Rifleman Q & A: Civil War Import

by
posted on May 15, 2017
civ.jpg

Q: I’ve acquired an interesting firearm and need help finding more information about it, since my library searches have yielded limited results. The lockplate is stamped “DANZIG 1837” with a crown marking above. It appears to be authentic, but the interesting part is that the gun is a sidelock, percussion musket. My research shows this to be an alteration from its original state. Is there more to know? 

A: Your gun is the Prussian Model 1809 flintlock musket made at the government armory in Danzig (now Gdansk, Poland). Beginning in 1839, almost all were converted to a percussion ignition system, as was yours.

The numbers stamped on the tang of the buttplate show its military use. The “3JR” below the screw probably indicates the 3rd Infantry Regiment. The other numbers may be the rack number of this gun or perhaps indicate its use by a different unit during its lifetime. The metal piece sticking out from the front of the stock fits into an opening at the base of a bayonet to lock it in place.

The U.S. Ordnance Dept. records show that the Union forces in the American Civil War imported 142,823 of these 1809/1839 muskets in 1861 and 1862 when sold as surplus by the Prussian army. As a result, these are quite available for Civil War ordnance collectors.

The collectors call the guns “Potsdam Muskets” because the great majority of them were made at the Potsdam Armory and have “POTSDAM” where “DANZIG” is on the lockplate. Several other armory names can be found, e.g., Suhl, Saarn, et al.

—Michael F. Carrick

Latest

25Thanniversaryhenry
25Thanniversaryhenry

Henry Introduces 25th Anniversary Limited-Edition Guns

Two limited-edition Henry Repeating Arms rifles—celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary—have been released and are now available at FFLs nationwide while they last. The guns are a tribute to the lever-action’s enduring legacy in America and the model that launched Henry Repeating Arms.

Review: Vudoo Carbon Sinister .22 LR

Built with a short, 60-degree bolt action, carbon-fiber stock and precision barrel, the Vudoo Carbon Sinister is a .22 LR-chambered rifle capable of both precision rimfire competition and hunting.

Preview: Grizzly Coolers Drifter Carryall

With a 32-liter capacity and handles long enough to sling over the shoulder, the Grizzly Coolers Drifter Carryall Bag allows enough refreshments for a small group to be hauled just about anywhere.

Smith & Wesson Lowers Price On M&P Shield Plus

Smith & Wesson announced that, in light of current economic circumstances, the company is absorbing manufacturing costs and passed along a lower price on its M&P Shield Plus CCW pistol.

Operation Market Garden: The Battle Begins

Watch this segment of American Rifleman Television to learn more about the Allied troops who partook in Operation Market Garden and the firearms they used.

Tikka: A Top-Tier Rifle Brand

In 2000, Beretta Holding purchased the Sako-Tikka brands, and since then, the companies have thrived while under the experienced management of the world’s oldest gunmaker. As a result, new Tikkas perform better than ever.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.