In the scramble to arm themselves in the Civil War, both sides bought muskets from European sources such as this Austrian Musket.
Originally a tube-lock 70 cal. smoothbore it was sent to Belgium to be converted to a more modern ignition system by addition of a breech addition to the original barrel. The lockplate was modified to fit the new tang & bolster assembly and a Springfield-type hammer installed. The lockplate was renumbered inside (#190) as well as the new breech assembly and the original barrel. The barrel retains a "I.W" proof with raised letters probably from the original Austrian manufacturer.
Under the barrel in the stock recess where the barrel rests the carbine's owner put his name in ink in a contemporary cursive style.
Action is crisp and perfect with half and full cock. Nipple is fine and I wouldn't hesitate in firing this with the powder and load of that era.
My guess is that in this configuration the cavalryman fired a buck-and-ball or buckshot load with impressive results. The need for cavalry carbines was met with these weapons. At least until a repeating or cartridge carbine could be supplied or captured from the battlefield.
This weapon should be researched much further to determine its history.
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