Here's an excellent example of one of the Civil War's most unique muskets. The rifled muskets built by the firm PS Justice of Philadelphia were assembled using surplus and condemned parts from other arsenals in combination with new components made by the firm. The resulting muskets were of a completely new and unique pattern with distinct civilian-style pointed lock panels and brass trigger guard.
Justice built his muskets inexpensively in order to maximize his profit. These muskets were so hastily and cheaply assembled that they were quickly given a reputation of being of extremely poor quality and even dangerous. One officer noted that the stocks were made of improperly cured wood which allowed for shrinkage and caused the stock to crack and the barrel bands to slide off. He also noted that the sights were useless and appeared to be soldered to the barrels with a fake screw head inserted into their bases in order to provide the illusion of a dovetailed and screwed sight. The bayonets provided with the muskets were "as soft as lead" and many bent and broke during bayonet practice drills.
This particular musket is in outstanding shape with much of its original arsenal-browned finish remaining. Like most 3rd model Justice muskets, the lock is unmarked. The only markings are found on the barrel; which are crisp and legible. The lock holds flawlessly on both full and half cock and the stamps are all crisp and legible with no pitting or other damage.
The stock is in excellent condition with no burn out, cracks, or rotten spots, with the exception of a small fracture in the lock mortise behind the hammer. The crack seems to be primarily cosmetic however and the lock mortise is still very sound. There is also a small crack near the toe of the stock; which also appears to be cosmetic and very sound. The most outstanding feature of this musket is the evidence of original tool marks left on the stock from its original manufacture. This is the first time we've been able to examine a Justice musket in such fine a condition; and it is easy to see why the muskets had such a bad reputation for poorly finished stocks.
The barrel is very good with no rust or pitting. Both front and rear sights are present and unmodified. The .69 caliber bore is in great shape no major rust and strong rifling.
The brass hardware is in excellent condition and all matching. The ramrod is original and full length.
Included with this musket is an ultra rare P.S. Justice bayonet. These bayonets were not tempored by the arsenal and tended to bend in the field; thus records indicate that most were discarded; making them very rare. What's even more rare is the fact that this bayonet is numbered to gun - indicating that the two have been mated together since the musket was built more than a century and a half ago.
Justice muskets are as rare as they are unique. This is the first time in 5 years that we've had a chance to offer one for sale. Add this to your collection and we're sure you'll be as fascinated with it as we are.