SCARCE Antique MAYNARD Conversion of M1816 MUSKET
Civil War Tape Primer Update to Flintlock Musket
Here we present an antique Remington/Frankford Arsenal Maynard Primer Conversion of a U.S. Model 1816 Musket, performed by Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa 1857. The Model 1816 Flintlock Musket was the largest production of U.S. flintlock muskets, with over 700,000 made between Springfield and Harpers Ferry Armories, and many thousands more made by 16 different contractors. By the late 1850s, many of these arms were being updated using various percussion systems, most receiving the typical cap fired conversions. However, other conversions were also being tested, and Remington was contracted to make 20,000 Maynard Tape Priming locks in 1856. Instead of the small fulminate filled metal caps, Maynard Tape was a roll of paper that was impregnated in spots with fulminate. The primary advantage was that the soldier did not have to fumble with tiny caps, because a small wheel inside the lock dispensed primers from the paper roll.
This was the system adopted for the Model 1855, and it made sense to update still serviceable flintlocks using this method. However, only about 20,000 of these conversions were done, and the U.S. government eventually chose to go with the cap system when they produced the Model 1861 and 1863 for service during the American Civil War.
The lock is marked “REMINTON’S/ILION N.Y./1857/U.S.” The conversion was performed by removing a portion of the breech end of the barrel and attaching a new portion with a percussion nipple bolster. The stock inletting was modified for the new lock assembly and the lock assembly installed. Bores were then rifled, making this musket not only faster to fire, but also with greater accuracy potential.
The overall condition is good. The bore is in nice shape with sharp rifling apparent under a decades old layer of dust. The barrel band near the breech has an adhesive coating underneath with no apparent damage to the stock, and the band can still be removed, although the band lock does not function. The action remains strong.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 41-1/2 inches.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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