Model 1814 common rifle

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United States Model 1814 rifle
US Model 1814 Johnson made.jpg, Derringer Model 1814 common rifle.jpg
An R. Johnson made US Model 1814 rifle. Johnson was one of two gunsmiths or manufacturers to turn out the Model 1814, the other being Henry Deringer. Note the rifle lock; this rifle was converted to percussion cap. The original would have been a flintlock. The percussion-cap lock still has Johnson's name engraved on it.
Type Rifle
Place of origin  USA
Service history
Used by  USA
Wars Seminole Wars, Civil War
Production history
Designer Henry Deringer
Designed 1814
Manufacturer Gunsmiths Henry Deringer, R. Johnson
Produced 1814–
Length 49 inches (1,200 mm)
Barrel length 33 inches (840 mm)
Width 2.75 inches (70 mm)
Height 7 inches (180 mm)

Cartridge .54 ball, black powder, paper
Caliber 0.54 inches (14 mm)
Action flintlock, muzzle-loaded
Rate of fire 2–3 per minute
Feed system muzzle

The U.S. Model 1814 rifle was designed by Robert T. Wickham. The manufacturing was contracted out to Henry Deringer and R. Johnson to make rifles for use by the military.


Wickham type

This was the U.S. Model 1814 rifle designed by Robert T. Wickham.[1] Two manufacturers made this type, Henry Deringer of Philadelphia and R. Johnston of Connecticut.[1] Wickham sent the pattern to Deringer with a contract for 1000 rifles. One of Deringer's rifles was then sent to R. Johnson to be duplicated, with a contract for 1000 more. It was mounted with iron and had an oval patch box. It had a 33 inch barrel, octagon near the flintlock, turning to round, and using a .54 caliber bullet.[1]

Buttstock from R Johnson M1814.jpg

Pre-production rifles

Not the Model 1814, but a rifle of Deringer's design. It was closer to a Pennsylvania–Kentucky style rifle than a military styled rifle.[2] Deringer began making these rifles for the army before winning the 1814 contract making 51 rifles that were accepted for military service.[2] One example of these rifles survives today.[2] Unlike the Wickam type, the pre-production model was not iron mounted.[2] The rifle is full stocked, with a 38 inch barrel that is octagon near the flintlock and becomes round about a third of the way down the barrel. It had a long-rectangular bronze patch box mounted in the buttstock.[2]

Indian rifle

A smoothbore version was also under contract with the government as a trade rifle, for sales to the Native Americans. The government wanted approximations of long rifles, but did not want them to have rifled weapons.[3]

Barrel and rifling.jpg

Use during the Civil War[edit]

The rifles saw use during the Civil War. Co. A of the 2nd Mississippi Infantry carried these rifles, converted to percussion cap.[4]

Percussion cap conversion US Model 1814.jpg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c The American Rifle Shop, Inc. "1814 Common Rifle (516 A)". Retrieved 2011-12-19. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Professor Charles W. Thayer, Emeritus. "Thayer Americana, Deringer's FIRST US military rifle". Retrieved 2011-12-19. 
  3. ^ Dr. William L. Roberts, THE AMERICAN LIBERTY COLLECTION; #34. "NRA National Firearms Museum, U.S. Henry Deringer Model 1814 Common Rifle". Retrieved 2011-12-19. 
  4. ^ Dave Hunter. "Notes on the Weapons and Accouterments – Company A, 2nd Mississippi Infantry". Retrieved 2011-12-19.