Contract muskets were muskets made and assembled by private gunsmiths for Springfield Armory to help keep up with the demand for the Army. There were several contractors making them for the Springfield, and some are quite collectable today. These gunsmiths would put their names and cities of manufacture and year produced, on the lock plates to identify their guns. This one was made in 1836, by A. Waters, Millbury Mass. It has been converted from flintlock to percussion cap, probably around the 1850’s. It is a 69 cal. smoothbore, and has Masonic symbols and I trials carved into the stock. I found this one hanging on a work shop wall at a friends house. He said all he knew about it was that his dad got it off one of their neighbors years ago, and it stay in the closet until he passed away. Then he got it and hung it on the wall. It came out of Fleming Co. Ky. You just never know where a treasure will show up.