coffee grinder in stock

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tom in nc

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Which rifles during the Civil War had coffee grinders in the stock? Did they use coffee grinders instead of patch boxes? Anybody ever find or make a coffee grinder that could be inlet into the stock of a rifle stock?
 

Rudyard

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Sharpe's I gather had some fitted . Seems odd but I suppose Soldiers spent much more time in camp than shooting at the opposition.
.Cheers Rudyard
 

Gun Tramp

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A quick Google search reveals much on the coffee mill Sharps. They were designed to grind grain...
 
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They might well of been used to grind the larger grained cannon powder into smaller sizes (FFFg) for use in the rifles.
 

fourbore

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I dont think they actually had any in the field. A handful made and later more made up for collectors. That would be a way cool project. I suppose you would have the forum police say the reproduction was not authentic, even though none were actually used.

Yes, that would be in place of a patch box.

I guess we could all get called out for providing some sources. My off the cuff take, is they were not actually used. That and $1 might get you a cup of coffee with your next gas tank fill up.
 

Loyalist Dave

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I dont think they actually had any in the field. A handful made and later more made up for collectors. That would be a way cool project. I suppose you would have the forum police say the reproduction was not authentic, even though none were actually used.
Wouldn't surprise me if some enterprising fellows got hold of a bunch of them, and to enhance their sales when fixed cartridge rifles were available in large numbers, (at least that was the idea), the rifles were fitted with grinders for folks going West....at least perhaps some of the copies might be such....

"Look here my lad, not only can you use this fine rifle to take down a huge buffalo with merely a single shot fired, but any corn you come across, or any other grain, you always have a grinder with you to turn that into flour for bread. Heck it even grinds up your fresh roasted coffee beans, for a might fine cup. How's that for a ver-say-tile tool, eh? All of that for the low low price of ….."

COFFEE GRINDER.JPG



LD
 
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tom in nc

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When I posted the question I was thinking, my wife collects coffee grinders so if I put one in the stock of the CVA kit I'm building she would be surprised. I'm pretty sure she has no idea such guns were ever made. She might want it hanging over the fireplace instead of my Kentucky long rifle.
 

dave951

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Yup, it was a real item during the War. A very very rare item. So rare that very few documented originals exist and any you come across should be viewed as counterfeit until properly verified. The amount originally made is thought to be about 100 but parts were laying around the arsenal for a while after the War so authenticating an original is really difficult.
 

Griz44Mag

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nkbj

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Explaining how many shots per minute it would fire might be fun if you could keep a straight face.
 

weitzfc

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Which rifles during the Civil War had coffee grinders in the stock? Did they use coffee grinders instead of patch boxes? Anybody ever find or make a coffee grinder that could be inlet into the stock of a rifle stock?
the 1859/63 sharps
 

RedFeather

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My collector's club meets monthly in the conference room beneath the NRA's museum and national headquarters. (Yes, we are VERY lucky!) We usually have a presentation on those nights and one was on the Sharps (slant breech?), with several guns from the NRA collection. Among those was a coffe grinder complete with handle, often missing. These were designed to be issued one to a company for grinding the coffee. Some of the guys said they had actually ran some beans through it and made coffee, although they admitted it wasn't quite Starbucks.
 

Stony Broke

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I think that basically they were to be issued to one person in a company to do some coffee grinding to keep some of the troops from breaking their stocks by smashing up the beans with the butt stocks over rocks. I don't think the whole concept really was successful.
 

Griz44Mag

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I think that basically they were to be issued to one person in a company to do some coffee grinding to keep some of the troops from breaking their stocks by smashing up the beans with the butt stocks over rocks. I don't think the whole concept really was successful.
So that brings up a question. Did not the company itself have supply wagons? Did those wagons carry coffee and grain? Where did the individual soldier carry his supplies and were those supplies personal or were they issued by the company? If so, why would that supply wagon not carry a grinder - it could be used for grinding either\both.
 

dgracia

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So that brings up a question. Did not the company itself have supply wagons? Did those wagons carry coffee and grain? Where did the individual soldier carry his supplies and were those supplies personal or were they issued by the company? If so, why would that supply wagon not carry a grinder - it could be used for grinding either\both.
The soldiers carried their rations in their haversack. That was specifically what a haversack was for, although reenactors carry all kinds of stuff in them now days. Each man was assigned to a "mess" of other soldiers. Don't recall if it was 4 or 6, something like that. One of them would go to the supply wagons and bring back the rations for the mess. They were typically given 3 days rations.

Whatever meat there was would typically be boiled immediately and then divided up. Each soldier would carry his own allotment of the rations. Each mess was issued a cooking pot, which evidently was quite heavy. They were supposed to trade off on who had to carry it each day. They very quickly all seemed to have been lost and lighter weight Tin pots were more commonly used for boiling rations. If they actually received their ration of flour, they could make various things like ash cakes and biscuit out of it. Couldn't make bread though unless they were stationed somewhere for more than a week and the camp actually built an oven.

When they were bivouacked for a couple of weeks or so, the camps would build a kitchen. This kitchen would be a circular or semi-circular ditch that was deep enough to sit on to get off your feet. You would dig a hole into the wall in front of you about a foot in circumference and then dig down to that hole from about a foot in from the trench until you connected with the first hole. This would give you a chimney of about 2-feet and basically made what we now call a "jet stove". Digging a kitchen like this eliminated the need for open fires in the camp and less chance of losing a tent to accidental fire.

You'd build a small fire out of twigs into the bottom of the L-shaped hole; put some green twigs across the top of the hole; and put your pan or pot on top of the green twigs to cook. It just took small amounts twigs to make a surprisingly hot fire and boil the water in the pot or heat a skillet if you had one over the chimney hole.

We did this once in the VA7th Regiments reenactment group at a reenactment and it was a surprisingly efficient way to cook. We cheated though and had a back-hoe dig the initial trench in a crescent shape before everyone got there. That way we just had to dig the holes into the bank. You'd sit on the bank, while watching your food cook. You did have to feed the fire fairly often and change out the twigs holding the pot over the chimney once in a while.

You can find out a LOT about what they were rationed; what they actually got; and how they lived by reading the first-hand accounts of Joseph Plumb Martin in his book, "Private Yankee Doodle". He was a soldier throughout the Rev War. Since it is his personal account of what he experienced, it is all considered primary documentation. Looks like they've changed the title of this book to "Yankee Doodle Boy" with the latest printing. Here's an Amazon link to it:


It's pretty inexpensive and will give you the best insight of what it was like to be in the army during the Revolutionary War.

Twisted_1in66 :thumb:
Dan
 
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