.69 caliber, 26" barrel secured by to brass barrel bands, NSN. Bright finish, brass furniture, walnut stock. Lock marked with Spread-Winged Eagle over US forward of the hammer and in three vertical lines behind the lock: SPRING/FIELD/1848. Breech tang dated 1849, with small V/P/Eagle Head proofs at breech. A script JS cartouche is visible on the counterpane, as is a block W.C.K. inspection with a matching W.C.K. on the barrel flat forward of the bolster. Lock with two-click tumbler, not modified ca 1851-1852. Original configuration captive ramrod with swivel arms in place, as is long sling bar and ring on reverse of stock. Many of the M1847 Cavalry musketoons were either upgraded or modified as the ramrods were found to be troublesome and many locks had a third safety notch added to the tumbler to retain the percussion caps. Many were later altered to "Artillery" (Cadet) configuration and some were even rifled and sighted. This example has escaped all of those later modifications. The presence of the W.C.K. inspection presents a conundrum, as William C. Kirby appears to have worked at Harpers Ferry exclusively. Kirby's mark on barrels is most associated with M1841 reinspected rifle barrels and M1855 rifle musket barrels made at Harpers Ferry. While Moller notes that some US M1842 barrels that had flaws were shortened and used in M1847 musketoons, and that these barrels came from both Springfield and Harpers Ferry, this would only explain the Kirby re-inspection on the barrel and not its presence on the stock. At least one theory suggests that Kirby inspected arms in or for the Benicia Arsenal in California, so this gun may be that missing link that proves that theory as the presence of his marks on an otherwise correctly marked and inspected Springfield arm is truly confusing.
Good to very good. Metal lightly cleaned with a dull gray patina showing scattered oxidized age discoloration and scattered light pitting. Marks in metal remain clear, weaker in wood. Mechanically functional, good bore with even light pitting. Stock with wear and use and numerous bumps and dings, possibly lightly sanded at one point in time.
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