Swedish muzzleloading rifle query

Started by DCarlson, 15. October 2013 kl. 17:06:30

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Long time lurker's first post.
My wife and I target shoot .490/.495-cal. patched round balls from percussion lock rifles about once a month here in Texas where we reside.  She has a 1700s Swiss-German ancestor who worked as a gunsmith in Lancaster, PA where the early American long rifle began. [This same ancestor was killed in a bayonets-only attack at the Battle of Stony Brook, NY during the American Revolutionary War vs. the UK :-( ].

I have discovered an early 1800s Swedish ancestor who joined the army during the "allotment" system days, October 1846 to be precise.  His "soldier name" was 79 Rikter. He was in the 1st company of the Vaesterbottens Infantry Regiment [I XIX or I XX, unless I'm mistaken].  I was waiting for Mr. O Flatnes' black powder book to be published so I might ask a more informed question, but here goes an ill-informed question instead:

What sort of rifle would a "sharp shooter" in an infantry regiment have carried in the mid-to-late 1840s?  The M/1815-26 flintlock, or the M/1815-45 percussion rifle?  Were either or both of these weapons "pillar breech" rifles, or simply rifled muskets?

Thanks for any insights you might provide. :-)



In the 1840s did this regiment use (for the few sharpshooters) "fotjägarstudsare m/1815-20" until 1849 when they changed to "tappstudsare m/1840-48" and "tappgevär m/1848".
Arilar :-)

David Carlson

Wow!  Very interesting! Thank you very much! :-D

Med vänlig hälsning/ tack så mycket!/ kiitos! Or, as we say hereabouts: Muchísimas gracias!


David Carlson

Västerbotten regement

By now I've discovered that this "Fältjäger" ancestor had a maternal grandfather who was a corporal in the regiment during the late 1700s-early 1800s.

It might be of interest that in 1810 most of the 1st company had Swedish Model 1738 flintlås/flintlock muskets but in 1774 there were 60 model 1725 muskets and 159 model 1747 muskets.  Struck me as a bit odd that the later date used an earlier model musket, but perhaps the Napoleonic era was highly attritional on the 1747s...?

Again, thanks for the pointers.

Øyvind F.

The fact that Swedish soldiers used older muskets in 1810 is not that strange. While it wasn't that uncommon to use older patterns in those days, it is a fact that the Swedish army was short of muskets at that time. The reason? They had sold large amounts of muskets to Russia (for which the Russians never paid). Shortly after, in 1808, war broke out between Russia and Sweden in which Sweden lost Finland to Russia. The Swedes had to get muskets from Britain to fill in the gaps. That might be the reason why your ancestor had to carry an older pattern musket in 1810.
Øyvind F. - forum admin
Ta også en kikk på kammerlader.no.

David Carlson

Thanks for the history, Øyvind.

I know that in U.S. martial practice, the 1795 and 1816 copies of the French infantry muskets--which we here in the U.S. typically erroneously refer to as "Charlevilles" no matter the details--soldiered on for quite some time too.

The great-great-great grandfather was lucky that he served in peacetime.
As for the greatx5 grandfather who was a corporal, he left the Västerbotten regiment in 1810.  I suppose he might have been in some of the fighting against the Russians during the so-called Finland War, particularly when the Russians marched over the frozen Gulf of Bothnia to Umeå, but he would have been a relatively old man for the time: in his 50s.  Cheers.

By the way, the book is very excellent.  Quite an admirable job!  I think it has a wide appeal to different readerships, and hopefully will help promote both novice shooters and experts to try different black powder shooting sports.  I'm already looking for equipment to load for my .43 Spanish/11.15x58R Remington rolling block!

I'll write a review compared to some of the other common U.S. publications like the Sam Fadlala book and so on.;-)


In addition to patched round ball, I've started skirmishing with a .58 cal. M1841 "Yaeger/Mississippi" rifle, shooting .43 Spanish rolling block (myopia, heavy trigger, stock military Argentine sights, novice cartridge reloader, etc. still got a 142 out of possible 250 at 200 meters for a 3rd. place at that range) and now, a .45-70 Sharps with a 28-in. barrel.  The Sharps is an IAB EMF gardone, Italy copy, which meets with all sorts of disapproval here in the United States.  But the rifle has C. Sharps Montana vernier sights, and I've had the privilege to see this homely and unloved replica shoot...;).

Looks like in addition to the Västerbottens regemente, I had a pair of ancestors in the Närpes kompani of the Österbottens regemente too.  Apparently, from what I can gather, this was the only "Finnish" regiment that wore the standard Swedish uniform.  I suppose that this was so since many enlistees would have been monolingual Swedish speakers.  No idea on the muskets yet...