1600’S LONGRIFLE QUESTION

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Artie Peltier

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My 8th Great Grandfather was Guillaume Pelletier. He was born May 1598 in France and died in Canada on November 1657. On February 1619 he left France with his family and traved to New France, (Canada), in what is now Quebec, where he worked as an indentured servant, as a trapper and carpenter for three years. After the three years he was a free man and was given money and a tract of land alone the St. Lawrence River. He was on the first ship to Canada and is responsible for starting the first colony with the 60 other people on the ship.

Ok enough of my family history and I apologize for the long introduction. I want to base my persona after him and I need to know what firearms, pistol and rifle would be period correct. I did some research and think it would be an early style flintlock. Hope you can help. Thanks. Art1C20F386-830F-442B-9062-18E3CDCFD676.jpegEarly drawing of what he looked like
 

rich pierce

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Well, his gun would be a smoothbore French fusil of that period. No rifle and perhaps no pistol, though a large bore pistol is not out of the question.
 

Zonie

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The guns used during the early to mid 1600's were most often matchlocks with a few wheel-locks and Snaphaunce's thrown in. Wheel-locks were complicated and very expensive. The Snaphaunce is an early form of flintlock. The frizzen and the pan cover are seperate pieces with the pan cover being slid to the side to expose the priming powder in the pan as the cock falls. The Snaphaunce, unlike the later flintlocks, it did not have a half cock or safety. This led to the English lock which combined the frizzen and the pan cover and had a type of internal safety and dog lock which used a exposed hook like catch to keep the cock (hammer) from accidentally falling.
The stocks on all of these early guns are rather strange looking to us modern people so some research needs to be done to see their styling.
Our "Pre Flintlock" section of the forum has a lot of useful information in it that can help.
 

Cruzatte

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My 8th Great Grandfather was Guillaume Pelletier. He was born May 1598 in France and died in Canada on November 1657. On February 1619 he left France with his family and traved to New France, (Canada), in what is now Quebec, where he worked as an indentured servant, as a trapper and carpenter for three years. After the three years he was a free man and was given money and a tract of land alone the St. Lawrence River. He was on the first ship to Canada and is responsible for starting the first colony with the 60 other people on the ship.

Ok enough of my family history and I apologize for the long introduction. I want to base my persona after him and I need to know what firearms, pistol and rifle would be period correct. I did some research and think it would be an early style flintlock. Hope you can help. Thanks. ArtView attachment 34390Early drawing of what he looked like
I don't wish to sound doctrinaire, but a long rifle is out of the question. An early style French made export grade smooth bore, is more in keeping with the era, perhaps even a matchlock at such an early date.
 

Belleville

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My 8th Great Grandfather was Guillaume Pelletier. He was born May 1598 in France and died in Canada on November 1657. On February 1619 he left France with his family and traved to New France, (Canada), in what is now Quebec, where he worked as an indentured servant, as a trapper and carpenter for three years. After the three years he was a free man and was given money and a tract of land alone the St. Lawrence River. He was on the first ship to Canada and is responsible for starting the first colony with the 60 other people on the ship.

Ok enough of my family history and I apologize for the long introduction. I want to base my persona after him and I need to know what firearms, pistol and rifle would be period correct. I did some research and think it would be an early style flintlock. Hope you can help. Thanks. ArtView attachment 34390Early drawing of what he looked like
Artie,

You might find Torsten Lenk's book "The Flintlock: its origin and development" useful. It has been reprinted so you should be able to find a copy. Some of the examples shown were built for the aristocracy and not something a humble man would have owned.

Did find a dated 1636 French lock in my files see att.
 

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Stophel

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1619 is REALLY early. I'm with Tenngun, and I'd bet that he never owned any kind of firearm at all. For military/militia service, he may have been issued a matchlock musket.
 

Rudyard

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Given his earlier circumstances he most likley might not have any gun but perhaps later acquired some sort , likely a matchlock . Some thing after the top gun in Lenk's book a pot belied affair .He gives 1625 /30 Western Europe . But nothing like as fancy just a plain affair I copied this same style years ago .

I mean he's a Colonist free of service .On the frontier Jacks as good as his master and via the trapping might have done well .Either way some gun would ide think be a desirum . Highly so more I think about it ,.Got to carry something to a rendezvous type event , he wouldn't do much trapping in his back garden . Sounds fun ,nice to have the family history .
Regards Rudyard
 

rickystl

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Hi Artie

It sounds like you are generally looking for something in use during the 1620-1650 period. If it needs to be of French origin this will be difficult - for what is available today. But one could speculate that your GGG....Grandfather might have purchased a musket sometime after reaching French Canada. Maybe even second hand. Pistols, during this period seemed to be relegated mostly for military use as they would not have any practical hunting use. I'm somewhat guessing that the guns in use in Quebec during the pre-1650 period could have been from French, English, or other origins. As Zonie mentions, during this time period of 1620-1650 there were matchlocks, wheellocks, snaphaunce, English (Jacobian) locks, early doglocks, and a variety of Scandinavian style snaplocks all in use at the same time. It's what many shooters/collectors call the "transition" period. From about 1575-1650 where all kinds of experimentation in lock making continued on it's way to the development of what we call the true French style flintlock (about 1660/70).
If we eliminate the matchlock and wheellock, that leaves us with some style of early flintlock. Attached is a photo of a French musket dated between 1625-1650. To my knowledge, no one (including TRS) makes a French style lock during this period. But, if you can use something from an English pattern, you have a couple options.

RickEarly French Musket 2.jpg
 

Zonie

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1619 is REALLY early. I'm with Tenngun, and I'd bet that he never owned any kind of firearm at all. For military/militia service, he may have been issued a matchlock musket.
The people on the May-Flower in 1620 were advised to bring firearms.
This is part of a post I entered elsewhere on the forum:

To find what the Pilgrims used for guns, I looked at my copy of the book, "THE MAY-FLOWER & HER LOG", by Azel Ames, M.D., © 1901.

Appearently the doctor couldn't find the May-Flower's Book of Lading listing arms, however he did present a section in the book about the guns and armament they took on the voyage.

On page 227 he writes,

"The arms and accouterments (besides ordanance) of the May-Flower Pilgrims, known on the authority of Bradford and Winslow to have been brought by them, included muskets ("matchlocks"), "snaphances" (flintlocks), armor ("corslets," "cuirasses," "helmets," "bandoliers," etc.) swords, "curtlaxes" (cutlasses), "daggers," powder, "mould-shot, "match" (slow-match for guns), "flints," belts, "knapsacks," "drum," "trumpet," manacles," "leg-irons," ec., ec. Pistols" (brass) appear in early inventories, but their absence in the early hand-to-hand encounter at Wessagussett indicates that none were then available, or that they were not trusted...

Josselyn gives the equipment he considers necessary for each man going to New England to settle:--

"Armor compleat:-
One long piece [musket] five feet or five and a half long.
One Sword.
One bandoleer.
One best.
Twenty pounds of powder.
Sixty pounds of shot or lead, pistol and Goose-shot."
Another list gives an idea of "complete armor:" -
"Corselet
Breast [plate or piece]
Back [ditto]
Culet (?)
Gorget [throat-piece].
Tussis [thigh-pieces].
Head-piece" [morion skull-cap]."

Notice the "One long piece five feet or five and a half long".
To me, this indicates that anyone going to the new world from any country would probably taken some sort of gun with them.
 

Olddude

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My 8th Great Grandfather was Guillaume Pelletier. He was born May 1598 in France and died in Canada on November 1657. On February 1619 he left France with his family and traved to New France, (Canada), in what is now Quebec, where he worked as an indentured servant, as a trapper and carpenter for three years. After the three years he was a free man and was given money and a tract of land alone the St. Lawrence River. He was on the first ship to Canada and is responsible for starting the first colony with the 60 other people on the ship.

Ok enough of my family history and I apologize for the long introduction. I want to base my persona after him and I need to know what firearms, pistol and rifle would be period correct. I did some research and think it would be an early style flintlock. Hope you can help. Thanks. ArtView attachment 34390Early drawing of what he looked like
was watching Barkskins what pistol would the English have been giving to the Indians? and why not rifles instead? what kind of rifle? Towers or something else?
 

tenngun

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The people on the May-Flower in 1620 were advised to bring firearms.
This is part of a post I entered elsewhere on the forum:

To find what the Pilgrims used for guns, I looked at my copy of the book, "THE MAY-FLOWER & HER LOG", by Azel Ames, M.D., © 1901.

Appearently the doctor couldn't find the May-Flower's Book of Lading listing arms, however he did present a section in the book about the guns and armament they took on the voyage.

On page 227 he writes,

"The arms and accouterments (besides ordanance) of the May-Flower Pilgrims, known on the authority of Bradford and Winslow to have been brought by them, included muskets ("matchlocks"), "snaphances" (flintlocks), armor ("corslets," "cuirasses," "helmets," "bandoliers," etc.) swords, "curtlaxes" (cutlasses), "daggers," powder, "mould-shot, "match" (slow-match for guns), "flints," belts, "knapsacks," "drum," "trumpet," manacles," "leg-irons," ec., ec. Pistols" (brass) appear in early inventories, but their absence in the early hand-to-hand encounter at Wessagussett indicates that none were then available, or that they were not trusted...

Josselyn gives the equipment he considers necessary for each man going to New England to settle:--

"Armor compleat:-
One long piece [musket] five feet or five and a half long.
One Sword.
One bandoleer.
One best.
Twenty pounds of powder.
Sixty pounds of shot or lead, pistol and Goose-shot."
Another list gives an idea of "complete armor:" -
"Corselet
Breast [plate or piece]
Back [ditto]
Culet (?)
Gorget [throat-piece].
Tussis [thigh-pieces].
Head-piece" [morion skull-cap]."

Notice the "One long piece five feet or five and a half long".
To me, this indicates that anyone going to the new world from any country would probably taken some sort of gun with them.
These were English settlers. The English had a long history of armed yoman. French and Spanish were less likely to arm the lower classes. This would play out in the defense of Canada and later the Mexican Revolution. And we would see a difficulty for the Spanish to expand in to ‘Indian territories’ except as covered by the army. France would likewise make settlements by official moves.
 

Belleville

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Hi Artie

It sounds like you are generally looking for something in use during the 1620-1650 period. If it needs to be of French origin this will be difficult - for what is available today. But one could speculate that your GGG....Grandfather might have purchased a musket sometime after reaching French Canada. Maybe even second hand. Pistols, during this period seemed to be relegated mostly for military use as they would not have any practical hunting use. I'm somewhat guessing that the guns in use in Quebec during the pre-1650 period could have been from French, English, or other origins. As Zonie mentions, during this time period of 1620-1650 there were matchlocks, wheellocks, snaphaunce, English (Jacobian) locks, early doglocks, and a variety of Scandinavian style snaplocks all in use at the same time. It's what many shooters/collectors call the "transition" period. From about 1575-1650 where all kinds of experimentation in lock making continued on it's way to the development of what we call the true French style flintlock (about 1660/70).
If we eliminate the matchlock and wheellock, that leaves us with some style of early flintlock. Attached is a photo of a French musket dated between 1625-1650. To my knowledge, no one (including TRS) makes a French style lock during this period. But, if you can use something from an English pattern, you have a couple options.

RickView attachment 34741
Artie,

Here is a c1650 lock kit, But note it is a pile of parts and if you have no experience fitting a lock, recommend that you find someone qualified to assemble it.
 

rickystl

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WOW!! I did not know this lock kit was available. Going to have to order one of those kits - and then try to find someone interested in assembling it. LOL Would be great addition to my lock collection. Thanks Belleville.

Rick
 

TNGhost

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One would think, that being an indentured servant, he would not have come from France with a firearm. Most certainly upon his release after 3 years if he engaged in trapping as stated, he would have had some sort of musket/fusil, as he was given money and a tract of land along the St, Lawrence (great farming country that, in K-bec, even to this day and Pelletier is a common surname thereabouts).

I tend to agree with rickystl, and believe he would have most likely at some point possessed and early flint type of arm, although he may have started out with a simple matchlock.
 

Artie Peltier

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I just wanted to thank everyone for the weath of information that was provided to me. Do to his extremely early timeline, looks like I am really limited on what I can use. I may move up the family timeline in the same area,Quebec along the St. Lawrence River, where his sons and the family continued to hunt, trap and live. Thanks again Art
 

Pukka Bundook

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Sometimes a gun would be loaned to the trappers by the company they were employed by, for the duration of the hunt or trapping season.
This is more in the "Longhunter" period, and do not know when this began or where.

I think for defense, a trapper at that time would do better to rely on a good and light axe, and Very good legs, rather than a matchlock If this was the only option.
A matchlock will fire well and very quickly, but having it ready when you needed it unexpectedly would be a rare occurrence.
If a snaphaunce was available, That would be a much better option, as it could be kept ready for use.

Best,
Richard.
 
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