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Musket - Pattern 1839 Musket Object Reg. No: ST 000264

British Service percussion musket, Pattern 1839 Musket converted to carbine, cal. .753 in., steel smoothbore round barrel, 841 mm long.

it is believed that this item was originally a Pattern 1839 Musket that has been reconfigured to carbine proportions, possibly in a Colonial Armoury prior to its transfer to the Museum in 1871, though it is now shorter than a manufactured carbine model.

One of 26 guns donated in 1871 by the Victorian Ordnance Department from its Melbourne Armoury, for the newly created Industrial and Technological Museum. The display was intended to show mechanics and gunsmiths the principles of gun construction and recent technical developments in weapons.
Steel lock and hammer on R.H. side, converted from flintlock, brass oval triggerguard with small front spur, brass New Land pattern sideplate, foreend and butt plate, two sling swivels, one mounted from triggerguard, the other above front ramrod tube. Missing foresight, no rear sight, barrel fastened to stock via three barrel pins, steel ramrod and three brass ramrod tubes, the front one being trumpet shaped.

Ordnance marks stamped on underside of stock near triggerguard. Lock and barrel not removed for inspection on this date (31/8/05). Barrel L.H.side stamped with various British proof marks; Georgian proof of a crown over 'GR' over a broad arrow (c.1815 - c.1830), and goverment proof of a crown over crossed sceptres marks.
Statement Of Significance:
The decision in October 1838 to produce 30,000 flintlock muskets to alleviate a shortage of arms in the governments stores until percussion arms were available was amended only eight months later to bring the percussion arms into service using the parts already available, resulting in the Pattern 1839 Musket. Often perhaps incorrectly referred to as a 'conversion' firearms from flintlock to percussion, many examples show the tell-tale signs of the lockplates originally being drilled for flintlock mechanisms before being 'plugged' and the percussion system installed. This item appears to be an example of this practice, showing two plugged holes in the lockplate and heavy filing to the front half of the lockplate. An interesting example of the beginning of rapid technological advancement in firearm ignition systems. As well as use by British garison troops, the Pattern 1839 was sent out for use by militian and volunteer troops.
Acquisition Information:
Donation (Probable) from Melbourne Armoury, 1871
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 20.50 cm (Height), 6.80 cm (Width), 124.50 cm (Length)
Dimension Comment: Barrel length: 84.10cm

More information

Tagged with: rifles muskets british, rifles muskets military, victorian colonial defence forces, circa 1850, musket
Themes this item is part of: Arms Collection, Victorian Colonial Military Forces Units, 1854-1901
Primary Classification: ARMS & ARMOUR
Secondary Classification: Firearms
Tertiary Classification: longarms
Inscriptions: Stamped on lockplate: TOWER, crown over 'VR', crown over government broad arrow
Stamped on stock underside: CUTLER & SON
Stamped on stock underside with ordnance marks
Stamped on stock R.H.side: broad arrow over 'BO' (Board of Ordnance)
Stamped on stock L.H.side: 83, S O
Stamped on barrel with Georgian, and government proofmarks
Model Name/Number: 1839 Pattern (Converted)
User: Victoria: Ordnance Branch, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1840s-1860s


Steve Case Posted on 25 May 2010 11:52 PM
I have a similar Pattern 1839 carbine. It has large numbers "1" over "43" are woodburned onto the left side of the stock. I purchased this musket in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2008. It has the royal cypher over "GR" on the lockplate, and the date 1816. The bore seems smooth, the marks on the barrel are mostly worn off. The rear site is merely a "V" post. Same sideplate on the left as the model above, same ramrod and ramrod tubes. The barrel is 30 or 33 inches long (can't remember), and is held by pins, not keys (although the wood shows filling in of key-holes). The lockplate has filled holes behind the hammer, and is percussion. It came with a rotting leather sling. Could you tell me which British battle it could have seen in Afghanistan? I have a picture if you send me your email address. Thanks very much for your time.
Discovery Centre Posted on 05 Jun 2010 11:33 AM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Steve, your question has been sent through to the History and Technology Department and we will post a response as soon as we hear back from them.
Discovery Centre Posted on 08 Jun 2010 3:30 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Steve, unfortunately we have no way of narrowing your piece to a particular battle. Perhaps consider contacting an expert in your local area.
Steve Posted on 11 Jun 2010 4:44 AM
Hi Discovery Center,
Thank you for your response. Can you make any observations (good or bad) about my musket? Did you get the picture? What is the significance of the woodburned numbers "1" over "43"? Why does it have a Brunswick rifle trigger guard? Those may be impossible to answer, but I appreciate your opinion. Thanks again.
Discovery Centre Posted on 15 Jun 2010 12:47 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Steve, we've also answered your question via email but for questions such as these in general we would suggest you contact an expert in antique arms in your local area. You can contact the http://www.armscollectorsguild.com/index.htm, who might be able to help you out. Due to the fact the musket is without provenance, it's possible that it was used in any number of battles involving the British in Afghanistan from 1816. You may wish to look at the following websites for general information on wars fought by the British in the region: http://www.iwm.org.uk/ and http://www.britishbattles.com/
Chris Bulmer Posted on 21 Jan 2011 1:19 AM
If this musket was purchased in Kabul then there is a good chance that it dates from the Battle of Gandamak where the East India Company Army and camp followers (16000 or so people) were slaughtered whilst trying to retreat from the city. I have a friend who purchased a couple of muskets from Kabul which when the serial numbers where checked acgainst the archive material held in the UK proved to have been issued to one of the units wiped out at this battle.

I am looking at bringing a similar weapon back and was wondering how you transported it, did you use a civilian freight company?
Stuart Swire Posted on 07 Jun 2014 10:12 PM
I have a small wooden box marked on the front with "balls for Lancaster rifle",is this the above gun?

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