CONFEDERATE Civil War Antique Richmond Musketoon
Featuring Signature Humpback Lock CSA Dated 1862
Here we present an antique Confederate Richmond Armory Musketoon, made in 1862 in Richmond, Virginia. The capture and looting of Harpers Ferry Armory on April 18, 1861, by Virginian troops ultimately netted the CSA much in the way of parts and manufacturing capability for their own rifle-muskets. These unfinished arms, components, machinery, etc. were taken back and put to use at Richmond Armory, which was still in the state’s hands. In August of the same year the armory was given to the CSA by Virginia. The total production of these muskets is unknown, but is thought to have been relatively significant to the South. Examples of these are quite rare today due to limited manufacturing capability in the South, as well as the attrition of the weapons in combat.
The Richmond made locks are known for their “humpback” shape, due to the basis of its design, the U.S. Model 1855, which utilized the Maynard Tape Priming System. For the sake of expediency, the overall shape of the lock was kept due to the captured tooling, but the tape priming system was not utilized, resulting in a solid hump-shaped lock. This lock reflects that of the Type II, which is characterized by the markings “CS/RICHMOND VA.”, the date “1862”, as well as the taller hump, which was utilized prior to the making of dies with a lower hump.
The hardware is of iron, including the nosecap. The butt plate is “US” marked, correct for those captured from Harpers Ferry. It has also been stamped “R B/49” in the place where many unit markings are normally found. Per Flayderman, these musketoons have been deemed for use by both the Navy and Army artillery units. Another hallmark confirming its authenticity is the “T” shaped rear sight slot, which was to prevent the rear sight from moving. The bore measures .60 caliber with very shallow rifling, also consistent with the musketoon variant. According to Benjamin Michel, “Some of the earliest pieces (1861 and 1862) have swelled ramrods like the U.S. M1855 and M1861, the wood cut out before the front band and the nosecap to accommodate the swell. These stocks and ramrods probably further evidence the continued use of Harpers Ferry material. Later pieces have straight ramrods with the same tulip head, lacking the swell”.
The overall condition of the piece is fair to good. The iron parts are dark with age. Their markings are mostly discernible. The walnut stock is in good condition. The bore bears shallow rifling. The action is not functional, due to a lack of sear assembly.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 29 inches in length.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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