US Springfield Model 1842 .69 Caliber Rifle

  • General History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

The 1842 Model Springfield Rifle was the first US produced rifle to do away with the standard Flintlock style ignition system. The newly developed Percussion Cap (of French design) was implemented as the new norm. Easier to use and setup for firing, Percussion Caps featured a nitrate solution affixed to the inside of a small brass “cap”. The Cap fit onto the ignition port at the end of the barrel and chamber, (known as a “nipple”). When the Cap was struck by the weapon's hammer, the resulting force ignited the nitrate cap (thus causing the needed spark to fire the gunpowder and bullet). For the most part, this innovation removed weather problems (dampness) from firing (unlike the Flintlock and related early firearms). The Springfield 1842 weighed 10-pounds and was 58 inches long.


It fired a standard .69 caliber lead shot to an effective range of 100 yards (with maximum set at 200 yards). A trained Marksman could fire 2 to 3 aimed shots in about 1 minute. Later Models would be rifled so they could incorporate the “new” French .58 caliber Minie Ball. The barrels would also were made thicker so as to accommodate the new rifling pattern. It is estimated some 275,000 Springfield Percussion Rifles were produced. The weapon would see use from it's inception in 1842 until 1865 (and was popular among The American Confederate Army during The Civil War of 1861-65).