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Thread: 1835 conversion

  1. #1
    Big Grit is offline
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    1835 conversion

    I just purchased an 1835 Springfied converted to percussion by the "Belgian" method. Lock and tang are stamped 1837, barrel in in very good condition, original length. Is this weapon legal for NSSA?

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    I just went cruising through the rules and didn't see anything in the sections for small arms or barrels, and nothing turned up when I searched for "belgian" or "cone".

    I do know that cone-in-barrel conversions can be one of the weaker conversion types are can be susceptible to corrosion weakness.

    Steve
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    Jim_Burgess_2078V is offline
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    Belgian Percussion Conversion Musket

    A Springfield musket converted to percussion would be N-SSA legal as long as everything is regulation but, as Steve points out, the cone in barrel is a potential weak point. If the barrel is in good condition as you say with no pitting around the cone, it is probably safe to shoot with our relatively light target loads. You should at least check the threads in the cone seat.

    Whether you should subject this original piece in good condition to the wear and tear of skirmishing and the risk of devaluing it is open to debate. I have two Harpers Ferry muskets converted using the Belgian system. Both are rifled and both are in excellent condition very likely because the army soon realized that these percussion converted rifled muskets could not withstand the higher pressures behind a 700+ grain Minie bullet and they were withdrawn from service.

    I would recommend keeping the 1835 Springfield as a collector to preserve its condition and value, not as a shooter. Good reproductions are readily available if you want to shoot smoothbore.

    Jim Burgess, 15th Conn. Vol. Inf,
    (Museum Specialist, Manassas NBP)

  5. #5
    Big Grit is offline
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    I already have an excellent smoothbore with a1847 lock redone by Larry Romano, but the condition and difference of this one intrigues me.

  6. #6
    John Holland is offline Moderator
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    Even though the Cone-in-Barrel altered muskets are legal for use in the N-SSA's competitive matches, I would agree with Jim Burgess that using them is not really recommended. The cone seat is shallow with minimal threads and is known to occasionally fail. The shooters in the N-SSA are prone to using a ball that is near to bore size, which increases breech pressures beyond what the musket was designed for. Understand that the original round ball for this musket was .65 caliber, not .678 or .685, etc. Ultimately, the choice is made by the person who owns the musket. I would say to weigh the information and then decide for yourself what the odds of failure may be for a musket that was altered some 170 years ago.

  7. #7
    Big Grit is offline
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    Nipple threads and seat look good but I bow to the wisdom and experience of those with much more experience than I in shooting this for competition. I will still shoot it with light loads a little. This concession will save me from trying to alter what must be a 15# trigger.

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