[Weapons] Unknown Dahlgren -style percussion lock
Posted By: John Morris (188.8.131.52)
Date: Tuesday, 23 March 2010 2154 hrs. EDT
I'm trying to identify the unknown Civil War-period naval percussion lock shown in the linked slideshow.
There are three locks shown. In the photo below, the top lock is marked for USN Dahlgren 12-pounder rifle no. 300, produced in 1863. The lock in the center is the unknown lock. On the bottom is a lock marked for a USN heavy 12-pounder smoothbore boat howitzer dated 1858.
When three locks are shown the unknown is always in the middle. You can recognize the locks as the slideshow goes on, by their color and finish.
All U.S. Navy Dahlgren boat howitzer percussion locks I've seen have similar shapes in that to the rear of what I call the lanyard hole, the top surface of the lock curves down noticeably. In the unknown lock, the top is straight and does not curve behind the lanyard hole.
The unknown lock is different from the two "known" locks in other ways as well. It is about 1/4 inch shorter, end-to-end. The bronze it is made of is a much lighter color than the others, probably meaning there is less copper in the alloy. Also, the hole for the pivot shaft is smaller, so that the neither shaft from the known locks will fit into it. The unknown lock is unmarked, whereas both of the known locks are extensively marked. The unknown lock has an old "original" lanyard, with an apparently handmade wooden handle, not the steel or brass handles which were standard US Navy issue. The head of the unknown lock is a bit taller than the others.
Various weapons which might have used this lock:
1. Dahlgren 24-pounder boat howitzer
2. Dahlgren 20-pounder bronze rifle
3. Confederate 12-pounder boat howitzer
4. Something else we haven't listed (?)
I haven't yet found photos of the first two showing their locks, and there probably isn't any photo of a Confederate boat howitzer, so I'm not sure where to go from here. Any ideas?
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