As hostilities between America and Great Britain escalated during the first few years of the 19th Century, it became clear to the U.S. government that a second war with England was impending. To make matters worse, America founds its aresenals sparsely stocked and made up of outdated Revolutionary War-era weapons. In response to this, the Militia Act of 1808 was passed. Under the act, the Federal government undertook to procure arms for the individual states. Each states was allocated a given number of newly-produced muskets each year depending on its population. The contracts to build these muskets were to be given to private and state armories, while muskets built by the Federal armories of Springfield and Harper's Ferry were to be reserved for the regular U.S. armed forces.
The 1808 contract guns were not manufactured under the same strict gauging as the M1795 muskets produced at the Federal armories; as the private armories could not match the manufacturing capabilities of Springfield. Instead, loose guidelines were established for the 1808 muskets: the new arms had to be .69 caliber, they had to have the ability to mount a socket bayonet, and they needed to roughly conform to the dimensions of either 1808 Springfield or 1808 Harper's Ferry.
As a result the state-procured guns vary from one manufacturer to the next - particularly in the shape of the butt stocks and combs. In fact, its interesting to note that stock modification ordered by the state of New York during a contract with Eli Whitney would later be adopted by the U.S. government when developing the M1816.
This particular musket was built by a small maker and is unmarked. It is in good "restored" condition as the forestock in front of the rear band has been replaced, and the middle and front barrel bands are reproductions.
The lock was was converted to percussion via the "drum" method. The lock could use some repair work as the hammer does not currently hold on either half or full cock. The hammer cup has a large chip missing from it, but is otherwise sound
The stock is very good with a few repaired cracks, which are all stable and in good condition.
This .69 caliber smoothbore barrel is has a dark bore with some rust and scattered pitting.
The furniture is all original and in good condition. The ram rod is a modern reproduction.
Included with this musket is an original bayonet which fit the gun well.