Revolutionary War weapons?


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Malamute
March 27, 2010, 10:53 PM
There's a thread in the rifle section asking about Revolutionary and Civil War weapons. Anybody have any info they want to share with the guy?

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Bill from NJ
March 28, 2010, 09:47 AM
I too am very curious about those weapons used during the American Revolution, especially the ones used by the American militia.

Thank you.

Texas Moon
March 28, 2010, 09:58 AM
There wasn't anything like a standard issue.
Most of the American units used either the Brown Bess or similar muskets.
Militia used all kinds, including a lot of one of/hand made hunting style rifles.
IIRC, rifles were not favored for military use because they were so slow to load. While in line of battle this was considered unacceptable. Plus most rifles didn't accept a bayonet.

4v50 Gary
March 28, 2010, 12:13 PM
Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I posted in that thread. A link to the thread is found right Here (http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=513991)

Al LaVodka
March 28, 2010, 12:15 PM
Fowlers for Militia were common too. Where I am from the militia did have lots of military musket-bearing men. 2nd Model Bess' were more plentiful for Americans than 3rd model which only camre over with seasoned British Regualrs. But we took everything we could that'd shoot. A unit I work with was reknowned for their 1728/46 French Muskets. We had lots of British stores here from before the war and the French (i.e. the 1766's) and Dutch gave us lots of old stuff to fight with too...
Al

Loyalist Dave
March 29, 2010, 05:58 PM
Actually, the 2nd Model Bess was the newest version, so the Americans would've been armed with 1st Models (as were most of the British Regular infantry), possibly the improved version with the metal rammer and supported frizzen, but still not the 2nd model. AFTER France entered the war, there was a pretty good transition to older model French Muskets. Militia would be determined as to where they were located. Frontier militia in Maryland would've had their own weapons, fowlers with some old bess and a frew rifles, but Baltimore City Militia would've all been F&I era Bess muskets.

LD

surbat6
March 30, 2010, 01:13 AM
Americans used whatever was available. Muskets from Germany, Belgium and France (mostly older models) were imported. Older British Long Land Pattern Muskets were left over from the French and Indian war. Current pattern muskets were also captured from the British and Hessians. American Gunsmiths made muskets for the Continental Army. After Saratoga, France sent shiploads of muskets, mostly 1763 and older models, along with wool cloth for regimental coats. They also brought muskets, fowling pieces and rifles (not as many rifles as you'd think) from home.
The British were mostly armed with the Short Land Pattern Musket, now usually called the 2nd Model Brown Bess (not an official English designation). Sergeants and light infantry were armed with fusils (pronounced "fu-see"), a shorter lighter version of the standard musket. Musketoons or carbines and pistols were carried by cavalry. Dragoons usually carried standard muskets with their pistols. Officers carried pistols.
Except for the Highlanders, pistols were carried in pommel holsters on the saddle. The Highland troops usually carried metal-stocked pistols with belt hooks along with their broadswords and muskets.

Al LaVodka
March 30, 2010, 09:39 AM
Actually, the 2nd Model Bess was the newest version, so the Americans would've been armed with 1st Models (as were most of the British Regular infantry), possibly the improved version with the metal rammer and supported frizzen, but still not the 2nd model. .

LD
LOL Quite right. Holy cow -- its hard to mix those two up. Just got the numbers wrong.

Highland regimants INITIALLY carried those plus a dagger (there were no sock knives yet) but their pistols, daggers and swords were taken away very early on (as detrimental in this theater of operations) and they were left only with their muskets and bayonets.

Tnx

Al

Loyalist Dave
March 30, 2010, 04:01 PM
1st Model King's Musket,..., then..., (jokingly) First Model A1 ;), First Model A2 ;), ..., and don't forget Dublin Castle versions, and then the 2nd Model..., (HA!) it's mostly our terminology, not theirs, after all.

The British were mostly armed with the Short Land Pattern Musket, now usually called the 2nd Model Brown Bess (not an official English designation). Actually if you check the regiments deployed in America, it was the 2nd and 3rd variations of the "first model" King's musket. Not the short land or 2nd model that predominated in the Americas.

For the Continentals, one must remember the regular army in the second half of the war really pushed toward the French muskets. Add to that the French Army having more "updated" versions of their muskets, and you have the predominant weapon design of the Winning side of the AWI. Dutch muskets are copies of the French design (imho) as were the later American muskets of the new nation.

LD

surbat6
March 30, 2010, 05:18 PM
(from Red Coat and Brown Bess
"Many authorities in the United Kingdom felt that the length of the Long Land barrel was too long and unneccessary. Experiments had shown that a barrel length reduction had no effect on range, A shorter barrel would mean a weight reduction, not to mention ease in handling. Dragoons had used the Short Land Pattern musket, one with a 42 inch barrel for years...In June of 1768 the Ordnance decided upon a new pattern musket for land service. It was, in effect, a modified version of the Dragoon short land...Although generally referred to as the Second Model Brown Bess, the musket's actual contemporary nomenclature was the Short Land Service Musket (New Pattern)."
Production commenced in 1769.
"Very limited production of the Long Land continued for a few years, perhaps only on special order...manufacture of Long Land barrels did not cease until 1790. The actual date when the new pattern muskets were first issued to the regiments can only be guessed at. However, the newly-raised Frasier's Highlanders were equipped with them in 1775. The vast majority of muskets examined, which are regimentally marked and can be attributed with reasonable accuracy to use by the British Army in North America during the American Revolution are of the short land pattern. Apparently, the Long Land Service musket was relegated for use by Provincial or Tory battalions that served in the war."


Red Coat and Brown Bess byAnthony D. Darling pub. Museum Restoration Service eighth printing 1987 quotes from pp.21 to 23

Bill from NJ
March 30, 2010, 07:01 PM
Thanks for the great information posted.

Loyalist Dave
April 1, 2010, 08:34 PM
The vast majority of muskets examined, which are regimentally marked and can be attributed with reasonable accuracy to use by the British Army in North America during the American Revolution are of the short land pattern.

YES, however, the vast majority of muskets in the military records, far far more than those of the above group, are of the long land pattern.

LD

StrawHat
April 4, 2010, 09:19 PM
And let us not forget the Committee of Safety muskets that were produced by gunsmiths during that era. All made to a "standard" but all individual pieces with no parts interchangeable (that would have to wait for Eli Whitney).

Many were unsigned, because if the British were able to prove treasonous actions it would mean death to the smith.

Al LaVodka
April 5, 2010, 12:13 AM
Whitney committed a very extensive hoax -- he did NOT have parts interchangeability, the holy grail of the gunmakers/government industry. He was interested in, and lied about, it but that's it. It had to wait not for Whitney, who should have been executed, but for John Hall (as in The Hall Rifles and Carbines), the real Father Of Mass Production. Machined parts with tight enough tolerances made by average workers to be interchangeable was his innovation. By the way, the Brits referred to this as The American Method of Manufacturing -- WE started the Industrial Revolution either way.

Al

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