Re: Great Debate - Brown Bess Cut down or NOT - Input wanted!!

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Posted by Bill R on February 03, 2000 at 13:53:58:

In Reply to: Re: Great Debate - Brown Bess Cut down or NOT - Input wanted!! posted by Brent on February 03, 2000 at 13:38:06:

Hey thanks Brett!! Interesting points and addition to the debate. There ya go Clabert! Another vote for the "they cut them off" camp. But Brett, I'm not clear......are you saying that maybe they were also ISSUED carbines? Do you have documentation to that affect?

Just goes to show how hard (and interesting) it is to figure out just what did go on three hundred years ago. There are no absolutes in life. Did at least somebody cut down their musket?
Sure, likely. Was it a regimented, deliberate practice? Well, I don't know. I am still doing the mugwamp thing, but the various viewpoints are certainly interesting, broadening, and informative.

Anything more you could add, Brett (and others) to this discussion would be greatly appreciated and absorbed!

Bill R

: What an interesting debate! First, let me say that I have a huge obsession with the French & Indian War, and have done a lot of reading/researching on various related topics. Currently I am a college anthropology/archaeology major, and hope to become an historical archaeologist specializing in Fench & Indian War archaeology.
: In much of my reading I have seen numerous references to Rangers, Light Infantry, Provincial and Regular units using "shortened muskets". In 1759 Rogers received "special arms", several historians have speculated that these were carbines. According to Mr. Brenton Kemmer in his book Redcoats, Yankees and Allies; in 1757-58 light infantry companies of the 1st, 27th, 42nd, 44th, and 4th batt. 60th were issued French muskets which were shorter and smaller caliber. In 1759 these companies turned in these French muskets for British carbines, which had a 42" barrel in .65 caliber. It seems as though the British had a preference for shorter smaller caliber muskets in the mid. to late war period, especially for their light troops. It does seem reasonable that other Regular and Provincial units would cut down 46" barrels to 42" for the sake of uniformity. Many Provincial units were constantly trying to achieve some form of uniformity among the men in regards to clothing, arms, and other gear. In a Provincial regt. where men were paid a bounty to bring their own arms, there could be muskets ranging from 4 foot to 6 foot in length.
: -Brent

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