Pre-Civil War Firearms
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Long Arms

American Flintlock Longrifle
Keith Casteel built this custom American flintlock longrifle. This paper provides information about the maker and has additional photos of this classic firearm. Snapshot
 
India Pattern (Type 1) Brown Bess Musket (Circa 1796)

The India Pattern Brown Bess Musket was Great Britain's primary military long-arm during the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. Wellington's men used them when they defeated Napoleon at Waterloo; and British "Redcoats" carried them when they sacked and burned the White House and U.S. Capitol in 1814. Twenty-two years later, both sides were armed with them during the Battle of the Alamo. The one in my collection has a Tower lock and was made for the British Board of Ordnance about 1796. Engraving on the barrel shows it was used by a militia regiment, possibly in Ireland. Although 215 year-old, it is in exceptional condition. Here is some info about the markings on this historic firearm. I own an original socket bayonet for this musket. Snapshot

 
Flintlock Trade Gun (Circa 1820)

This flintlock musket appears to be an early 19th Century British or American trade gun. The government, private companies, and others frequently traded firearms to Native Americans for their land, furs, and other items. This musket has a British Tower lock, Damascus-twist barrel of about 20 gauge, a simple brass trigger guard, a very thin brass butt plate, two-sling swivels, and a steel ramrod. Although it has similar lines to the Indian Pattern Brown Bess shown above it, this musket is significantly lighter and far less robust. Because it has a Damascus-twist barrel, I believe it was used as a fowling piece. (Flayderman reference number 17-001.) Snapshot

 
Half-Stock Percussion Fowling Piece (Circa 1820)
This American fowling piece was made about 1820, and converted from flintlock to percussion in about 1840. The lock is marked "A. W. Spies. Warranted." Spies was a well known arms dealer in NY City during the first half of the 19th century. The barrel is stamped "London" and bears British proof marks. The section of the barrel near the breach is hexagonal; the rest of the barrel is round. The stock and ramrod are both made of cherrywood. (Flayderman reference number 17-004.) Snapshot
 
Pennsylvania Longrifle (Circa 1840)
Samuel J. Loudenslager made this rifle about 1840. Loudenslager was one of the most important members of perhaps the most prolific family of gunsmiths in Union County, Pennsylvania. His mark, "S*L", is engraved on the top flat of the .45 caliber octagonal barrel. The full-length maple stock features six silver inlays, a four-piece brass patchbox with engraved lid, and a carved cheekpiece. Loudenslager, like most gunsmiths of this era, used rifle locks built by a third-party. For this rifle, he incorporated a percussion lock marked "Atkinson Warranted" with double-set triggers. (Flayderman reference number 11-018.) Snapshot
Half-Stock Percussion Rifle (Circa 1840)
This rifle has a percussion lock with double-set triggers made by G. Goulcher. The underside of the .40 caliber octagonal barrel is stamped "Remington." This famous gun-making family sold rifle barrels to various gunsmiths prior to producing firearms bearing their name. This well-made rifle has a beautiful tiger maple stock, handmade brass furniture, a German silver nose cap, and diamond and moon-shaped inlays. (Flayderman reference number 12-001.) Snapshot
 
U.S. Rifle Model 1841 "Mississippi Rifle"
Eli Whitney of New Haven, Conn, made this rifle in 1851. The "Mississippi Rifle" owes its name to the successful use of the weapon by a Mississippi regiment, under the command of COL Jefferson Davis, during the Mexican War. In its time, military authorities regarded it as the best of its type. It was the first regulation rifle with the new percussion system made at a national armory. The U.S. Army used the Mississippi Rifle during the Mexican War. (Flayderman reference number 5J-034.) Snapshot

Reproductions

Short Land Pattern (2d Model) "Brown Bess" Musket
Italian gunmaker Davide Pedersoli made this copy of an 18th century "Brown Bess" musket. The lock is marked GRICE - 1762 and bears the King's Crown and initials GR (for Georgeus Rex, meaning Property of King George). The lock and barrel have been professionally browned to replicate the appearance of an antique musket. There are no visible import marks or serial number on the barrel. The brass furniture is unpolished and has mellow patina. This musket is accompanied by a triangular bayonet and powderhorn with a hand-carved map showing the forts of the upper Hudson River valley during the Revolutionary War. Snapshot

 

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