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This is an original and very fine condition Springfield Armory Model 1842 Musket that was manufactured in 1848.
The Model 1842 design was based on the previous Model 1840 Flintlock Musket design with changes from flintlock to percussion ignition. The story of the Model 1842 Percussion Musket begins in 1841 when the Chief of Ordnance instructed Springfield Armory to develop a new percussion system based on the Model 1840 but using the Model 1841 percussion system. The resulting arm, the Model 1842 Percussion Musket, was not only the first regulation armory pattern percussion musket, but it was also the first weapon manufactured at both Springfield and Harpers Ferry that had interchangeable parts. The Model 1842 was also the last regulation armory pattern infantry musket in .69 caliber.
Although the Model 1842 Musket was the same .69 caliber as the earlier pattern flintlock muskets, the ammunition for the new musket was different. The reason was that the earlier flintlock ammunition contained more powder for the priming of the flintlock ignition system. Because little Model 1842 Musket ammunition was on hand at the beginning of the Mexican War in 1847, the Ordnance Department decided that all infantry sent to Mexico would be armed with flintlock muskets rather than the new percussion Model 1842 Muskets. There were exceptions where percussion muskets were used during the Mexican War, but the vast majority of US troops carried flintlock muskets.
The Ordnance Department soon recognized the need for a rifled musket to replace the existing Model 1842 smoothbore design and began rifling existing stands of smoothbore muskets prior to the adoption of the Model 1855 Rifled Musket. Springfield Armory began the process of rifling existing Model 1842 Rifles sometime in June 1855, with the June 30, 1855 “Report of Principal Operations” noting that the rifling of 478 muskets was “in process.”
Nearly 44,000 “percussion muskets” are known to have been rifled at both Springfield Armory and Harpers Ferry between 1855 and 1859, with some of this number having been percussion altered flintlock muskets. Rifled percussion altered flintlock muskets were discontinued, however, when it was learned that the increased pressure of firing Minie balls from the new rifled barrels in older, flintlock barrels with cold forged nipple seats was dangerous to the firer. With the adoption of rifled muskets on the horizon, Springfield began phasing out regular production of the Model 1842 Musket and ended production completely at both armories in 1855. When this musket was manufactured in 1848, Springfield only produced 15,018.
The Barrel on this rifle is its fine condition and original 1848 dated barrel that remains smooth bored and .69 caliber. The “1848” date on the tang is still crisply stamped. The bore is still remarkably clean throughout and is still in firing condition. The exterior portion of the barrel still retains the vast majority of its original national armory bright finish throughout, to include the exposed and protected areas. The ¼” by 9/32” bayonet lug is still secured below the barrel approximately 1 1/8” from the muzzle. The left rear of the barrel, just above the breech side flat, has the “V”/ ”P” / eagle head proof stamps, all still crisply stamped. The bottom of the barrel has a serif “M” inspection stamp and a witness line that corresponds with an identical witness line on the bottom of the breech plug. There are several inspection stamps on the rear face of the barrel and the breech plug. The Tang Screw retains the majority of its National Armory Bright finish and the slot is unmarred.
The Nipple Bolster shows evidence of very minor pitting from firing and it retains considerable original national armory bright finish. The Nipple itself is in good condition and is clear to the chamber.
The Lockplate is in very fine condition. To the rear of the hammer in serif lettering is the crisp “SPRING/FIELD/1848” stamp struck vertically. Forward of the hammer is the spread eagle with a shield at its breast and head turned towards the rear over serif “US,” also crisply struck. The lockplate surface exhibits the vast majority of its original National Armory Bright finish and is in really beautiful condition.
The interior lock components are in very fine condition. The interior of the lockplate has numerous stampings including a serif “R” stamp, a “2” stamp, a “0” stamp, and a serif “H” stamp. The Mainspring remains in the white and is as strong as the day it was manufactured. The Mainspring Screw retains the majority of its original fire blue finish and the slot is unmarred. The Tumbler retains the majority of its original fire blue finish with wear noted on the lower edge and it has matching “0” and “2” stamps. The Tumbler Screw retains 95% of its original fire blue finish. The Bridle retains virtually all of its original fire blue finish and the Bridle Screw also retains the majority of the original fire blue finish with an unmarred slot. The Bridle has matching “0” and “2” stamps. The Sear retains the majority of its original fire blue finish and works perfectly and it has a “2” stamp on the sear leg. The Sear Spring remains in the white and the Sear Spring Screw retains the majority of its original fire blue finish. Both Lock Screws retain the majority of their original National Armory Bright finish.
The Hammer is in fine condition and is the correct convex-surfaced type with straight, checkered thumbpiece. The checkering does exhibit wear but remains very distinct. The Hammer and Hammer Screw retain the vast majority of its original National Armory Bright finish and the screw’s slot is unmarred. There is a serif “B” inspection stamp on the interior side of the Hammer. The Hammer works correctly and the full- and half-cock tumbler works perfectly.
The original Side Plate is the correct “L” shape with parallel sides and circular heads and it exhibits the majority of its original National Armory bright finish.
The Trigger Guard Assembly, to include the Trigger Guard Bow, is in very fine condition retaining the majority of its National Armory Bright finish with only slight traces of old corrosion. The Trigger still retains the majority of its original tempered blue finish and it has a serif “V” stamp on the left side. The original Trigger Screw is present and the slot is unmarred. There is a serif “P” stamp on the interior surface of the trigger guard bow. The interior surface of the guard plate remains in fine condition and both bow spanner nuts retain the majority of their original dark finish. The inside surface has a serif “S” stamp. Both guard screws, which are convex, single-slotted, are present. The original lower sling swivel is present as riveted to the lug on the front branch of the trigger guard bow and it moves freely.
The Upper Barrel Band is the correct type with two ½” rings separated by an open area. The original oval brass front sight blade is present on the front ring. The band is 2 15/16” long at the top and extends to the rear at the bottom for 3 11/16” in length. The Upper Band exhibits the majority of its National Armory Bright finish with small areas of old corrosion scattered throughout. The Middle Band is 9/16” in length and the 1 5/8” upper sling swivel is correctly riveted through the circular plate on the lug at the bottom of the band. The swivel moves freely. The Middle Band also retains the majority of its National Armory Bright finish with very small areas of old corrosion. The Lower Band is 9/16” wide at the top and extends forward at the bottom to 1” in length. The Lower Band retains the majority of its original National Armory Bright finish. All three band springs are present on the stock and all also retain considerable national armory bright finish.
The Ramrod measures 41 ¾” in length with a trumpet head. The rear of the ramrod is threaded for 3/8” for the ball screw and wiper. The Ramrod retains considerable original national armory bright finish but with small areas of old pitting present along its entire length. The ramrod stows tightly in the stock. This particular ramrod is a two-piece construction and may be a later replacement since I have never observed a two-piece ramrod on a Springfield Model 1842 musket before.
The original Stock is in very fine condition and retains its original oiled finish. The left stock flat has an oval cartouche stamped vertically with script initials “RC,” which are the initials of Springfield Armory inspector Rufus Chandler, who inspected arms at Springfield from 1846 until his death from tuberculosis in March 1853. The ramrod friction retainer is in very good. Just to the rear of the trigger plate recess are serif initials “JR,” which are probably another set of stock maker’s initials. The lock mortise is in very fine condition with all edges crisp and no cracks or chips. There is a crisp, serif “HJ” stamp in this mortise. The stock has never been sanded and there are minor dings and scratches but no cracks are noted.
The Butt Plate is the correct straight profile, convex surface type that has the “US” stamp on the tang. The tang and back surface of the butt plate exhibits considerable original National Armory Bright finish interspersed with areas of old corrosion. Both butt plate screws are present and both have unmarred slots.
This is a fine condition Springfield Armory Model 1842 Musket that was manufactured at the end of the Mexican American War. This musket functions perfectly and is still in firing condition.
This musket is an antique so it can be shipped to anyone. This musket will also come with an historic writeup and a CD containing all of the photos in the listing. I accept Visa and MasterCard and charge NO FEES. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like additional photos posted.