US Model 1816 Question
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Thread: US Model 1816 Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    355

    Default US Model 1816 Question

    I picked up a project last week and I need a little help identifying what it was modified into. It is an unconverted flint dated 1819. The barrel and lock match. The stock and barrel have been cut down to roughly match the length of an 1861 Springfield. It is marked N.G. 32 on the side opposite the lock. The front two bands were moved back and the spring hole for the middle band was expertly filled a long time ago. I'm assuming it was modified for a military school but with it still being flint do you think it was done pre-civil war or post-war? I know muskets this date were considered 2nd or 3rd class weapons when the conversion to percussion started. I would love to hear your ideas. Two quick picture below. Thanks in advance.

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    Last edited by w10085; 03-21-2017 at 06:49 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    Very interesting piece. Military school issue is a possible answer, but we will likely never know why the gun was shortened, it is possible that it was fired with a muzzle blockage (dirt or a tampion) and the muzzle bulged or even split. When turned in to an armorer, it was shortened by 3 or so inches to keep it in service. Or, it was possible that the musket was surplussed with the damaged muzzle from such an accident and the new civilian owner shortened it.

    As far as it being a "2nd or 3rd class weapon" after percussion was adopted, remember that the flintlock was a front line issue for both sides at the beginning of the American Civil War. The Battles at Philippi and Manassass and other early engagements saw troops of both armies using them, often the majority of soldiers in line of battle. The Confederate military was still issuing flints as late as mid-1862 to Stonewall Jackson's troops during the Shenandoah Valley campaign, over a year after the beginning of hostilities and it wouldn't surprise me to find that rear echelon Federals were using them mid-war as well. And, a flint musket hammer was excavated from the Confederate lines at the battlefield of Sailor's Creek.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    355

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    I agree that I will never know for sure. I know that post Civil War there were a lot of rifles shortened for Military Schools. I don't know enough about pre-War Military Schools to know what they used. I also completely agree that flintlocks were used in the war when everything was utilized. I always thought the 1816/22 percussion conversion never got enough credit for it's use early in the war. A lot were re-converted to flint when the percussion version was the true war veteran. I called it a 3rd class weapon only because the US Army classified it as such when they were prioritizing which ones to convert first. I wondered if the third class ones were sold/given to the States or Military Schools after the 1842 and 1855's were adopted. I'm excited that it's a true 1816 instead of an 1816/22.

    I am correcting on error on the first post. It's marked N.G. 32 not N.C. 32. I didn't think that the term National Guard was used until the 1880's or so. By that time they would not be using flints. Still looking for ideas and thanks TP for your comments.

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    175

    Default

    I have had several pieces like this and while the exact origin is beyond me all I can say is they are great pieces and it's a shame they are overlooked by much of the collecting community. I have an original flint 1816 that was shortened to about 20 inches but had the bayonet lug on the end. The gun had a great feel to it and an incredible wear pattern. I figure it was used as a buggy gun or by cav. I currently have a Virginia Manufactory musket that was converted but shortened to 33 inch barrel. This I believe is accepted as being done to use a barrel that failed proofing so they made an "artillery" musket but again, who really knows

    You have a great piece. Take care of it and enjoy

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    355

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    Mine came with no barrel bands but I bought a junker conversion with bands so I hope to put this one together properly. I just couldn't resist putting a 198 year old musket back together and make it respectable. I have a 20"percussion conversion that I want to get in shooting condition too. I think it will be a fun gun.

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