View Full Version : How to tell one variation of the Fencing Musket from another
IIRC from what I've read. Fencing Muskets made between 1906 and 1909 used socket bayonets and are called “Type III”. The later “Type IV” made between 1909 and 1916 used flat spring blade bayonets with two mounting rings at the muzzle. Both had lead in the muzzle in order to approximate the weight of an '03 - but some have been found with the lead obviously removed. The one's I've seen for sale all had the hammer and cam latch lever removed.
Dan's understanding agrees with mine.
The nucleus of my spare parts stash was acquired in 1971 when I obtained parts of some 20+ fencing muskets from a little theater company. Most had blocks, but none had thumbpieces. Most barrels still had lead, which took the form of three separate "slugs" each about six inches long - clearly three ladle dips. A small loose-fitting hickory plug (purpose unknown, but was clearly not a stopper) was found in most of the chambers. I have no doubt that what I found was the original application. All were type IV, screw-applied bayonet. I kept the nicest, which was nearly mint, as regards block and tang. Stock is dated 1880. Have the '09 and '12 bayonets; the '06 is RARE. I substituted the spring from a ball-point pen, sufficent to keep it shut, but not so strong as to prevent opening with one's fingernails. I probably still have a few thumblatch shafts without thumbpiece.
"A small loose-fitting hickory plug (purpose unknown, but was clearly not a stopper) was found in most of the chambers."
Dick, what are the chances it was a stopper - in-so-far as being temporary (we don't care what happens with it later). Wet the stopper, shove it into the chamber. Pour lead into the barrel (1st plug). Lead hits wet stopper and cools. More lead is added for the proper weight. Later on, the stopper dries/shrinks even further - it may or may not fall from the chamber, but only if someone opens the receiver.
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