Original U.S. Springfield Transitional Model 1840/42 Percussion Musket by L. Pomeroy – Dated 1843
Original item: One Only. The US Model 1840 and 1842 Muskets were a .69 caliber muskets manufactured and used in the United States during the 19th Century. They were both continuations of the Model 1816 line of muskets but are generally referred to by their own model numbers rather than just a variant of the Model 1816. All of these muskets were 58 inches long, with a barrel around 42 inches in length. This particular musket was produced under contract, which meant that often they would continue to produce the earlier models after a new one was introduced. It produced during the changeover, so it has characteristics of both the M1840 and M1842, and does not appear to be an M1840 converted to M1842, but rather an example assembled from parts for both. Another possibility is that the parts were converted as it was assembled.
The Model 1842 was the last U.S. smoothbore musket produced. Many features that had been retrofitted into the Model 1840 were standard on the Model 1842. The Model 1842 was the first U.S. musket to be produced with a percussion lock, though most of the Model 1840 flintlocks ended up being converted to percussion locks before reaching the field. The percussion cap system was vastly superior to the flintlock, being much more reliable and much more resistant to weather.
This fine example by contractor LEMUEL
Apparently these were destined for use in Virginia, which later became part of the Confederacy. Some of the parts appear to have originally been flintlock, specifically the Lock plate which still shows a portion of the removed brass pan, as well as plugged holes where the frizzen and spring would have been. There is however no indication that the frizzen was ever fitted, so this was probably converted from existing stock prior to installation. The lock plate is marked with an American Spread Eagle over L. POMEROY, with 1843 / U.S. on the lock plate tail.
Unfortunately, powder burn has removed the markings that would normally be on the breech end of the barrel, including the proof marks and dates. The rifle side plate is thin and not bulged, as typical of the Model 1842 Musket. Previous iterations had had a more pronounced side plate with a bulge in the middle.
All of the Springfield muskets were themselves evolutions of the model 1816, and many Model 1835, 1840, and 1842 muskets were later rifled, as this one has been. In particular, the Model 1840 and Model 1842 were produced with an intentionally thicker barrel than necessary, with the assumption that they would likely be rifled later, so they required less work. We checked the bore, and this example does not show any rifling, but due to the amount of wear, it is possible that it was completely worn away.
The musket is in very nice display condition, with a lovely color and patina on the wood and metalwork. There are also some faded inspection cartouches on the left side of the stock near the side plate. The lock functions correctly, holding at half cock, and firing at full.
Certainly used in the U.S. Civil War, this is a very nice example, fully cleaned and ready to Display!
Year of Manufacture: 1843
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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