Object Title

Flintlock muzzle-loading combination pike and musket - By Nicholson

Flintlock muzzle-loading combination pike and musket - By Nicholson

Date

1787

Object Number

XII.1958

Provenance

Transferred from R.U.S.I. in 1963 (no.2437)

Physical Description

The lock is a typical India Pattern lock with rounded surface and rounded swan-neck cock, with narrow comb curled slightly outwards. The tail of the plate is formed with a teat, and is crudely engraved with, 1787 over the 4 over quartered heart with VEIC in the quarterings. Ahead of the cock is engraved NICHOLSON and stamped beneath the pan is a small Crowned 4.
Stocked to 5/16 in. of the muzzle, the barrel retained by three pins and the upper cross-bolt for securing to upper ring in which the pike rides. Plain brass fore-end cap, small short trumpet rod pipe, and tailpipe of India Pattern (missing). India Pattern trigger guard, buttplate and sideplate (but flat). The fore-end has two cross-bolts through it, one 2 ins behind the fore-end cap and the other just ahead of the lock. These are fastened with bun-nut screws and strengthened with elliptical-shaped plates. The fore-end is also swelled to further reinforce the upper cross-bolt, which holds a ring which forms the uppermost support for the pike. This ring has a thumb-screw which may be used to secure the pike in a fixed position by friction. The lower cross-bolt in the fore-end secures a socket in which the butt of the pike is fixed when it is to be used against horsemen. This socket is fitted into the forward end of the sideplate flat of the stock. There is a third cross-bolt in the upper corner of the butt just under the buttplate tang, which secures a socket on the left side to hold the butt of the pike when it is not in extended position. The stock is slightly heavier at this point. Otherwise the usual handrail butt pattern is employed.
The round, bright finished barrel is baluster-turned at the breech in the normal manner, and bears commercial London proofmarks on the left breech, and a pair of letters of which only the second, H is clear. The muzzle is cut for what appears to have been a Baker-pattern foresight and there is a low plate on the turning of the breech with an aperture drilled through it for a backsight.
The pike is 6ft. 3.5 in. in overall length, of which the shaft is 5ft. The socket measures 3.5 in. in length and the tapering four-sided blade is 10.75 in. When the pike is in the 'fixed' position it extends 49.75 in. beyond the muzzle. When fastened alongside the musket it extends 30.25 in. beyond the muzzle, approximating the length of an ordinary musket with its bayonet fixed. The head of the pike is formed in the manner of a small gun muzzle and the socket of the blade is fixed with an E.I.Co. spring retainer indicating manufacture probably after 1812 at which date this device was adopted by the Company

Dimensions

BarrelLength30.3inches
BarrelLength770mm
OverallLength1160mm

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number none visible

Calibre

.76 in

Inscriptions and Marks

None

Associations

Places England

Notes

This musket may represent one of Major General W. Morrison's (EIC Madras Artillery) ideas which was submitted in March 1844 and of which a few were made. The pike is X.303.