Here's a very nice Model 1844/60 “Piedmontese” musket made by August Francotte of Belgium. Francotte. These muskets were originally designed for the Kingdom of Piedmont, which is now part of modern-day Italy. These muskets were originally designed as 18mm (nominally .708”) smoothbore percussion muskets in 1844. In 1860 they were modified by adding 4 shallow rifled grooves, and a fixed rear sight screwed to the breech. This transformation created the M-1844/60 rifled-musket.
Two international arms dealers purchased and delivered just over 10,000 of these muskets to the US government in the early days of the Civil War. The largest of these purchases was made by Marcellus Hartley who secured 10,000 44/60s in October 1862 for the trifling sum of $10.92 per musket. The firm of Herman Boker & Company also purchased roughly 2,000 Piedmontese muskets in March of the same year for $11.51 per musket.
Most of the Piedmontese muskets saw service among Western theater US troops from states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. For some reason, a significant number of these guns saw service after the war as GAR parade guns. A number of extant examples exist in old GAR collections (or with provenance to GAR halls) that have been plated and polished to make them look nice on parade.
This particular example is in great shape. The stock is very good with no major cracks, chips, or rotten spots; and only a few minor handling marks. Original inspector's cartouches are present and legible in various locations throughout the stock, indicating that it was never sanded or refinished.
The lock is fully functional and complete. The markings on the lock are very legible with no real rust or pitting to speak of.
The barrel is full length and in good condition. The bore good with strong rifling and no major rust or pitting.
The furniture is in good condition and matches the rest of the musket. The ram rod is original and is full length.