Make: Marine T. Wickham, Philadelphia
Model: Model 1816 Musket
Serial Number: None
Year of Manufacture: 1835
Caliber: .69 Caliber Ball
Action Type: Flintlock
Markings: The lockplate is marked “PHILL”, a liberty bell stamp, “1835” and “US / W. T. WICKHAM”. The left side of the barrel is marked “US / TW” / a “P” proof mark. The butt plate rollover is marked “US”. The barrel tang is marked “1835”. The left side of the stock above the trigger bears an Oval “TW” cartouche. The comb is marked with a “HKG” cartouche. The bayonet lug is marked “N”.
Barrel Length: 42” Round
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a rounded brass blade on the forward barrel band and there is no provision for a rear sight.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The one piece smooth walnut stock exhibits scattered handling marks and dings in the wood, The oiled finish is quite thick. A 1 ¼” sliver of wood has been shaved off the top right edge of the forend and some small chips in the wood are visible at the forward edge of the trigger guard assembly. The fit of the stock to the metal is tight and the stock is a little shy of the butt plate toward on the right side and toe. No evidence of sanding is apparent and it is expected that the wood has experienced some shrinkage over time. The LOP measures 13 ½” from the front of the trigger to the back of the rifle style rollover butt plate which exhibits wear, pinprick surface loss and traces of oxidation. The butt plate rates in Excellent condition and the stock rates in about Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: National Armory Bright
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is dark and rough. There is shallow erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 88% of its metal finish. The overall appearance is very bright. It is likely this rifle has been thoroughly cleaned but not polished. A dusting of pinprick surface loss is visible along the barrel with a 3/4” cluster of surface erosion evident forward of the lockworks. A spot of surface erosion is apparent on the barrel above the flash pan. A coating of marks and a dulling of the finish is present on the forward 2” of the barrel and the edges of the bayonet lug are rounded. A few spots of surface erosion can be seen scattered along the barrel. The barrel bands show signs of an aggressive cleaning. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are shallow and legible. Overall, this rifle rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The dog’s head locks firmly into both full and half cock and will not fall from half cock. The springs are very strong and the trigger pull cannot be described as light, but this is an 1835 military flintlock; what do you expect? We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: A steel ramrod resides in the fittings. The ramrod looks to be in Fine condition and is fitted very tight. We were not able to remove it.
Our Assessment: Almost 700,000 M1816s were produced at the Arsenals at Harper’s Ferry and Springfield, and dozens of gun makers were contracted to produce identical muskets. Marine T. Wickham of Philadelphia was contracted to make over 16,000 units between 1822 and 1837. This is a late production Wickham musket manufactured in 1835 finished in ‘National Armory Bright’ and is in wonderful condition. The stock shows scattered marks and displays a thick oiled finish. The metal is bright and shiny, having been aggressively cleaned but no polished. Most of the 1816 muskets were converted to percussion and flintlock versions are rare. Wickham was from Lancaster County, PA and served as the Master Armorer at the Harper’s Ferry Armory for several years. Later, he opened a workshop in Philadelphia where he built 1816s for the US Government. The barrel, lockplate and butt plate rollover sport a “US” stamp and the“TW” cartouche of Armory Sub Inspector Thomas Warner can be seen on the left side of the stock. On the comb at the butt plate rollover, a “HKC” cartouche can be seen, which is the mark of Henry Knox Craig, a Lieutenant and Chief Ordinance officer between the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American war. The Contract Model 1816 was a common rifle in the early 1800s, but few remain in the original flintlock configuration. This one, built by former Master Armorer Marine T. Wickham is in Fine condition and will be a striking addition to any collection.