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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Smooth bore with half fore end. It is Percussion but I believe it is a conversion from a flintlock. What I think is interesting is the lock on the lower end next to the butt is stamped 1803 Richmond? if I remember. I don't have it in front of me so I cannot get more detail right now but any ideas? Silly thing was given to me by a friend while working up a week long Civil War presentation for a summer school enrichment program for middle school students. Thanks for your input and time but these are not my thing and the books I have on this era are more than slightly vague.
 

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You have an interesting gun, any possibility of a photograph? Are there any other markings visible on the lock? It sounds like it may be a Virginia Manufactory musket made in Richmond in 1803. The Virgina Manufactory was in production from 1801 - 1821 and was the only successful attempt by a state to arm it own militia. The facility was being renovated in an attempt to be put it back into production starting in 1859 and the facility was ready when the weapons and machinery at Harpers Ferry were captured by Virginia State Forces in 1861. The rifle musket machinery was moved from Harpers Ferry to Richmond for use by the Commonwealth, the rifle machinery was taken to North Carolina's arsenal at Fayetteville. Production at both facilities was later transferred to the Confederate Government. The Virginia Manufactory was renamed the Richmond Armory while in Confederate service.

Do the attached pictures resemble what you have?
 

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Bingo that is her except for the cut down stock.The front band and the stock is cut back to the second or middle band. That cut down looks professional. I realize being butchered it has no real value but what is the history of these muskets if you know it? How many were made etc. Especially big thanks.
 

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Thanks catsnguns, I will try to get more info when things aren't so busy, we look forward to your pics. Guns from the Virginia Manufactory of Arms are interesting in any condition.
 

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Also take a close look at the type of conversion to percusion. There were still quiet a few of these on hand in Virginia at the start of the war, many still in flintlock. Virginia contracted with numerous small firms and gunsmiths to convert them to percusion. Most of these (but not all) were converted by brazing a bolster in place (instead of the drum type conversion shown above), these are considered Confederate conversions and they saw hard use early in the war.
I would'nt write the musket off as worthless just yet.
Looking forward to the pics.
 

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catsnguns, sorry it has taken so long for me to get back to you on this. Your best bet to find accurate information on your musket is the book "The Virginia Manufactory of Arms" by Giles Cromwell - ISBN: 9780813905730. It can be found on AbeBooks.com or at your library. If not at your library it can come to you through inter-library loan. Yours sounds like it has bee cut down post Civil War for use as a shotgun. Too bad but it is still a fascinating piece of history and desirable to any collector of primary Civil War arms. As a side note, the Cromwell collection of Virginia Manufactory muskets, rifles, swords and bayonets resides in the collection of the Virginia Historical Society and all examples can be found by doing a search at their site:

http://vhs3.vahistorical.org/star/x.starmarc.html

Type in Virginia Manufactory. Much of the collection is on display there now.

Greg, excellent link to a Confederate conversion by Union Manufacturing (Richmond, Va.) of a pre-War smoothbore, Collectors Firearms also illustrates others at:

http://www.collectorsfirearms.com/admin/product_details.php?itemID=3322

and the following Confederate conversion by Robinson, the most common of existing conversions:

http://www.collectorsfirearms.com/admin/product_details.php?itemID=16440Robinson

Catsnguns, if you have the drum and nipple conversion from flint to percussion, it is still likely to have been done by the Virginia State or Confederate government since they also used that method. At the beginning of the War the majority of Virginia troops were armed with flint muskets as were many, if not most state troops on both sides, Confederate and Union. This situation remained for several months, so many of the early battles were fought with flintlocks - percussion did not become predominate until the middle of 1862. An example is First Manassas, percussion guns there were definitely in the minority, both North and South.
 
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