Firearms -

Model 1816 Springfield with Butterfield Conversion
Item #: AA1079
Click on an image to enlarge
This is a Model 1816 Springfield musket that has had the Butterfield pellet primer conversion applied. Jesse Butterfield had two patents on his pellet priming system. In January of 1859 he was awarded a government contract to convert 5000 muskets over to his priming system. A tube was mounted to the center of the lockplate. Fulminate discs were held in the tube and internal mechanisms placed a disc on the nipple when the hammer was cocked. It is not known exactly how many of the full conversions were completed, but the survival rate is small. This musket measures 57 3/4" overall and has a 42" barrel. The barrel is a smoothbore .69 caliber. The barrel shows the national bright finish from the muzzle back to the double strap front barrel band. From there back it has a brownish patina. The bore is dark and is moderately rusty. There are no proof marks on the barrel, as they were removed during the conversion process. The lockplate is marked BUTTERFIELD'S/PATENT DEC 11 1855/PHILADa forward of and SPRING/FIELD/1835 behind the distinctive Butterfield hammer. The priming mechanism is no longer with the lockplate. The brass screw in plug for the fulminate magazine is missing, and the magazine has been brazed shut. The musket now uses the conventional method of placing a cap on the nipple by hand before each firing. The remaining iron hardware has a matching attic black patina. All the barrel bands have the number 8 and letter S stamps. The trigger guard is stamped CBS forward of the trigger bow and a faint D can be seen at the back of the trigger guard. The side plate and butt plate are also stamped with the letter S and number 8. The butt plate also has the US stamp. The musket has a correct button head ramrod. The walnut stock is and looks to have never been cleaned. There are the normal bumps and dings in the wood from 182 years of handling, but no major wood loss or cracks. There is one small repair on the right side behind the hammer. There are three oval cartouches in the wood, two on the left side stock flat and one just behind the trigger guard. My eyes are getting to bad to make out the initials, but they are visible. Also stamped into the wood forward of the trigger guard is the number 8, behind the trigger guard what looks to be BW. This is a pretty rare musket that possibly saw service during the Civil War, most likely in a Pennsylvania militia unit. If you're trying to collect all the longarms used during that conflict you will not find a better representative of a Butterfield conversion than this one.