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The Bridesburg Machine Works of Bridesburg, Pennsylvania, agreed in late 1861 to make 75,000 rifle-muskets for the United States military. These guns replaced the older flintlock muskets that did not always work well. The new guns had a new firing system first introduced in the 1840's, called the percussion system. Instead of depending upon a flint to give a spark, a small brass cap placed upon a tiny knob made the small explosion, or "percussion," that fired the main gunpowder charge in the barrel. Civil War soldiers still had to load their muskets by pouring and then ramming gunpowder and a bullet down the gun barrel. A member of the 10th Massachusetts Regiment carried this rifle-musket in the Civil War (1861-1865).


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Bridesburg Percussion Musket

date   1862
location   American/ United States
barrel   39.25"
stock   10.25"
process/materials   wood, metal
item type   Weapons/Armament - Firearm
accession #   #1930.02.02

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