1816 Remington Alteration - NJ
After the war with Mexico the Ordinance department moved the modernize their inventory of small arms. Arms in storage were inventoried with a goal of converting them to percussion. Also experiments were conducted with some of the automatic primer systems in the market. 2000 flintlock muskets were converted to the Maynard tape primer system and issued for testing on the frontier. Results were promising and the new model of weapons were to include the Maynard tape primer system. I the fall of 1854 a contract was signed with Remington to provide new locks and breeches for converting 1816 muskets to be rifled percussion muskets with the Maynard tape primer system. Remington would furnish the finished locks and breeched to Frankford Arsenal who would do the actual conversion. The deliveries of parts started in the spring of 1856 and work started. a total of 21,952 musket were altered between 1856 and 1859. Most of the ones converted were for the Federal government, though 1300 were altered for the state of New Jersey. The conversion included rifling the barrel and adding a rear sight. As work progressed it seems the supply of rear sights ended and starting with deliveries in 1858 rear sights were omitted. Of the conversions delivered to New Jersey only 200 had rear sights. Of the conversions accepted into Federal service 14,789 had new sights but 5,863 did not.
This example is dated 1857 on both the barrel and the lock. There is a NJ stamped in the left side of the barrel. The metal is a pleasing grey color and the markings are all sharp and readable. There are a few areas of light pitting but most of the metal is smooth. The primer mechanism is complete and working. The sling swivels are both present. The ramrod is an original but it is a 1842 ramrod. The stock is solid and full length. The corners are nice and there is a readable cartouche opposite the lock. There is a name stamped in the butt as well as a collector's tag.