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Remington-Maynard 1816/22 Alteration Musket

Remington-Maynard 1816/22 Alteration Musket

  • Product Code: FLA-3219-SOLD
  • Availability: Out Of Stock
  • $1.00

This is a VERY GOOD+ example of the US M-1816/22 Musket converted to percussion by the addition of the Maynard’s Patent Tape Priming System. During the 1850s, the US Ordnance Department experimented with several automatic-priming systems, including those patented by Ward, Butterfield and Maynard. Both the Ward and Butterfield mechanical systems utilized a pellet or disc shaped primer pellet, similar to those used on the Sharps’ carbines and rifles equipped with the Lawrence automatic priming system. The Maynard system used a roll of “tape” with the priming compound sandwiched between two laminated layers of paper that were then coated with varnish to make them water resistant. These primer tapes resembled a modern child’s roll of caps for his toy gun. Two variations of the Maynard systems were actually implemented on a trial basis. The “Nippes-Maynard” system was first applied to Nippes contract US M-1840 muskets that had yet to be delivered by Nippes, in addition to more Nippes contract US M-1840 muskets store at the Frankford Arsenal. The alterations began during the fall of 1848 and over the next year Nippes would alter 2,000 US M-1840 muskets to this variant of the Maynard priming system. These muskets were issued for trial purposes in lots of 200 and the response from the field was favorable enough that by 1854 it was proposed that a significant number of arms be altered with an improved version of the priming system. The Nippes-Maynard alteration used a drum bolster conversion, mated with a modified lock that had a tape primer magazine added to the outside surface, in the general area that had originally contained the flintlock pan and battery. A specially shaped hammer was installed that curved over the top of the tape primer magazine and engaged the percussion cone in the new drum bolster. This system had advantages and disadvantages. The primary advantage was that it used the existing lock with only added modifications and the use of a drum bolster was quick, simple and cheap. However, this system did not provide a strong enough breech for the use of expanding base Mini” style projectiles in a rifled barrel, which created significantly more pressure than round ball or buck and ball loads in a smoothbore. The decision was taken to use a newly made steel “chambered breeches’ for the barrel alteration, which could withstand the pressures of firing Mini” type ammunition from a rifled barrel. This necessitated the relocation of the tape priming mechanism from the exterior of the lock; as it had been on the Nippes alteration, to the interior, to better align the hammer with the bolster and barrel. The finalized design is what is known to today as the Remington-Maynard Tape Primer lock. This lock would form the basis for the lock design of the new family of US M-1855 small arms that was currently on the drawing board. After inquiring at Springfield Arsenal how long it would take to make a substantial number of the new locks and breech pieces, it was discovered that doing so would adversely affect the manufacture of the US M-1842 muskets and M-1847 musketoons then in production and would also delay the tooling up to produce the new M-1855 series of arms. As a result, it was decided to contract with an outside supplier to have the locks and breeches manufactured and then installed at a secondary Federal Arsenal. In September of 1854 the Remington Arms Company entered into a contract to provide 20,000 sets of Maynard patent locks and the new chambered breech pieces to alter US M-1816/22 muskets currently in storage. The deliveries of the parts began in March of 1856 and continued through March of 1858. Remington delivered the components to the New York Arsenal and they were subsequently shipped to the Frankford Arsenal. In addition to altering the guns to the Maynard priming system they were also rifled and the majority had long range rear sights and new, taller, iron front sights added. The original button head ramrods from the muskets were also modified, by dishing their tips for use with elongated ammunition. The new front sights were produced at the Springfield Arsenal and it is believed that Harpers Ferry provided the M-1855 pattern back sights. John Taylor, a Springfield Armory foreman who had supervised the manufacture of 6 pattern muskets for the alteration process was reassigned from inspection duties at Colt to the Remington factory to oversee and inspect the parts being made there. Between 1856 and 1859 a total of 21,952 US M-1816/22 muskets were altered at the Frankford Arsenal with the new, chambered breeches and Remington-Maynard locks. They also had their barrels rifled and their ramrods modified. Of those muskets nearly all were equipped with long-range rear sights and new iron front sights. The 1,800 delivered in fiscal year 1856 were newly sighted as were the 8,137 delivered in fiscal year 1857. During fiscal year 1858 a total of 6,830 muskets were altered, but only 4,852 had the new sights added. Of the guns delivered during fiscal year 1858, 1,300 belonged to the state of New Jersey, 1,100 of which did not receive new rear sights, but 200 of which did. During fiscal year 1859 the final 3,885 muskets were altered but did not receive sights. I can only assume that with the transition from the M-1855 pattern sight to the M-1858 pattern sight on the M-1855 series of arms, that production of the earlier, “long range” sights with the long base had ceased and no further sights were readily available for the alteration of the muskets. Considering the delay experienced at Harpers Ferry transitioning between the two sight patterns and the number of 1855 rifles delivered without sights during the transition period, the manufacture of sights for obsolete musket alterations was probably considered unimportant. In all a total of 20,652 muskets were altered to the Remington-Maynard system for the Federal Ordnance Department and 1,300 were altered for the state of New Jersey. All of the guns were rifled, but only 200 of the New Jersey guns received rear sights, while 14,789 of the Federal guns received new sights and 5,863 did not. Many of the muskets converted between 1855 and mid-1857 were issued to US Army troops at Fort Riley Kansas and to the US Navy. The balance of the guns were distributed to state arsenals under the Militia Act of 1808 and many saw extensive use on both sides during the early days of the Civil War. The classic early war Confederate image of Private Thomas Taylor (Company F, 8th Louisiana Infantry) standing at parade rest in full field gear (including a great mix of English, CS and US accouterments) with his rifled & sighted US M-1816 Remington-Maynard conversion musket is one of the best examples of where some of those guns ended up before the outbreak of the American Civil War.

This is a VERY GOOD+ example of a rifled & sighted US M-1816/22 Remington Maynard Altered Rifled Musket. The gun remains fairly crisp throughout with mostly clear and legible markings. The lock plate is clearly and crisply marked Remington’s / Ilion N.Y. / 1858 / US vertically behind the hammer. The date on the barrel tang is 1858 as well, and the tang is also marked with the alphanumeric bayonet mating code N / 21. The original inspection marks from the initial production of the musket as a flintlock are absent due to the installation of the new chambered breech as part of the conversion process. The new breech bears the small J.T. inspection mark of John Taylor, as does the upper edge of the outside of the tape primer door. The bottom edge of the outside of the door is marked T. The top of the stock comb, in front of the buttplate tang is stamped with a worn and mostly illegible alphanumeric code that may have been part of the Frankford arsenal reassembly code used during the alteration process, or may simply be a way of accounting for the guns altered. The stock flat opposite the bears the weak remnants of two sets of block letter inspection marks. The first is AR / V stamped horizontally in the middle of the flat, and the second is V / JAS, stamped vertically at the tail of the flat. The first mark is that of Adam Ruhlman, who was appointed inspector of “finished muskets’ at Harpers Ferry in 1831 and served in that position for the next two decades. The second mark is that of John A. Schaeffer who was appointed an arms inspector at Harpers Ferry the same year as Ruhlman, and served in that position until the arsenal was captured by Virginia state forces in 1861. The lock is mechanically excellent, and the tape-priming mechanism is 100% complete and fully functional. These muskets are often found with missing parts in the Maynard mechanism and it is nice find a complete one that works well. The metal of the musket has a medium pewter patina, with a thin layer of darker freckled and oxidized age discoloration scattered over the iron surfaces. When the barrel bands are moved on the musket, the underlying metal remains relatively crisp and bright with much of the original arsenal bright polish remaining, and the bottom of the barrel, protected by the stock, is mostly bright as well. The barrel is mostly smooth with some scattered light pinpricking present and some more moderate pinpricking and very light pitting around the chambered breech area. The barrel bands and other furniture show about the same freckled gray patina as the barrel and lock. The barrel bands and buttplate show some scattered, lightly oxidized surface roughness. The bore of the musket rates about VERY GOOD+, and is mostly bright and shiny with very good rifling. As is typical of these alterations, the grooves are rather wide and very shallow. The bore shows only some lightly scattered pinpricking along its length, and as well as a few small patches of light pitting along with some accumulated dirt and debris. A good scrubbing with a bronze brush would probably improve the bore to about fine condition. The musket retains both sling swivels and the original, full-length ramrod is in the channel under the barrel. The rod retains excellent implement threads on its end and the end is appropriated dished for use with Mini” ammunition. The upper band is mounted with the new iron front sight that was installed on nearly all of the Remington “Maynard altered muskets, and the original and correct Harpers Ferry produced long-range rear sight is in place forward of the breech. The stock of the musket rates about VERY GOOD+ as well. The stock is full-length and solid, showing no breaks or repairs. The stock retains relatively good lines edges throughout with any rounding or softening of the edges being due to real world wear and use. The stock shows the expected assortment of scattered bumps and dings from service, carry and storage, but shows absolutely no abuse or severe wear. There is a tiny grain crack running from the rear most lock plate screw to the barrel channel. This is a typical crack, which is the result of the lock screws being over tightened. Thankfully it is minor, stable and non-structural and in no way affects the display of this attractive musket.

Overall this is a VERY GOOD+ example of a very collectable and desirable US M-1816/22 conversion musket. The gun has strong markings throughout, and retains the entire complete and fully functional Remington Maynard lock. The musket was originally produced at the famous Harpers Ferry Arsenal, making the gun even more desirable. The gun is 100% complete, correct, original and unmolested This musket is quite attractive and displays very well. This would certainly be a nice addition to any 19th century US marital long arms collection.


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Tags: Remington, Maynard, 1816, 22, Alteration, Musket