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Peculiar trigger guards

Two India pattern muskets marked to the 10th Royal Veteran Battalion recently have come to light in Canada, both of which exhibit an unusual curl in the brass on the inside of  the trigger guard.

The curl is evident in the two accompanying photographs, immediately in front of the trigger. Has anyone seen this type of curl on trigger guard  before? Does anyone have a sense of what was the purpose? When the first musket was examined, it appeared as though the curl might have been the result of accidental damage. But, with the appearance of a second musket with the identical feature, it seems less likely the result of accident and more the product of design.

The first musket examined (in the collection of the Niagara Historical Museum, Niagara-On-The-Lake Ontario) is marked to Number 4 Company, while the second musket (in the collection of Old Fort William, Thunder Bay Ontario) is marked to Number 5 Company and appears to be the Model 1809 variant, with a reinforced cock and the deeper pan.

Can anyone shed light on this small enigma?

10 RVB was raised in the United Kingdom in 1806 specficially for service in the Canadas, where it arrived in 1807. The battalion served throughout the upper and the lower province until it was disbanded in 1816. Many of those who served accepted land grants in Canada where they remained as soldier settlers.


Hmmm interesting. Perhaps it's designed as a something to place your trigger finger on when making ready rather than rest it on the side of the lock or worse on the trigger?
John Waller

Dodgy casting or local armourers modification? Not seen one like that before. Any sign that is is not original to the piece? What is the shape of the front and rear 'point' of the guard? I'm wondering if they were replacement pieces from a different model firelock modded to fit.

Yes, it's big enough to rest the finger on. I had wondered that myself. Never read of that happening though; but definitely a possibility.

Dodgy casting? I don't think so, if only because these are two different models of the India pattern and so made at different times and almost certainly by different makers. Of course, they could be dodgy replacement parts sourced from the same supplier. We haven't been able to examine the two muskets physically side-by-side to compare the guards. This can only be done through photos.

The triggers guards appear to be original to the two pieces, yes. That said, on the Thunder Bay musket, other photos show that two pins, which appear to be associated with holding the trigger guard in place, are missing. The same pins are present, though, in the Niagara-On-The-Lake musket.

Local armourers modification? Yes, I think quite possibly. As I mentioned earlier, they are different models and marked to different companies, but the one thing, presumably, that they have in common is that at one time or another they likely passed through the hands of the same battalion armourer. ... But to what purpose the modification?

Thanks to all who responded.

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