This is a chance to own a bit of history as this 0.69 cal gun is 188 years old. The North had stockpiled these at the Harpers Ferry Arsenal. The South liberated a number these weapons from Yankee domination and relocated the dies to the South to produce more. The dies had to be periodically relocated in the south to stay ahead of the oncoming yankees. These became very unpopular later among Southern soldiers as it was something like taking a knife to a gun fight. The range was woefully inadequate against more modern rifled long guns.*** The right face plate is stamped HARPERS FERRY 1823 left of the hammer pivot screw, read from the bottom if gun is held barrel up, stock on lap. Right of the hammer pivot screw is stamped an eagle looking left holding arrows with US underneath it. The sling loops are all functional.*** The musket is 57 3/8 inches long with ramrod that slides easily in/out. It has three brass (assumed from color) spring keeper clips on the right side against metal bands holding the barrel onto the wood stock. The bottom of the first and third band is flared irregularly to help support the ramrod. There is a fixed front sight on the top inner band.*** Barrel has a keeper for the bayonet (not included) to lock on. There is no rear sight nor appears not to ever had one. The metal is rough and pitted as will be judged normal from the quality of steel available at manufacture and age of the gun. The barrel is un-rifled. The bottom near the hammer across from the nipple is stamped V P with the P underneath the V. There may be a third letter below the P but it is too faint to read.*** The barrel has a raised nipple that is right of the centerline of the barrel. The hammer begins at the hammer pivot screw and curves leftward to come down on the nipple. The interior bottom of the hammer is recessed inward to accommodate th nipple. I believe the weapon was originally a flintlock and was converted to percussion due to an plate protruding below the hammer on the face plate. The nipple is damaged and loose so it will need repair.*** The left face plate is curved and inset into the wood held on by two big headed screws. The trigger guard and plate with the lower hinged shoulder sling loop is inset into the wood and has two screws butt-ward of the trigger guard.*** The hammer cocks twice into locked ready to fire position. The trigger will release the hammer when pulled. I have never dry fired the gun but let the hammer down by hand. The rigger guard plate has the number “8” stamped into it. The bottom of the uppermost band at the barrel end also has the “8” stamped into it indicating original parts.*** The wood stock is intact and has no pinholes. Color is dark brown. There are a number of dings and minor scratches. The right face has a 2 ½” crack below the face plate that someone repaired with 2 tiny brads. The butt is solid but has two surface hairline cracks. The right side crack is 2 ½” long while the left side looks like it is 9”. Neither crack aligns with the other and does not seem to be structural in nature being surface cracks.*** The butt plate is intact, rough surfaced with 2 screws in poor condition, one on bottom and one on top flange on top of the stock. Barrel has a ding on the end.*** Markings and Stamps:*** ** the face plate marking (HARPERS FERRY 1823, Eagle, US) , ** barrel marking (V/P) ** Both the trigger guard/last band (stamped 8), the following markings are observed. ** The lower left face is a stamped V with a PH or PII stamped underneath the V read with barrel up, stock on lap. ** Left face has an oval stamp with some faint letters SB or S8 with a clearly distinguishable 3 read with gun horizontal. There is a round pin within the oval which confuses matters ** Bottom of stock near the trigger guard plate are the stamped initials J.S The period seems to be missing after the S. ** There is a 8 leaf clover stamped center of the top of the stock, butt side of the barrel*** All told, I do not see replacement part nor any add-ons to the gun. The finish of the wood is dark brown and show possible evidence of being varnished in the distant past. Using the NRA grading scale, it could be good to very good range for being almost 200 years old.
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