Help identifying VR rifle/musket

Started by Ulver75, 26. August 2010 kl. 14:32:26

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  Fellow Norwegian/Swedish descendant here in New England USA.  I was looking for help in identifying the rifle/musket below that was recently passed on to me from my father.  I'd say i'm a novice when it comes to firearms.
  I have done some research on the internet and found a few clues to its possible origins.  I believe this was manufactured by the British in 1856 from the VR crown stamp on it.  I have no idea what the model is though.  The most common models I've found on the web that are stamped with VR are "Enfield" and "Tower" and were used especially during the US Civil War.  But those model names are found directly under the year stamp.  My model has no name on it though.  Another marking is the "<---" arrow.  Does this arrow mean it was a military issue?  The arrow marking on my rifle looks to have a crown possibly stamped over the arrow.  Any information on this would be greatly appreciated.



Øyvind F.

Your musket has obviously had its stock shortened, and looks to be a variant of an English P-1853 rifle musket. It does not have the British Army acceptance stamps (WD), and the crown over M marking was not used on any of the British government arms. This probably means that it is a commercial arm made for export. It could have been imported during the US Civil War and "civilized" later.

Is it rifled or smoothbore? What is the calibre? .577" or .65"? Does it have a bore marking at the side of the gun towards the barrel breech?
Øyvind F. - forum admin
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Norman ter Bals

I'm almost sure it is a  shortened British Lovell pattern 1839 musket made by a private manufacturer (the patterns 1842 and 1853 had a  different lock plate). It should be caliber .753 smoothbore (if original). The P-1839 Musket was originally designed as a flintlock weapon. Before it could go into regular production, however, the British army adopted the percussion ignition system. The P-1839  saw service in Crimea and other conflicts. Both the US & CS governments purchased quantities of these weapons during the rush for arms early in the civil war.

Dave Hunter

Dear Oyvind F.
              the lock plate appears to be a patter 1839 musket lock the date is rather late at 1856.The markings are correct the broad arrow with a small crown is
normal and is an inspectors stamp denoting goverment ownership.
This weapon had a 39 inch smooth bore iron barrel and was similar in appearance to the pattern 1842 musket but of lesser quality.they were never rifled.
many variaties exist made from bits ore modified for trade use I.E.merchant marine
Africa etc . the Example appears not to have provision for sling swivels as would be
Books of interest :-
                    British Military Firearms 1650-1850
                    Howard L Blackmore

                    Herbert Jenkins ltd publishers
                    Rutgers books of New Jersy should have this

                                  Dave Hunter