December 08, 2020 10:00 AM EST Cincinnati


31

Twice-Converted Harpers Ferry U.S. Model 1840 Rifled-Musket

.69 caliber, 42" barrel, NSN.  Bright barrel secured to military stock by three spring-retained barrel bands.  Lockplate marked forward of hammer with "[eagle]/US".  Marked rear of hammer "HARPERS/FERRY/1841".  Sideplate and tail of trigger guard marked with matching "12" rack numbers, as do barrel bands.  Lockplate interior marked "A12", with back of hammer marked "12".  Button end ramrod.  Top of barrel marked in two lines "BUTTERFIELD'S/PHILADA".

The Butterfield Patent priming method, designed by Jesse Butterfield and patented in 1855, utilized a disk of fulminate mercury stored in an attached reserve forward of the hammer.  In 1859, Butterfield was awarded a contract from the U.S. government for the right to convert 5,000 arms in the arsenals to his system.  Final numbers and other data related to the completion, or lack thereof, to the contract have been lost.  In any case, this arm seems to have been converted at an unknown time from the Butterfield system to the more conventional percussion cap primer.  

Condition:

Good.  Barrel retains a mostly bright finish with some scattered oxidation and light rust spots.  Some marking to metal from old conversions.  Markings legible.  Stock shows some minor wood loss around barrel but is otherwise free of major cracks and damage.  Mechanically functional. Bore is mostly bright with some old dust and visible rifling.

Starting Price: $450
Estimate: $900 - $1,200
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