US M1795 Flintlock Musket, Dated 1811


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In 1794 the US Congress authorized the funds for two federal armories, one in Springfield,
Massachusetts and the other in Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Production began in Springfield in
1795 and 1800 in Harpers Ferry. The Model 1795 represented several firsts in US arms
production, being the first standardized and official musket made for the US Government,
the first made at a US arsenal, and the first model firearm made at the Springfield Armory.
However, it was never officially designated as the Model 1795, as this was a designation
made later by authors and collectors to differentiate it from other models. Several thousand
of these muskets were made between 1795 and 1798, but they had no markings at all until
the eagle stamps were first acquired in 1799. This model is further divided into three types,
with the Type I being made between 1799 and 1806. The Type II was made between 1806
and 1809, and the Type III made between 1809 and 1814. Offered here is the Type III,
which featured a flat lock plate with integral flash pan, stamped with script “US” above an
eagle and “SPRINGFIELD” in a horizontal curve forward of the hammer. The date is
stamped horizontally on the tail of the lock plate. This example dated “1811″ on the lock
plate. Tapering 44 ½” round smoothbore barrel of .69 caliber, fastened to the walnut full
stock with three barrel bands held in place with springs; breech stamped with view and
proof marks (“V” & “P”), with a small eagle head in between. Iron mounts, including
serpentine side plate, trigger guard with round tangs, two sling swivels, and butt plate
stamped with the date “1812″. Typically the barrel would have a bayonet lug about 1 ½”
from the muzzle, but it has been removed on this example. There is a brass blade sight
brazed to the end-most barrel band. Iron ramrod with button tip. Interestingly, this example
with several brass tacks attached vertically on the butt stock and a large “X” carved into the
right side. This may indicate that this musket was removed from government service and
sold or traded to the native tribes. Overall length 59 1/4″. Very good complete and original
condition, the metal having been cleaned, with scattered light pitting (heavier at the breech).
Mechanically very good, requiring a slight push to the back of the trigger to hold the hammer
at full cock. Wonderful piece of early American military hardware, no doubt having seen
service during the War of 1812 and beyond.