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Building a British Pattern 1760 Light Infantry Fusil

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Hi Brokennock,
Those are good questions and I can address all of them. It is called the pattern 1760 because that is the year of the British ordnance warrant specifying the gun. They were produced during 1761-1762. Ignore dates on the locks because ordnance simply used locks already in storage. The carbine (it is 65 caliber) was developed because several high ranking officers who served in North America realized they needed lightly equipped light infantry to use as scouts and flankers during warfare in forested environs. The gun was ordered and developed too late to be used during the F&I war. In 1771, William Howe reconstituted the light companies and they were equipped with the carbine, which had been in storage. Pattern 1760s were issued to light companies before the Rev War and most if not all light infantry had them during the first years of the war. That is significant because the British companies that faced off Parker's militia at Lexington on April 19, 1775 were light infantry units from the 4th and 10th regiments. They were led by a Marine Lieutenant named Jesse Adair (the odd leadership situation was because Gage sent officers with combat experience to lead the troops to Concord. Most of his men and officers were green). Consequently, the first shots by the British at Lexington likely were from pattern 1760 carbines not Brown Bess muskets. The carbines were lightly built, more like fowlers than muskets, and weighed 7-8 lbs. That was their weakness, however. They could not stand long, hard service and were eventually replaced by pattern 1769 and 1777 short land muskets.

Hi Dave,

As I'm sure you know, Nose Bands were installed by both the Board of Ordnance "fitters" and Artificers/Armorers in the field, the latter all over the world. These latter ones may or may not have been inlet, depending on the skill and amount of time Artificers had to do the job. Some look like they were just wrapped around the stock fore end and maybe a little inletting where the bands went over the stock and down into the barrel channel.

Your Nose Band is probably better than how they did it at the Ordnance Board.

Sure enjoying you sharing this build with us.

Brokennock The 1760 Carbine 42" long barrel but carbine bore hence classed as a' carbine ' is quite light , has no bands and would serve as a fowling piece should the owner fancy to use it so. As to US use I think it was planned for the 7 years war period but not used till later in the revolting period . I trust that answers your query .

Dave Thank you Ile get them presently my daughter is over in the US at present . Ime hopeless with these modern gajets. Regards Rudyard

Well lads, I am almost done. It has been a while since my last post on this carbine. I've been too busy to take photos and post them. I'll catch up now. This has been a really fun project despite the problems with the stock. I managed to correct all of them with one exception, TRS should have left more wood on the butt of the stock. I cannot make it quite as bulbous and rounded as the originals. So be it. I did resolve one important issue. The parts set comes with a brass Bess-type trigger plate and the stock was machine inlet for the plate. The pattern 1760 light infantry carbine did not have a trigger plate. The trigger was slotted into the wood but its front butted against a rectangular iron nut into which the tang bolt was threaded. As far as I know, this was a feature unique to this carbine and its predecessor, the pattern 1745 Lord Loudoun carbine. I could not just file away the inlet for the trigger plate but the issue really bugged me. Soooooo , I used the brass trigger plate as a gauge, and filed a piece of walnut to it. Then I glued the walnut into the machine inlet cutting it off at the front of the trigger slot. Then I made a rectangular steel nut to fill the forward space and threaded it for the tang bolt. It came out really well. The fitted wood is so tight that when stained and finished, the seams will disappear.


I polished the lock internals and tuned the springs. I had to cut a new full cock notch closer to the half cock notch because the throw of the cock was absurd given the existing full cock notch. It can back so far that the bend in the cock would never clear the stock no matter how thi you made it. I wonder if the tumbler was cast from a correct lock. Anyway, I cut a new notch and it works perfectly. The lock is superb even for a musket lock. It will perform very well.

Well, here is where I am. I suggest the pattern 1760 light infantry carbine (fusil) is one of the most elegant British muskets ever. It will be about 8 lbs compared to 10 or 11 for a Brown Bess musket. My problem now is that I tend to finish military guns too finely. It is too easy for me to shape the stock, cut moldings, and other features with more exactness than they actually did. So here is what I am going to do. From the current condition of the stock, I will use files, scrapers and coarse sandpaper to finish the stock ready for stain in one 8-10 hour work day. At the end of that day, I am done and ready for stain and finish. I'll do no whiskering but will stain the stock to make the American black walnut look like English walnut. Then I will apply thick coats of oil-varnish. I did something similar building a Rev War period Reading rifle and the look was good.

Enough for now. I am off to Lewisburg.





The L. I. Carbine & Lord Loudons having no trigger plate seems odd . I made mine from just the local W nut wood and my own mounts in house no imports spepting a Lott lock filled and cut the Ordnance marks, barrel was turned up rough by old friend in Washington state .Presume you have seen original I shan't alter it minor difference anyway will contrive to send you a pic on my daughters glass phone thing, plus the conjectural Ist Pattern Royal Foresters .I got up only I made that lock .Cheers Rudyard
Hi Maurice,
I've only seen one LI fusil in the flesh and am going from my notes on that gun as well as descriptions by Dewitt Bailey and other published photos. The lack of a trigger plate is odd to me too because I really don't know any good reason not to use a trigger plate. I guess it cut some cost but that must have been a pretty small savings. Nonetheless, the wood slot and nut works well but it sure did not save me any time,


Looking back at the pics on what you had to deal with on the stock, the transfiguration is amazing. Lovely way you fixed the stock so as not to use a trigger plate. I hope the new owner appreciates what you had to do to bring this Arm to fruition!

Too nice. As I said earlier, I was never "into" muskets, now, this one changes things.

Thanks for sharing.

Though I have never seen the documentation, it seems some of the P1760 Light Infantry Carbines were sent over here very late in the FIW as replacements for Highlander Carbines that had been "broken or worn out in service." Bailey and some other sources mention this, but they never cite the documentation.

Though I have never seen the documentation, it seems some of the P1760 Light Infantry Carbines were sent over here very late in the FIW as replacements for Highlander Carbines that had been "broken or worn out in service." Bailey and some other sources mention this, but they never cite the documentation.

Thanks Gus. Fan the flames why don't you, lol.
Thanks for looking guys. Gus, Bailey does write that some carbines may have been sent to North America during the last years of the F&I war or Pontiac's rebellion but he states there is no clear documentation. If some were sent, it probably was not many and listed as "carbines of sorts", which makes it very ambiguous. What we do know is that most, if not all light infantry companies were issued the pattern 1760 by 1774. That means that the light infantry companies from the 4th and 10th regiments that faced the militia under Parker at Lexington on that April day, the British company that fired first at the north bridge in Concord, and the LI unit facing John Stark at Breed's Hill all carried the carbine. It is a very important historical gun and a very nice handling and elegant carbine. Its weakness is it is so light it did not last long in hard service and I can now understand why. It really is a cross between a musket and a fowler.

Thanks Gus. Fan the flames why don't you, lol.

Chuckle. Didn't mean to fan any flames as I completely agree with Dave's comments on the Carbines sent over at the end of the FIW have never been completely identified. Actually, that is not surprising. British Ordnance policy was to issue the oldest Arms in store first. On top of that and in the FIW, British Ordnance for the most part, did not allow steel rammer Arms to be issued to troops coming here, though there were some exceptions. Unlike other units, Highland Regiments came here mostly armed with Carbines throughout the FIW.

What most likely happened when British Ordnance got the request for Carbines near the end of the FIW, they gathered up what they had in store, no matter when made, and sent the requested number of arms they had on hand. When they ran out of older arms, then and only then would they have filled the final number of Arms in the request with the "newer' LI Carbines.


Well, I am back at it. I final filed, scraped, and sanded the stock in one work day. I used coarse and fine files.

I then scraped the stock with a carpet scraper blade and used 60, then 120 grit paper to clean up tight areas. I was now ready for stain.

The stock is American black walnut and a rather dodgy piece at that. To make it look "old new stock", I made a dilute stain of black aniline dye and water. I stained the whole stock black and then scraped and sanded off the black. The dye showed any scratches but also embeds in the grain. After scraping and sanding the black still colors the grain and will make the stock look like the originals even when new. I think British ordnance valued speed and economy so cleaning the stocks up before finish and clean varnish probably were not priorities.


I then stained the stock with pure yellow aniline dye. That kills the cold purple-brown tone of black walnut and warms it up to look much more like English walnut.

Then I stained the stock again with alkanet root infused in mineral spirits. This imparts a deep red tone making the stock more orangey brown. After this stain, I rubbed the stock lightly with a maroon Scotch Bright pad and burnished it with a polished deer antler tip. That smoothes the finish and gives it an old, mellow look as well as creates a sheen on the wood. The stock will require fewer coats to fill the walnut grain.




Tomorrow I will put sealer coats of thinned Sutherland-Welles polymerized tung oil mixed with some alkanet root stain to add a little more red color. Once sealed, I'll just used unthinned tung oil to build up a fairly thick varnish-like final finish. While that is drying, I'll polish the rest of the brass, make the ramrod, and start work on a Brown Bess lock.

Hi Richard, Gus, Wayne, and Brokennock,
Thank you for looking and kind comments. I've been doing this to black walnut for some time but I continue to refine it with each project. Of course a lot depends on the particular piece of wood. Richard, my methods take some work but they add a lot of warm color to black walnut. Keep in mind, I am building a musket and British ordnance was not concerned that the finish filled all the grain and was perfectly smooth. On a higher-end civilian gun, I urge you to add another step, one that really makes a difference in the smoothness of the finish on walnut. After all the staining, apply the first coat of oil, oil-varnish, or varnish with 220 grit sandpaper. Dip the sandpaper in the finish and sand the wood until you create a slurry of finish and sawdust. Do the complete stock that way and let the slurry dry on the stock for a day or two. Then use 320 grit paper to sand off the dried slurry. It will have filled the grain leaving behind a nice glassy smooth surface. Sometimes I do this twice but usually only once. Then apply sparing coats of finish until you get the sheen you want. I usually tint the finish with alkanet root. The guns below were finished in that manner.