Posted by Clabert on February 03, 2000 at 18:43:22:
In Reply to: Re: Great Debate - Brown Bess Cut down or NOT - Input wanted!! posted by Bill R on February 03, 2000 at 10:44:42:
: That`s right Bill. For the longest time, these were the only two commercial Brown Bess muskets available. The number of 1st models in the field are small but growing. And the number of those that agree with this are small as well. But the numbers are starting to rise. Before Kit died, he was offering to convert your 2nd model to a 1st model for $90. I think a person could still have this done for under $100. It simply involves a new butt plate, side plate and changing the date on the lock plate. Kit also told me the wooden ramrods were never issued on muskets with the lockstyle on these 2nd models repro`s. The current lock is correct for these muskets and replacing the iron rod with a wooden one would only reverse what you had done. Making the musket wrong again.
The butt plate and side plates can be found in the Dixie Gun Works and Track of the Wolf Catalogs. I have yet to convert my "Bess Carbine" from 2nd to 1st model only because of how I got it in the first place. If I had purchased it from a gun shop or second hand, it would already have been done.
: Again, Clabert, thanks for that information. As I said, I am swaying back into your camp. Another thought did occur to me though....is it not true that reenactors fully accept the 1762 Grice marked 2nd model Bess in both Rev War and F&I war reenacting because of availability and cost......even though as you say likely none ever reached these shores in time to participate in those wars? It was a long time ago for me, but I seem to remember that units by and large carried the 2nd model due to those two factors....availability and cost. Correct?
: Bill R
: : OK Bill. Here are a few comments that I recieved from a few of my friends. To this I`ld like to add that I had many phone conversations about the 1st and 2nd Model Brown Bess with the late Kit Ravenshir a few years before he passed. He worked at London Armoury for years before leaving the British Army and moving to the U.S. He serviced and restored many originals. He also said that the Long Land Pattern had a 46 inch barrel. When the 1st Model Short Land pattern came out with a 42 inch barrel, the older muskets were shortened to match. He also told me he had never found any evidence that the 1762 2nd model Bess had been issued to any troups crossing the ocean for the American Revolution. He said it was not seen here till years after the war. This would make the Italian and Japanese 2nd model repro`s incorrect for Rev War reenacting.
: : Here is what some of the others have to say;
: : There was an arms shortage in the British military at the time of
: : the French and Indian War as Moller notes in AMERICAN MILITARY SHOULDER
: : ARMS VOL 1. This resulted in British purchases of Dutch and Belgian
: : manufactured arms and in requests of Provincial Governors that men joining
: : Provincial Troops bring there own civilian arms. There has been conjecture
: : by authors such as DeWitt Bailey that most of the arms in the hands of
: : north American troops were older, somewhat outdated, firelocks. Newer arms
: : were more likely reserved for service on the European continent during the
: : Seven Years War.
: : 4 inches seems abit much if all you wish to do is true up a damaged
: : muzzle. Half an inch should do that. I've heard it conjectured that the
: : barrel sections could also represent an attempt to shorten a much longer
: : civilian fowler to manageable length. This was at a lecture and I don't
: : have a citation to point anyone to. Interesting none the less.
: : Also interesting to note that 4 inches off a Long Land barrel brings
: : you to 42 inches, the lenght of a Dragoon Short Land.
: : I have not seen every doc on firelocks issued in North America. My
: : understanding is that, do to mounted troops seeing little service here,
: : mid-century Cavalry Carbines are not common finds on this continent. I'd
: : really want to see docs on how much service Elliot Carbines saw here in the
: : Seven Years War.
: : There are surviving examples of cut down "bess" of course, but when
: : and why they were cut is impossible to guess.
: : Clabert
: : ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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