Join Date: Dec 2019
Bern 1804 Cantonal Ordnance musket
By popular demand ... (Fernando and Pukka)
When I acquired this musket it was a real puzzler. It is of the generic Charleville style, but with a couple of with very unusual features. The front band is most peculiar. It has a very long tail that tucks under the middle band. This tail is not an add-on. And the barrel fittings are most certainly not the everyday, highly malleable yellow brass, but a much tougher material that seems to be a kind of bronze. It is slightly reddish, more so than "domestic" brass, but you need natural light to see the difference. The whole long front band (upper band) was made from one piece of this material and the joints are brazed. The lower band does not fit the barrel very snugly, so I thought I could improve matters by forming the reverse curve between barrel and shaft to be a bit tighter. Hammer blows on the form piece that would have easily formed yellow brass just bounced of the stuff, and I gave up for fear of starting a stress fracture. But I repeat, the bands are not cast, they are formed from sheets of a hard material that looks and feels like a bronze or naval brass.
Here are some detail photos:
First a general view
The front band. Note the bayonet lug at the top.
The number on the barrel
The number on the butt
The lock area, on the left.
There are two marks on the barrel that I first thought were rust pits/handling marks.
The one in front could be from vice jaws - I am not sure. It certainly has a pattern, and is not a random rust pit.
The one at the back is IMOH not a handling mark, and not a rust pit either. In the horizontal view, it doesn't make much sense. What got me thinking was the area at top left (in this view) that looks like a portcullis. So I rotated the view through 90 degrees...
... and now I think it is a shield mark.
Finally, where typical long guns of this vintage use pins for the trigger suspension and the fixing lug at the front of the trigger guard, this musket has what can only be described as "pin-screws". The photo is better than any description.
Has anyone seen this trick anywhere else?
Following a tip from Fabian23 on the British Militaria Forums, and thanks to the Canton Museum of Morges, near Lausanne, and a Swiss expert, the musket was identified as:
an 1804 Canton of Bern Ordnance Musket, taken over (and thus overstamped) by the Canton of Aargau.
(Work in progress - now I have to find and resize the photos - watch this space)
So far so good ... but how do I get the photos into the right places in th etext, and not just all in a heap at the end????