Enfield Musketoon
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Enfield Musketoon


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Old 06-07-2010, 03:02 AM   #1
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Default Enfield Musketoon

I have a Enfield musketoon that I would like to know a little more about.
the lock plate has the crown with VR behind the hammer, is marked TOWER and 1855 forward, has small crown/arrow over 17. and a deep stamp which kind of looks like a trident pointing forward. there is S.S. stamped inside plate.
Any takers? Brian-0377
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:50 PM   #2
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Well, the VR is the reigning monarch of the day (Victoria Regina) since all arms belonged TO the monarch. The Musketoon was a shorter version of the musket- usually issued to artillerymen, sappers, etc. The longer version of your Enfield was the spark of the Sepoy rebellion in India- biting cartridges to "break the caste", doncha know. Link for you-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattern_1853_Enfield_Musketoon

PS- one of the reasons for LONG barrels on muskets- vs musketoon- was so that the muzzle would be beyond the face of the soldier of the rank AHEAD of you when doing fire in ranks. Artillerymen did not do "fire in ranks".
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Last edited by c3shooter; 06-07-2010 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:24 PM   #3
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Where did you get it, what condition is it in? Is this one of the Kingdom of Nepal imports? Tower refers to the Tower of London which back then was both an arsenal (the London Armory) admin control point (much of English weapons manufacture actually occurred in, of course, Enfield and Birmingham) and a prison for royalty.


Presumably what you have is a P-53 (Pattern of 1853 hence P-53) 2 (vs. 3) barrel band, 24 inch barrel rifle, caliber .577 (.58). P-53 Enfield rifles were then being built for England and also being sold to other buyers by the London Arms Co. The Enfield musket was the best infantry rifle of the time (1850s) and both the Confederate and the US Union Army acquired some in 1861. About 900,000 were imported to the Americas with about 400,000 going to the Confederates. They were the second most encountered rifle during the US Civil War. The Confederacy mostly paid in Cotton bearer Bonds (which in 1861 were considered very valuable), which with the collapse of the Confederacy became worthless. By then they owed the London Arms Co. millions of dollars and they went out of business. In the same time period almost every country on Earth wanted the British rifle, so many arsenal test rejects and even clones, complete with Tower markings were sent to far away places. As long as the fakes weren't being sold in England, the government didn't care. Many of those pop up now and then and are sometimes passed off the unwary as authentic Civil War weapons. 'Man At Arms' magazine ran an article about these a few years ago. After the Civil War the American government refinished sold off over 100,000 captured Enfield rifles to help pay for the war.

One clue, yours is marked Tower, so it is probably not one of the ones directly purchased by the South from England in 1861. Those usually had a different stamp so as to allow England to pretend neutrality. However, some Tower muskets did come to the South as in 1863 the South contracted with the Birmingham Small Arms Manufacturers Association for clones. The South also purchased arms from France, Belgium, and Austria among others. A lot of these did have bogus Tower stamps as if they were authentic English Army rifles, but they lacked the parts interchangeability of the authentic government inspected and accepted rifles. Also the US Army had no problem purchasing authentic English infantry weapons from England before the war began, and an example of an actual sold to America by the English government P-53 before 1861 is in the West Point museum.

Sadly (or not), beginning in the 1960s Civil War re-enactors created such a demand for looks-like weapons that manufacture of ancient percussion weapons began again. Today many sources of authentic looking Civil War firearms (called reproductions) exist. While the manufacturer of these clones is required to add manufacturer stamps, for a variety of reasons some buyers grind those off. When being resold, sometimes a buyer can mistake one of these new weapons for an older authentic one. Of course some sellers go the extra step and artificially age the wood and stock so they can intentionally fraudulently sell such a weapon as an authentic period piece. Some go so far as to add fake British Army inspection and proof marks.

There are people who can tell the fakes from the authentic weapons and things to look for, but doing so is almost an art form and generally involves complete disassembly. Knowing the precise history of the weapon to include identification of as many previous owners as possible is an important first step. Clearly, if (hypothetically) an 1870 sales slip identifying the rifle by serial number and issued by a surplus sales agent of the US Govt (i.e., Bannermans) can be found and produced, and the rifle is still in the same families possesion and also referenced in various producable and verifiable recorded wills and diaries, the task is easier.
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Old 06-07-2010, 10:53 PM   #4
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Default Enfield Musketoon

No this is not a three band rifled musket. It is a two band rifle that is shorter than the p56 sargents rifle. I don't believe it is a Nepalese weapon. It is an original weapon, it was "cleaned" of it's patina (sigh). I am leaning to a sea service musketoon, there is S.S. stamped on the back side of the lock plate.
the 1855 over TOWER is interesting.
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:33 PM   #5
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Interesting. You may be correct.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:55 PM   #6
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Default 1858 Enfield musketoon

Hello, I am brand new to your community and would like to share a recent find.

My son is in the US Army and brought back from Afghanistan (a market in Jalalabad), an old 1858 Enfield Musketoon.

I have studied the fakes and replicas for weeks and he studied them for months
I am fairly well convinced that he has found an original gun.
I believe this is a musketoon because the barrel is only 29 inches, and overall length is 44 inches. with no bands.
It has the proper markings for a period gun. the gun is in unremarkable shape showing the patina and wear that one would expect, however the wear on the hard parts of the gun just scream "I have been carried and fired for over a hundred years"
It would be hard to not feel the age of this gun once you handled it.
You can see where through the years of use, the stock has minimal repair at the front end. The sight has been changed and simple dovetail was mounted at the rear. Front sight is worn down almost smooth.
Even the primer cap nipple has been what looks like "brazing weld" holding it in
I would presume because it either stripped out or broke.
the finish of the stock shows the daily wear of being carried for generations.
I feel like a lucky dog this year. PS I am working on photos

Last edited by TJWright; 12-28-2010 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:35 PM   #7
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TJWright,that sounds like a cut down 53 Enfield instead of a 61 Musketoon. The Musketoon's overall length is 40 inches and barrel length is 24 inches with two barrel bands and a bayonet lug on the right side of the barrel just forward of the nose cap.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:02 AM   #8
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Default cut down '53

It could very well be a cut down something, the lock is stamped 1858 Enfield but the gun doesn't have the required bands for any models of this year. and the hammer has scroll work on it that does not match anything I have seen on these guns, maybe hammer was replaced??
also the barrel is so shot out it's hard to tell whether it is a musket or a shotgun. looks too thin at the end for musket.
There is no bayonet lug either, and trigger guard has only one screw at the rear. otherwise it resembles a shortened two band musket with period wear and many repairs evidently done through the years. I will have pictures uploaded soon.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:34 AM   #9
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Musket barrels are thin but if the lock is stamped 1858 Enfield (which should actually be 1853 BTW)it's a reproduction. Locks were usually stamped with the year of manufacture and the manufacturers name which were TOWER, London Armoury Co. Ltd. (marking of date / L.A.Co.), BARNETTE, P. BOND, POTTS & HUNT, PARKER FIELD & SONS, YEOMANS. Date and manufacturer will be forward of the hammer. Behind the hammer will be a crown (which is present on all repros) and sometimes the letters VR under it. The border around the lock plate will be a double border not a single line. Barrel will have English proof marks.

Last edited by Hawg; 12-30-2010 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 12-31-2010, 04:03 PM   #10
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Default Musket????

Yes I did have some questions about the little things....
I had thought that by 1858 most barrels were rifled for starters.
The barrel does have correct English proofs on it and is a damascus twist style
The hammer is not the original for the lock because it has stamped scroll work on it, and originals were plain.
the stock is more like a cavalry carbine as it is only 44 inches overall with no bands.
The gun has definitely been used to death, showing many repairs to different areas that would correspond to wear brought on by years of use and abuse.
I know the Afghanis are very adept at faking marks and parts, however you just can't fake little things like, worn out sling mounting holes that are oblong, cracks at the end of the stock that have been "pinned" together with small nails, disintegrated wood around the nipple, from the Fulminated Mercury primers
Correct me if I am wrong, the barrel proof shows.
left side of barrel in a line front to back....
8 crown B 32 crown with arrow downward crown B 32 wide upward arrow over WD. doesn't this equate to .69 caliber ???? correctly ??
maybe the gun was assembled from odd parts a long time ago.
or possibly a "Trade Gun" from Middle East. not a military issue
Either fake or scabbed together I don't mind. it was a Hundred buck Chuck from the Afghani. market, brought home by my son. and makes a really cool wall hanger/conversation piece....

Last edited by TJWright; 12-31-2010 at 04:19 PM. Reason: additions
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