Model 1840 Flintlock Musket Altered by Nippes to Maynard Tape Primer
Daniel Nippes received a contract to produce 4000 of the Model 1840 Flintlock muskets. Deliveries commenced in 1842 and continued into 1848.
In 1848 he received Contract to convert 1000 muskets to percussion and include a Maynard Tape Primer mechanism on the lock. His first delivery of 300 muskets was delivered later that same year. He received a second contract to alter an additional 1000 muskets. The entire 2000 were completed and 1700 were delivered in 1849. These muskets were sent to Texas and New Mexico for field trials at posts on the frontier. Most reports were favorable. In 1855 the Maynard tape primer system was adopted for the new series of weapons. At the start of the Civil war the army on the frontier had been rearmed with the new 1855 Rifle Muskets and these alterations went into storage. While inventories of US arsenals were not usually specific as to maker and models - using rather the title 69 caliber muskets converted to Maynard tape primer - there is some indication that many of these muskets remained in the west. 200 hundred were known to have been converted in New Orleans where the primer mechanism was removed, the drum shortened and a new hammer installed and then used by the confederacy. This example is a possible example of another such alteration.
This example is a Nippes 1840 Musket dated 1842 on the lock and the barrel. It was originally produced as a smoothbore flintlock musket. Nippes altered it to percussion with the Maynard tape primer in 1849. This one has had the tape primer magazine removed. It still has the conversion hammer and conversion drum and nipple. There is a screw hole in the lock plate where the primer attached that has been filled. It appears to have been fired after the primer magazine was removed judging by the light pitting on the around the bolster and on the lockplate where the magazine would have been. With the exception of the tape magazine the musket is complete and original including the ramrod. The metal has a smooth even brown patina. There is some light pitting around the breech of the barrel. The markings are all deep and readable. The stock is dark but has crisp edges. The inspectors cartouches are very deep and clear. The stock is somewhat dirty. With the conversion there are two sets of cartouches, the normal two form when it was completed as a flintlock and a smaller set from when the conversion was performed.