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Springfield Model 1795 Musket: America’s First Military Production

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The first US-production military arm was the “US musket, Charleville pattern” – known today as the Model 1795 Springfield Musket. Copied from the French 1766 model Charleville which made up the bulk of existing US arms supplies, this was a .69 caliber smoothbore flintlock with a 44.5 inch (1.13m) barrel. Springfield was formally established as a manufacturing center in 1795, and this was its first weapon. By 1798, 3,152 had been made for the government, along with guns of the same pattern made by a myriad of private contractors. It was only in 1799 that quality control concerns led to a requirement to mark a manufacturer’s name to the guns, and Springfield started stamping its name and a date on its guns. This example is dated 1799 on the buttplate, making it the earliest model of identifiable US martial long arm. Total production would end up being between 80,000 and 85,000 guns form Springfield before evolution of the design led to a new model designation in 1816.

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