WAR of 1812 Era Antique U.S. Contract WHITNEY M1812 .69 Conversion MUSKET
Confederate CIVIL WAR with “FRENCH STYLE” Conversion
Here we present an antique Whitney Arms Co. U.S. Model 1812 Conversion Musket, manufactured between 1812 and 1816 in New Haven, Connecticut. The Springfield Model Style 1812 Musket was a .69 caliber flintlock musket initially designed and manufactured by the Springfield Armory. In the years after the War of 1812, due to deficiencies perceived in the model 1795, the U.S. wanted them quickly replaced, and so also contracted out various orders to gun manufacturers of the time. On July 18th of 1812, Eli Whitney received a U.S. Government Order for 15,000 Flintlock Muskets, to be delivered at a rate of 1,500 units per year for the next 10 years. To avoid confusion with his existing Contracts with the State of New York and others, he marked these muskets, at least initially with just N. HAVEN, as is this one, in a scroll on the lock plate. In Robert Reilly’s book “United States Martial Flintlocks” published in 1986, it gives a full description of this musket. National armory production of the Model 1812 was produced only at Springfield. Harpers Ferry continued to produce the Model 1795 into 1818.
Total production for the Model 1812 was almost 30,000 between the years 1812 and 1816 before it was replaced by the Model 1816 Musket. However, the Model 1812 remained in service for many years, and was even used in the American Civil War, mostly by the Confederate forces. By the start of the Civil war, the weapon was considered to be old and obsolete but was needed to fill arms shortages.
Beginning in 1848, when more than 700,000 of all types of flintlock muskets were reported in storage, the most serviceable were converted to percussion ignition. Three types of alteration were performed. All alterations involved grinding the flash pan down and replacing the hammer. The “French Style” conversion added a drum and nipple to the flashhole. The “Belgian Style” involved plugging the vent hole with a weld and tapping a nipple directly into the barrel. This is the type of conversion that was only done at Harper’s Ferry and Springfield and is sometimes referred to as an “armory conversion.” The last type of conversion was used late in the renovation process, beginning about 1852, and involved adding a bolster to the breech of the barrel, so it is termed the “Bolster Style” of conversion.
The overall condition is Good. Robust action. This example has a good bore for its age. Solid stock all around with an average amount of wear. A cartouche remnant is found on the left flat. Ramrod is absent. Markings are legible.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 42 inches.
Caliber: .69 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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