Manufactured by Rudolph and Charles Leonard of Canton, Massachusetts between 1808 and 1814, this is one of the approximately 4,208 muskets delivered on contract.
The U.S. War Department contracted with independent gun makers, including the Leonards, to produce Model 1808 muskets due to fears of entanglement with the warring nations of England and France. These muskets were the Harpers Ferry pattern except they had a straighter hammer spur, (top jaw guide), as on the Springfield models. The lock plate has beveled edges with a pointed tip and integral fenced rounded flash pan. The trigger guard has pointed finials, a one piece bow and a separate sling swivel stud mounted ahead of the bow. The tops of the barrel bands are flattened, the upper barrel band has a brass front sight blade and the bayonet lug is mounted on the bottom of the barrel. The lock is marked "CANTON/1812" in a vertical curve behind the hammer and ahead of the hammer is an eagle and shield motif over "U.S." in an oval and "R.& C. LEONARD". The left side rear of the barrel is stamped with a "V", "Eagle head/CT" in an oval and "U.S." proof and inspection marks. The barrel tang is also stamped with a "V" inspection mark.
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