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Old 05-16-2017, 09:03 PM
moosedog moosedog is offline
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Default Picked up a wall hanger for the cave today

I went to see a friend at his shop on a P-38 rig that I picked up and on the way out found this in the used gun rack.
It's an 1816 Springfield in 69 caliber smooth bore that was converted to percussion and had the barrel cut by several inches. The stock is cracked so it is unsafe to shoot, even though the action cocks and holds in all three positions. It has Confederate graffiti on it, North Carolina Infantry and other initials. They have been there a long time. I also found out that it is still loaded. By measuring the barrel and then gauging with a cleaning rod, it is almost an inch less on the inside and I can definitely feel the soft lead with the rod. Doesn't matter, never going to attempt to shoot it, just display on the wall in my cave. I wish it could talk.
Now I'm going to research where the NC Infantry fought at.
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:36 PM
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WOW, that's sweet!
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:02 AM
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Sure would like to know what it might tell us!
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:07 AM
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I heard it whisper Yankee go home... very cool.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:11 AM
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That would be cool on a wall or above a fireplace. Is this the same gun you carried while in the service? Larry
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:20 AM
moosedog moosedog is offline
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Yes, it was issued new to me as a young recruit.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:21 AM
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You do realize that if it is loaded that the black powder could be still viable. (BP is a mixture and doesn't break down with age like a smokeless compound does.)

Were it mine, I think I would get a worm and draw the ball and charge.
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Old 05-17-2017, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
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.
Now I'm going to research where the NC Infantry fought at.
They were first at Bethel, farthest at Gettysburg and Chickamauga and last at Appomattox. Larry
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:09 PM
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Might want to touch base with the Chickamauga battlefield museum. They may be able to enlighten you some. They may even have an example or two in their collection.
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Old 05-17-2017, 05:00 PM
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They were a ton of different NC infantry divisions and they fought all over the south. It will take some research to find out exactly which inf division that soldier was in.
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:50 PM
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Nice find. I bought a 32 cal half stock rifle at a church sale. Gun
had been painted for use in past Thanksgiving pagents. I when
to great pains to get this gun apart and strip off the enamel
paint. When I got barrel separated from the stock I found out
it was still loaded. Got nipple out, powder was solidified into
a mass. Couldn't shake it out. Took a little drill bit in my fingers
and drilled a hole in it. Put m80 fuse in hole, put barrel in a
Tire and put some 2x12 block in front of Muzzel. Load went off,
weakly. Blocks caught ball and some kind of animal skin patch.
Some say it was groundhog hide. The only thing I can say is
never take for granit any gun is unloaded. My project ended
up using a propane torch to remove breech plug. That would have been real exciting on a loaded barrel!
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:28 PM
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1816 or 1861?
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:29 PM
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1816 converted to percussion.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadin View Post
You do realize that if it is loaded that the black powder could be still viable. (BP is a mixture and doesn't break down with age like a smokeless compound does.)

Were it mine, I think I would get a worm and draw the ball and charge.
This.
Not that I would ever try to load or shoot it.
Besides, I already have a worm.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadin View Post
You do realize that if it is loaded that the black powder could be still viable. (BP is a mixture and doesn't break down with age like a smokeless compound does.)

Were it mine, I think I would get a worm and draw the ball and charge.
OR pour penetrating oil in he barrel to kill the powder.....many years down the road it could bite someone.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:54 PM
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By all the initials there were evidently quite a few that were proud to call that gun theirs. It definitely has a lot of history.
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:07 AM
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You don't see those very often! One of the more cool collections I've seen is a guy who collects flintlocks...he has a m1795 flintlock rifle dated to each year from 1795 until percussion rifles were issued... that's right 1795, 96, 97...1812, 1813,...1830 every year. If that wasn't enough he has a complete set from Springfield Armory and Harpers Ferry! He showed me Kentucky rifles to Nock Guns and blunderbusses.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:18 AM
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Loaded muzzle loader!

My story. My dad made each of us boys a muzzle loader. Brother H got one with a very beautiful stock and adjustable sights. Mine had fixed sights. Brother H had his beautiful stock break because of a flaw in the wood. He gives me the adjustable sight barrel. Interests change, years go by. Brother P suggest we go deer hunting with our muzzle loaders. OK, Hey, I want to stick brother H's adjust sight barrel on my gun. Ok, get it and the pieces and we will do the swap. Swap done at brother P's kitchen table. Looks good. P says we should firre a cap and clear the nipple. Ok, on it goes, butt on floor, muzzle pointed up and off to the side.
KERBOOM. Yup was given a loaded barrel. Called H and chewed on him, he then says, hey P was the last one to use it, I lend it to him right before the stock cracked. P ended up with hole in cupboard and a roll of plastic trash bags. You would unroll them and find multiple holes because of the folds.

Like all guns assume they are loaded.

Last edited by steelslaver; 05-18-2017 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:50 AM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is online now
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If you are interested in restoring this musket, contact Lodgewood Mfg in Whitewater WI. They do really good work. It appears to be much more than a wallhanger.

Welcome to Lodgewood Mfg - US Blackpowder Martial Arms 1780-1898

I would definitely remove the charge. While unlikely, someone could cock the hammer and snap it, causing a spark (steel on steel) and ignite the powder. That would make a mess of your man cave.

The two basic units during the War of Northern Aggression were the company and the regiment. Companies were raised locally from a town, a county or from several local counties. These companies were then formed into regiments. The regiments were then formed into brigades. The brigades could be made up of regiments from different states.
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:31 AM
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I still have my wife's great-great-grandfather's Enfield 1853 musket (he fought on the losing side). My wife and her brother played with it a lot when they were kids. Guess what? It was loaded all that time. The nipple was all battered, so I replaced it with a new nipple. I put a cap on it and pulled the trigger, but the charge was so weak it was barely able to blow the Minie ball out of the muzzle. I still have that Minie ball. I also have his 1849 Colt revolver.
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:54 PM
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By my measurements, my estimate is that it may only contain a ball with no powder. Either way, I already put penetrating oil down the nipple and will also put it down the bore to kill the powder if there is any. I'm also putting a small coating of liquid rubber on the nipple to plug it.
Many of these guns have been found to be loaded and I know of a few that had multiple charges on top of each other. People do strange things when being shot at.
I'm going to keep it just as I found it
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:06 PM
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That's a nice one. The Confederate markings add to its history, in my opinion, and they also add a human touch. It'll look good hanging on your wall just as it is, though I wouldn't completely rule out some sort of restoration work in the future. Be nice to have some authentic Civil War artifacts and/or photos to display with it.

Congratulations on a nice find.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:08 PM
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I love these stories of old firearms turning up wherever and the new owner doing the research necessary to give it a bit of provenance. I'm hope that as you learn more about this rifle, you'll share it with us.
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:40 PM
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OMG! The gray blanket!!!

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
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Old 05-18-2017, 06:24 PM
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OMG! The gray blanket!!!

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
It's OK, Arik, that's just A gray blanket, not THE gray blanket.
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Old 05-18-2017, 06:29 PM
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It's OK, Arik, that's just A gray blanket, not THE gray blanket.
I was hoping someone here would get that! It was the first thing that came to mind!



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Old 05-18-2017, 10:22 PM
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I am aware of THE gray blanket too. Mine doesn't have the power. I could have used my O.D. Green one in the wife's car, but I thought the gray would be appropriate for the South.

I don't know if you can see them in my picture but this gun does have old cartouches on the left side. That would have probably been from the North. At some point it ended up with the CSA.
The "JR" on the left has the most wear over it, so one could figure he was the first to acquire it. Then the "PL" on the right side is newer and maybe the second owner?
The MJ seems to go with the NC Inf CSA, so it may be the "nick name" of the Company, Regiment or Battalion, an example would be the 16th Regiment North Carolina Infantry was known as "Burke Tigers". Other units also had nick names.
Just thinking out loud here.

Last edited by moosedog; 05-19-2017 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:04 AM
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I bought a 1861 Tower rifle musket that was IDed to a soldier of the 14th Virginia Infantry. It too has initials and the regiment craved into the stock.
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:24 AM
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Do you shoot yours Gil?
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
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Do you shoot yours Gil?
I have. I usually carry it to living history events.

I have a 1863 Springfield that was cut from 40" to 32" (musket length to rifle length) that I have fired. This one appears to have been cut down for use at a high school military academy post war. This was fairly common.

I also have a 1842 Harpers Ferry musket (dated 1844 & 1845) that I have fired.
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:28 PM
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"Unloaded" black powder rifle story #6:

My state's POST requires 40 hours in-service training each year to retain certification. They mandate some subjects and leave the un-filled hours to the discretion and needs of each agency.

My agency always struggled to fill those hours, partly because they were cheap and partly because they always waited until the end of the training year.

So, one year the head firearms instructor and armorer decides to use 2 hours of the time to demonstrate how to check and unload various firearms not used in law enforcement. He went into the evidence room and checked out several armfuls, including a muzzle loading black powder rifle. He would pick up a gun from the "possibles" table, tell us what it was, and then operate the action to demonstrate how to check for loaded status and how it works, then passed the demonstrated empty gun for first hand inspection.

About halfway through the pile o' guns, he picks the muzzleloader up and, without even a glance at the action, cocks the hammer, pulls the trigger and launches a 54 caliber Minnie ball through several walls.
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