The Prussian model 1809 measures 56.5 inches in overall length with a 41.25-inch long barrel in a.72 caliber smoothbore. It was originally manufactured as a flintlock weapon and later converted to a percussion firing system using a curved cone bolster seat that was forged directly onto the breech. The year of the conversion (1835) is stamped on both the left side of the breech flat as well as the face of the butt plate. Other markings include the letters FW located below a crown device. This cipher is also stamped into several places on the musket, right hand side of the butt, left side flat of the breech and on the lockplate face above the armory name of Saarn.
There are matching assembly numbers stamped into the bands as well as the trigger guard, and butt-plate. They are all of made of brass and have a pleasant patina. Located on the butt-plate are a series of stamped assortment of numbers, including the year of conversion (1835) rack number 1799, 119359.
The beechwood stock has an attractive light color. It has a few normal dents and scratches from use. There is a 2” fragment of wood missing located at the lower front area around the lock mortise. Located on the left side of the butt is a recessed carved cheek-rest. The lock is stamped FW and Saarn. The mechanics are crisp. A deep FW & 1835 is stamped on the breech area of the barrel. The nipple cone is in excellent condition with medium pitting located in and around the bolster side of the breech area with the remainder of all iron parts, barrel, lock & ramrod exhibit a mix of steel gray and darkened patina. On the breech area is the rear sight that utilized a simple notched iron block mounted atop the barrel tang. The smooth-bore is in very good condition with a few areas of light pitting and could be improved with a good cleaning. The front sight is a brass blade soldered onto the strap of the top barrel band. The original ramrod is trumpet-shaped and is cupped on its face at the end of the rod and is drilled and tapped for the attachment of a worm or ball puller.
This model of 1809 utilized a triangular type bayonet having an unslotted sleeve. A spring locking device is located beneath the barrel and engages an eccentric ring on the socket to complete the attachment.
The U.S. Ordnance Department purchased approximately 165,000 Prussian arms of which 100,300 were identified as smooth-bores. All of the shipments arrived in late 1861 through early 1862 when the need for arms was most urgent. There were no known Confederate contract purchases of this particular model musket, although their acquisition through battlefield capture is most likely.
This Civil War Musket is in very good condition and would be a great for reenacting, shooting smooth bore as well as a nice addition to a Civil War collection.