A fella I work with has an 1863 Springfield musket - handed down to him from his grandfather.
Apparently, through the story told by his grandfather, the barrel had been cut approx 2" from the breech and 2" from the muzzle. The removed section of barrel had been replaced with a black painted wooden dowel (in the diameter of the barrel.) My first thought was that there may have been some barrel damage, but as the story goes, the grandfather explained that in order to make the rifles 'lighter' for parade use, they cut the barrels.
At first my co-worker wanted to know where a replacement barrel could be found for the restoration project, but I advised him that if such a historical conversion was done near the turn of the 20th century it might be just as well to keep it just the way it is?
Anyone have any thoughts as to worth/history, or know a possible link to a Springfield site where this question would be better suited?
PS. He also has the 'original' bayonet for it, complete with scabbard. On the scabbard, the brass 'US' button has a '29' stampted on the rivet through the leather.
Thanks in advance!
I have a friend who bought one back in 1948 for $12.00 if that helps. He still has it and still shoots it. It's in excellent condition BTW. He told me thousands of them were released by the Govt. for sale to the public back then.