel, with U.S. on top. The barrel length is 33 inches, about 11 inches shorter than the usual 44 inches, as it has been cut down.

The condition of this rifle is nice, though it was definitely used. This musket came to us in a substantial purchase including several U.S. Flintlock Muskets from the Estate of a Southern Collector recently deceased. This musket may well have seen service against the British in the War of 1812. Now it is ready to join another U.S. Martial Collection.

Chance to own such a nice example of U.S. History do not come by often. This wonderful musket is ready to restore or display as is!

History of the Model 1795 Musket:

The Springfield Model 1795 Musket was a .69 caliber flintlock musket manufactured in the late 18th century and early 19th century at both the Springfield and Harper's Ferry U.S. Armories.

The Model 1795 a very elongated musket, retained many of the characteristics of the Charleville on which it was based. It had a 44 inches (110 cm) long .69 caliber barrel, a 56 inches (140 cm) stock, and a total length of 60 inches (150 cm). The original version had the bayonet lug on the bottom of the barrel but this was later moved to the top. Minor changes were made throughout production inclusive of a shorter barrel length of 42 inches (110 cm) on the later Harper's Ferry weapons. Barrels of Harper's Ferry 1795s were serial numbered up to some point in 1812: Springfield Model 1795's were never serial numbered. Springfield began the Model 1812 improvements in 1814, but Harper's Ferry continued on with the production of the Model 1795 until at least 1819 (early 1819 examples still used the M1795 lockplate) and never produced the Model 1812. Eventually, both armories incorporated improvements into the Model 1816 flintlock which were after a few years virtually identical. Most, but not all, parts will interchange on the Model 1816 muskets but the hand-crafted parts, and lack of set standards and patterns on the earlier Model 1795 weapons often means parts will not interchange easily.

Typical of smoothbore muskets, the M1795 had an effective range of about 50 yards (46 m) to 75 yards (69 m). The Model 1795 fired a smaller round than the British .75 caliber Brown Bess, but the Model 1795 also had both a slightly longer range and slightly better accuracy than the Brown Bess musket. This gave the American forces an advantage of range when they faced British forces in the War of 1812.

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.


Year of Manufacture: 1811 - converted later
Caliber: .69"
Cartridge Type: Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 33 Inches

Overall Length: 48 Inches
Action type: Side Action Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loading

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