Object Title

Flintlock muzzle-loading military rifle-musket - Fusillier Model 1787 (Modified in 1796)

Flintlock muzzle-loading military rifle-musket - Fusillier Model 1787 (Modified in 1796)

Date

about 1790

Object Number

XII.2281

Provenance

Old Tower Collection

Physical Description

The lock on this weapon although conforming to the standard 18th century Prussian lock in design, is somewhat smaller in size and proportions. The flat plate with its bevelled edges measures 6 ¼ inches by 1 ¼ inches. The steel spring has the usual ornamental file cuts and facets with a flattened tear drop finial. The steel is flat on top and faceted at the back and the cock is the usual swan neck flat with bevelled edge and faceted hexagonal jaws. Despite the lateness of its manufacture the detachable faceted iron pan is made without a bridle. Stocked to 3 ¼ inches of the muzzle the barrel is retained by two pins and the upper sling loop screw. Brass furniture throughout is of typical Prussian pattern. Flat brass fore-end cap 15/16 inches wide. Three heavy tapered octagonally formed ramrod pipes and a tailpipe with octagonal tube and faceted tapering finial. The one piece trigger guard has the lower sling loop passing beneath the forward finial, the original fixing beneath the rear finial now plugged and held by a screw through the finial on each side. The guard is flat with bevelled edges and the bow has two grooves to emphasise the facets. Curled triggers. The heavy flat butt pale has an ornamental tang extending just over half way along the comb with 28 lightly engraved and the crowned cypher of FWR (Frederick William II) at the base of the tang. The wavy side plate is flat and proud of the side plate flat, with bevelled edges.

The lock screws and tail screw of the plate are flat and flush with the surface of the plate. The full length of the ramrod channel, lock plate, side plate and barrel tang have raised carving terminating in broad tear drops typical of Prussian arms. The iron ramrod is heavy and tapered with a flat head having a small lip just at the edge with the face slightly concave. The left side of the butt has a slightly raised, rounded cheek rest with the semi-handrail butt extending into it at the front in an unusual manner. The full round barrel is turned at the breech in the usual way. The bayonet stud is on the underside at the muzzle. The foresight is a long brass blade brazed to the barrel 4 ¾ inches from the muzzle. The barrel tang is made high at the front but this has not been grooved to act as a back sight which is the normal procedure.

Techniques

Mass manufacture

Materials

Dimensions

BarrelLength40.9in.
BarrelLength1040mm
OverallLength56.69in.
OverallLength1440mm
OverallWeight4.76kg
OverallWeight10.5lb oz

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number NVN

Calibre

17.2 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

Store Keeper's mark
1788
Butt
Stamped
Controller's Mark
DSE
Bevel
Engraved
Stock maker's mark
IB
Side plate
Stamped
Maker's mark
POTZDAMMAGAZ
Ahead of cock
Engraved
Acceptance mark
Prussian Eagle
Barrel at the breech
Stamped

Associations

Notes

These arms were introduced in 1787 in fusilier regiments and were the first in a series of arms which extended the use of the rifled bore in Prussian service. They led to the establishment of special small corps of skirmishers armed with scheutzengewehr as distinct to the riddle-armed jaegers. D S E (David Splittgerber Erben, proprietors of the Potsdam Arsenal 1775 - 1795).