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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Working with a small private museum, brought home a percussion rifle to clean up. It is marked 1834 with a styleized "Crown" FW at the base of the barrel.
It has a 39" inch barrel with full length wood and ram rod.
There is a "crown" "S" stamped on the striker.
The trigger guard is brass with a sling hole in front and the other sling hole on the center band. Trigger guard has an "H 36" stamped on the foreend.
Sorry, not that good at pictures.
 

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Are the barrel bands brass? Really need pictures and/or more detailed description to be sure but it sounds like a Prussian M1809 flint musket converted to percussion. Many were imported during the ACW, used primarily by US troops, few if any were purchased by Southern agents. Though well made and usually in excellent condition when brought it, they were considered 4th Class arms and, when issued, they were used for training or in the Western Theater by troops in quiet areas. Their biggest problem was their large caliber (.71) that made them less accurate when using standard US .69 ammunition. Consequently, most went into storage and were surplussed quickly after the War.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
All three bands are brass. The rod goes through the end band about 2 3/4" and then lays in the groove cut into the bottom of the stock being exposed, and passing under the center band.
The barrel does measure approx .713.
It is what I would say is in good to excellant condition for it's age.
THe butt plate is brass being held on with one screw in the rear and one on top. The numbers "9854" and "36" are stamped on the butt plate.
We gave the stock a linseed oil treatment, and the gun looks quite nice.
Would you hazzard any ball park value ? Thanks, Tom
Let me see what I can do for a picture.
 

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:confused:SOUNDE,S LIKE A POTSDAM. GI JOE:rolleyes:


"Potsdam" is the generic name for several Prussian muskets. If it is a Prussian Gewehrmodell 1809 as it probably is, it could have been made at Potsdam or it could have been made at the arsenal at Neisse or by several other contractors and arsenals. Tom, are there any markings remaining on the lock? It could also be a M1839 (a percussion musket) or a M39/55 (made as percussion and rifled, still very much like the M1809). The M1809 is the most common Prussian musket imported to this country.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
TP, hopefully you got my email that I might send you a couple of pictures of this gun.

The marks on the lock are "crown" over "S"
A few light unreadable marks below that
and then what looks like a "S U H F"
The thumb pull on the lock is checkered.
 

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Hi Tom, I just got your message. My email address is:

[email protected]

Good catch Tac. Tom, Suhl is a city in central Germany that has been a major arms producing area since at least the 17th Century, it was a major production center for military arms through the end of WWII and continues (I believe) to produce high quality sporting weapons. It was formerly part of communist East Germany.

I will post the pictures for you when I receive them.
 

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Hi Tom, I just got your message. My email address is:

[email protected]

Good catch Tac. Tom, Suhl is a city in central Germany that has been a major arms producing area since at least the 17th Century, it was a major production center for military arms through the end of WWII and continues (I believe) to produce high quality sporting weapons. It was formerly part of communist East Germany.

I will post the pictures for you when I receive them.

Suhl is still THE centre for firearms manufacturing in central Germany - many of the most prominent gun-makers were founded there and are still there. A band of iron ores follows the fault dividing the Suhler Scholle from the sedimentary rocks to the Southwest, while the copper and silver deposits are to the northeast in the permian deposits above the Suhler Scholle. Southeast of town, there is a significant uranium deposit in the Buntsandstein. The metal processing of Suhl naturally led, during the Renaissance, to other major local industries, including gunsmithing and armoring. Suhl was a major producer of cannons throughout the seventeenth and subsequent centuries, and Suhl cannons were used by many European powers. A major arms company that was located in Suhl for almost 200 years was J.P. Sauer und Sohn GmbH, producer of hunting rifles, shotguns, and pistols such as the Sauer 38H until moving operations to Eckernförde at the end of WWII.

During the Cold War, the East German national shooting arena was located at Suhl and hosted many top-level competitions including the 1986 ISSF World Championships. Although surpassed in this respect in the unified Germany by the Olympic shooting centre at Munich, Suhl remains an important place to the sport. It hosts Germany's only school for armorers and a well equipped museum of weapons.

Suhl became famous after the division of post-war Germany for building the Simson moped.

tac


tac
 

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Good informat6ion Tac, thanks.


Suhl is still THE centre for firearms manufacturing in central Germany - many of the most prominent gun-makers were founded there and are still there. A band of iron ores follows the fault dividing the Suhler Scholle from the sedimentary rocks to the Southwest, while the copper and silver deposits are to the northeast in the permian deposits above the Suhler Scholle. Southeast of town, there is a significant uranium deposit in the Buntsandstein. The metal processing of Suhl naturally led, during the Renaissance, to other major local industries, including gunsmithing and armoring. Suhl was a major producer of cannons throughout the seventeenth and subsequent centuries, and Suhl cannons were used by many European powers. A major arms company that was located in Suhl for almost 200 years was J.P. Sauer und Sohn GmbH, producer of hunting rifles, shotguns, and pistols such as the Sauer 38H until moving operations to Eckernförde at the end of WWII.

During the Cold War, the East German national shooting arena was located at Suhl and hosted many top-level competitions including the 1986 ISSF World Championships. Although surpassed in this respect in the unified Germany by the Olympic shooting centre at Munich, Suhl remains an important place to the sport. It hosts Germany's only school for armorers and a well equipped museum of weapons.

Suhl became famous after the division of post-war Germany for building the Simson moped.

tac


tac
 

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I've managed to do some more digging and have found that the Gewehrmodell 1809 will be marked to the following makers:

(1)Potsdam
(2)Saarn
(3)Neisse
(3)Suhl
(4)Dresden

The M1809 was the most common Prussian musket imported during the Civil War.

The M1839 (with a round tailed, made as percussion lock but otherwise like the M1809) is occasionally seen but not imported here in as large numbers as the M1809.

The M1839/55 rifled musket variant (that is the M1839 rifled in 1855 and after) is also occasionally seen but is uncommon here in the States, it was still held for the Prussian Landwehr (home defense troops) at the time of our CW. Most in the US today came here post WW2.

An interesting side note: Remember that Kurt Vonnegut recounts in his novel "Slaughterhouse 5" that he was guarded as a POW by a very young German soldier with a brass-mounted muzzleloading musket and a spike bayonet? Artistic license maybe, but "Slaughterhouse 5" was based on Vonnegut's personal experience as a POW during the Allied firebombing leading to the total destruction of the city of Dresden. Maybe that guard was using a musket just like yours as late as 1945.... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I appreciate what you guys have done. So I can maybe assume that this rifle being in as good of shape as it is, might have been imported into the US much later than the Civil War.
However as a museum piece, it could be represented as a Prussian import to the Union Army.

I live in a community of Prussians that came to the US late in the 1800's and settled in to the states of Missouri and Nebraska, and then migrated out here to eastern Idaho. German was spoken here in the Lutheran church and the schools untill the German hysteria during WW-I, then they thought it best to speak the queen's english. My best friend was born in Germany and his father had served on the Russian front for the Wehrmacht.

My son took off the 3 bands and lifted the barrel to find that the rear tang had been broken from the rear breach insert. I assume that a reproduction part may be found, but we are not too conserned as it is a wall hanger.
 

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................
My son took off the 3 bands and lifted the barrel to find that the rear tang had been broken from the rear breach insert. I assume that a reproduction part may be found, but we are not too conserned as it is a wall hanger.

Tom, I would not worry about it, the tang is not a problem, but if you do decide to try to shoot it, it can be brazed by someone that knows what they are doing, just be sure that they are capable of doing a good, clean job. As far as maintaining it's monetary value, just leave it as it is.
 
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