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MODEL 1847 CAVALRY MUSKETOON – WITH VERY DESIRABLE ORIGINAL SLEEVE AND CHAIN CAPTURED RAMROD INTACT:  Manufactured at the National Armory at Springfield, this Model 1847 Cavalry Musketoon features some of the modifications applied by the Ordnance Department during the 1850’s in response to reports from troops in the field.     

This Musketoon has the “second pattern” ramrod retention design consisting of a sliding sleeve on the ramrod shaft which is anchored to the underside of the muzzle with a chain.  Adopted in 1851, this new captive ramrod system replaced the earlier swivel attachment which had been found to be fragile and prone to breakage in use in the field.  Flayderman comments on these sleeve and chain devices: “Although these chain devices were supposed to replace the swivels, it has been the author’s experience in seeing quite a few specimens over the years that almost no chain devices survived and hence are more rare intact than the swivels.” 

In 1855, after numerous reports regarding the inaccuracy of the smooth-bored Musketoon, the Ordnance Department rifled the bores of a small number of these Cavalry Musketoons and fitted them with a two-leaf rear sight.  This Musketoon is one of those so modified.   

The lock plate and barrel bear matching dates, 1851.  The lock plate is further stamped with the eagle over the “US” and “SPRINGFIELD”.  The surfaces of the lock, hammer, sling ring bar, trigger and screw heads are overall smooth.  The lock function is crisp.  The original carbine sling bar and ring, often found to be cut off or removed, are both intact on this specimen.  The barrel is uniformly covered with light pitting.  The bore is pitted, and the rifling is no longer evident - more indication of just how hard these early Musketoons were used on the frontier.   

The brass trigger guard, butt plate, side plate and barrel bands have a nice pleasing patina, with a hue towards the very desirable reddish tones of aged, unpolished brass.   

Despite the obvious signs of issue and use, the stock is in remarkably very nice condition, with a smooth grain overall.  There is wear on the left side in the corner formed by the butt plate where the stock would have worn against the dragoon’s saddle when the carbine was suspended from his carbine sling.  The left side of the butt stock also has a set of initials lightly scribed into the wood.  The edges of the forearm barrel channel are fully intact and the ramrod channel edges show only minor wear.  The left flat of the stock directly behind the carbine sling bar has been worn due to the rubbing of the carbine sling hook, further evidence that this Musketoon was carried by a Dragoon and as a result the cartouche that was struck in this location was obliterated.   

These Model 1847 Cavalry Musketoons are one of the true early, pre-Civil War veterans of the American Frontier Army, seeing action across the Kansas and Texas plains, along the Santa Fe Trail and the expansion into New Mexico, Arizona, and California.  Although eclipsed by the technological advances of breech loading carbines and metallic cartridges, these Musketoons continued to be issued during the Civil War, and were then sold into the post-war civilian surplus market, resulting in relatively few of them surviving intact today.  The pleasing, rich appearance of these brass mounted carbines, along with their role in a colorful period of American history, make these Musketoons an important addition to any US Martial Collection, and this specimen features the rare sleeve and chain on the captive ramrod.  (0337)  $3550

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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